Yup. That’s me. Well, that was me (yikes) four, maybe almost five years ago. But let’s call it like it is, that lovely photo could have been taken 10 years ago or yesterday and it would pretty much look the same. I don’t always look like this, but, actually yes I do, I usually look like this.
My name is Lisa Barry and I am a writer. I am originally from Kansas. I have never milked a cow or driven a combine and my closet is void of ruby slippers. Kansas is mostly awesome and I mostly love it because it is full of things like friendly people, red meat and my Aunt Jeanne’s chocolate chip cookies (they are famous). It is also full of really big skies like this one…
Oh yeah, and it’s full of people who love me. Like my brother who collects vinyl records and builds computers and plays basketball and rocks a fedora (what a nutty combination).
Then there are the rents, who I could go on and on about but I’ll just leave it at this…They are saints. And I love them. And they deserve an award for dealing with me and that guy in the picture above. And one of them may or may not have gone bald because of us, but the other one has definitely NOT gone grey, just look at how pretty she is!
So, about that whole running away thing. You see my mom was always insistent on traveling and trying new things when my brother and I were growing up. My dad would have been just as happy to stay home. But alas, every year we packed up and hit the road at least once. Most of the time with suitcases, but once with clear, plastic, vacuum sealed bags that we had to carry through the greater part of Panama City, FL, but that’s a story for another day. So it wasn’t long before I caught that cliche travel bug and started scheming a life of traveling. Then I escaped to Europe with my crazy best friend…
You’ll probably end up hearing a lot about them and seeing a lot of pics so I’m not too concerned they all look like this here. Actually three of them are married now and it turns out we actually clean up quite nicely.
We were way too young and stupid to traipse around Europe like we did, but we survived. Two years later I found myself living in Mexico for a summer. I worked in the slums of this city called Puerto Penasco, lived on the futon of a very gracious family, taught some classes, built some houses, launched my very first blog and fell in love with fish tacos and all Mexicans. This is where I also got the nick-name “Lisa Pescado.” Apparently a “Lisa” is a big, ugly jumping fish. Lisa (me) pescado (fish) Lisa Pescado, whatever, I embrace it.
I couldn’t find a picture of me with the Swartzentrubers, but that’s who I lived with when I was in Mexico, and they changed my life. So much so that I brought my family and a bunch of people from my home church back here to build a house. Here we are!
Then I spent the final year of college figuring out where I was going next. Mostly I planned grand travel-the-world-plans with my crazy-as-I-am friend, Courtney Hooper, (but then she got married and now that’s not her last name, but I’m too immature to recognize that most of my friends are growing up and getting married and now live with a boy so I remain in denial.)
I graduated and decided, “eh, Boston is as good a place as any to live.” Then I told my saintly parents who, well they didn’t handle it well. Five weeks later, I found myself in Littleton, MA, forcing yet another group of people to take me in as their own (and they did and they love me). I moved to Massachusetts with this girl (She has a name, it’s Tori) she was my roommate in college and her family are those people I just talked about that love me.
We’re not together. I have to specify that for most people. We just happen to live together, split the cost of groceries, are unsure of who owns what in our apartment, attend each other’s family functions and bicker like a couple who have been married for 95 years. But Massachusetts is expensive! So I have to live with someone who can put up with me and pay half the rent! Plus living by myself would be boring and she would miss me. Not to mention, most of my life is like, “I LOVE GLITTER AND RAINBOWS” and most of her life is like, “Ewww, glitter.” So we need each other.
Sidenote: Go check out The Wish Project and donate to them. They do good things for poor people who need it.
Ok back to launching my writing career. Every day I get to write stories for magazines and newspapers who think I’m good enough to be published in them. I meet all kinds of people, like Mike and Derek who are Juniors in high school and make their own iPhone Apps. I’ve even made best friends with police officers who teach me how to shoot guns like this…
Now here I am, obsessed with meeting new people, trying new things and telling new stories, mostly new stories about new people. I live in this optimistic mindset that says, “Yes Lisa, yes, you can change the world by connecting people through stories.” Whether I can do it or not, jury is still out, BUT it won’t be for lack of trying and starting early. Now that you’ve read nearly 1,500 words about me and my life and seen all the pictures of my people, we won’t have to do this again, pinky promise. Instead, I will focus on people much more interesting than myself who deserve to be written about. You’ll find stories about people I already know, stories about people I randomly or not so randomly meet and stories about complete strangers, like that guy who more or less told me my life didn’t amount to anything because I wait tables. Don’t worry, I didn’t believe him and I plan on publishing his story where millions of people can read it just to prove him wrong.
Hopefully, you will find some of it inspirational, some of it ridiculous, and all of it entertaining at least to some degree.
I apologize ahead of time for the typos, rants, rabbit trails, promises I can’t keep and crappy pictures. I wish all my pictures looked like my friend Emma’s because she’s awesome, but they don’t. I take them anyway.
And with that I say, bookmark me, follow me on Twitter, leave lots of comments and HAPPY READING (sometimes I like to yell in all caps. Sorry about that too.)