Cuenca High Life logo

Expat Life

Just a little breather

So, I’ve been writing this column for two years now. Two years. Wow, it’s hard to believe it. Anyway, it’s been two years of getting to say what I feel at the moment and then sitting back to see how much everyone reads into it (except for a guy last week named Robert who said, “I didn’t read it because I’m not interested in testimonies of faith. I wish CHL would stick to news.”

But yet he took the time to leave this comment. About something he didn’t read. Is it just me that thinks that is ridiculous?

Nonetheless, I know that I will NEVER please 100% of you each week. Some of you will love what I write, some will hate it, some will ignore it and some will go out of their way to make threats or suggestions of what I should go do to myself that quite frankly, just isn’t physically possible.

Often, based on my column, you tell us what we (CuencaHighLife.com and The Cuenca Dispatch) are supposed to be writing about, or shouldn’t write about.  Some of you even tell us what the purpose of CHL or TCD is, supposing that you know why we do what we do, but that we don’t.

“I can’t believe he said that!”

I’ll say this; all I really ever wanted was for all of you to talk about what I write. To stimulate conversation. Because that is what a columnist is supposed to do.  Whether you hate what I write or love it, I just want you to talk to other people about it.

Occasionally, some readers take things too far. They dissect every word I write and then will write sermons back attacking something that quite frankly, had nothing to do with what I wrote.

Some readers don’t get that this is an opinion column (it’s not a “position” of CHL or TCD).  Or that I can’t write 25,000 word treatises on things. I do try to make some subtle points, every once in a while with humor, sometimes with outrage, and more often than not with simple little challenges to you, our readers.

Now, let me say that I do get a lot of positive feedback from what I write, even when people don’t agree with me.  One day I ran into someone at Cuenca Consignments who completely disagreed with what I had written the week before.  But he appreciated the opportunity it gave him to discuss the topic with his friends.  And he greeted me with a smile and a handshake to tell me that I was wrong.  It was a GREAT interaction.

That’s the best reward a columnist can take from his writings.

It’s not easy coming up with topics each week to write about.  I tend to think linearly, so my mind often wanders to topics I’ve already written about.  Even so, I’ve never “mailed it in.”  I’ve always tried to keep it fresh, debatable and something that will stir up the feelings of you, our readers.

I won’t suggest that I’ve always managed to pull that off!  But I have tried.

With that said, I’m going to take a break for a while.

This being the first issue of the third year of The Cuenca Dispatch, now seemed like the right time to put my “Just Sayin'” column on hold.

I’m not sure exactly how long the break will be, but I like the idea of waiting until after I return from my trip to the United States this fall. I’m going to clear my head of my current linear thoughts and give it some new experiences to ruminate on.

While I’m gone, I’m willing to hand my space over to any other aspiring columnist. Otherwise, the editor will repost some of my early columns.

“Anyone? Anyone? Anyone?”

I won’t say it’s a thankless job, but don’t expect chocolates to arrive in a candy-gram.  If nothing else, writing a column helps you to see how deeply different some expatriates think than you do.

I have no regrets about anything I’ve written.  Though I wish at times I had been even stronger in my opinions on certain topics.

Anyway, for all of you who have been kind in your dissent, thank you.  For those of you who have been supportive of my thoughts, thank you.

I think it’s good to change the lineup every once in a while, in everything we do.  And for any of you brave enough to step into the batter’s box for a while, I wish you the best of luck!

Because you’re gonna need it.  I’m just sayin!

P.S. While I’m gone, please all try to play nice with each other!