Mario Villalobos


I find it really, really tough to write about myself without bitching or writing with a tinge (or a splash) of self-hatred or solipsism. When I give myself almost no time to actually think, shit comes out. That’s just the fact of it. The other truth is that even if I did have all the time in the world to craft a good essay, I probably wouldn’t. I would probably seek out pleasure in all the forms available to me instead of sitting down to write.

I love(d) habits. They helped me lose weight and keep fit, write books, and read hundreds of books. But habits dulled my life. It focused me on work and not on play. So for the past few weeks, I’ve been forgoing habits all together and living life on impulse. If I feel like spending 12 hours watching TV, so be it. If I feel like reading, I’ll read. The only thing I haven’t changed is this blog, where every night I sometimes groan at the fact that I have to write, and other times I have something to get off my chest so I love that I have to write.

I think part of growing up is realizing that you might never be the person you thought you would be as a kid. I thought I’d be married and have kids by now. I thought I would have been working in Hollywood already, making movies and traveling the world. I never thought I’d be a firefighter, but here I am, ready to start my fourth season. I never once thought I’d write a book, and here I am with two. I never thought I’d live in Montana. But I’m not perfect. I make mistakes. I repeat the same mistakes sometimes. I say stupid things to people sometimes. My fear prevents me from doing great things sometimes.

Life is short. We all know this. I know this very well. I wish I could be fearless in some aspects of my life, of my personality. Part of it is just accepting who I am and who I want to be. Accepting who I am takes courage, and sometimes I have that courage, but other times I don’t, and lately, I haven’t had that courage. I’m more content locking myself inside my own home than fighting the world, and I want to fight the world.

Shame is a powerful emotion. It has paralyzed me and prevented me from living the life I want. I’m ashamed of many of the mistakes I’ve committed since moving up here three years ago, but you know what? Mistakes are mistakes. The past is in the past. I’m in control of my life and my destiny, and I shouldn’t let anything impede my forward momentum. I have to keep moving my feet, keep fighting, because one day I’m going to close my eyes and never open them again. And before I do, I want to know I expressed myself as fully and as completely as possible.