Hi, my name is Ryllie, and I like cats, dogs, Starbursts and long walks on the beach … is how I could start my first ever column. However, I’d like to introduce myself in a way that is a little more interesting and a little less Match.com.
Let’s start with my name. While you might be alarmed by the unusual spelling, fear not. When I first saw it, I thought it was a typo, too. But take a moment and realize that you’re reading The Carroll News, where typos go to die. Over the years, I’ve gotten Riley, Rylie, Rhyllie, Railey (I’m looking at you, Einstein’s employee) and several other variations. I’ve even gotten mail addressed to Mr. Ryllie Danylko (I’ll let you be the judge of my true gender identification from the photo to the left). I can’t take credit for my unique name, though. All credit goes to my mother on that one. I’ve grown to like my name, though, and it’s kind of cool being the only Ryllie around.
The first thing you should know about me is that I live an awkward life. I’m not talking tripping-in-front-of-a-cute-boy awkward (although I have experienced this in record numbers), I’m talking accidentally-breaking-the-main-door-of-Rodman-Hall-and-then-running-away awkward. While these experiences can be pretty embarrassing, they teach me to take life a little less seriously, and also serve as hilarious stories that I probably won’t ever share with anyone.
One of my most prominent characteristics is my tendency to procrastinate everything. I live to procrastinate, and I procrastinate to live. Nothing beats the rush of turning in an important paper or application just seconds before it’s due, then releasing tears of joy, relief, misery, desperation and various other emotions. Actually, many things beat that feeling, like getting a full night’s sleep, for example, or being able to sit back and relax on a Sunday evening – at least that’s what I’ve heard.
Something about me that has cost me friendships, family ties, love interests, etc. is my hatred of ketchup. And mustard. And mayonnaise. And ranch. And anything else that falls under the categories of “condiments” or “dressings.” However, given that in the past year, I have overcome my aversion to such exotic food items as cheeseburgers and omelets (which I now consider two of my favorite food items), there may be hope for those slimy concoctions.
In an attempt to redeem myself from those less-than-likeable qualities, I’m going to move on to something about me that is more positive, albeit obvious: I like to write. When I came to college, I took courses in everything from neuroscience to education to economics to English trying to find my academic niche. I had always done well on essays in high school, so I gave journalism a try and fell in love. There’s something about telling a story and seeing people read it and be affected by it that gives me a rush even greater than that which I get from procrastinating.
If you have the good fortune meeting me in person, the first thing you might notice about me is that I’m tall. You can catch me tearing up the basketball court on a daily basis, dunking on everyone in sight.
I’m lying. While roughly 75 percent of people ask me whether I’m a baller upon meeting me for the first time, the fact is that I’ve never played a day in my life. Actually, I spent my whole life in the dance studio, training mostly in ballet. I won’t bore you with the sob story of how a back injury crushed my dreams of performing lead roles at Lincoln Center with the American Ballet Theatre, which effectively scarred me for life and left me with a perfectionist complex ingrained in my psyche by my failure to achieve my childhood dreams. But maybe I just did.
Nonetheless, I’m looking forward to sharing with you some of my sardonic commentary in an attempt to be as extraordinarily offensive and insensitive as my predecessor, Brian Bayer. Every once in a while, though, I experience moments of clarity in which I abandon my cynical tendencies in favor of positive, inspirational wisdom. These moments may or may not be the result of a profound quote placed on an artsy background that I found on Pinterest, but who’s to say? Just know that this column will be the first place I go to share these philosophical ponderings.
Lastly, you should know I honestly, truly, sincerely, really do like long walks on the beach.