Matt Forney
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Letting the Days Go By

When I first started blogging eons ago, I listed off a series of goals I wanted to accomplish in the next year. Since it’s been six months since my inaugural post and almost five months since I set off into the great unknown, I’ve decided to look back and see the progress I’ve made.

1. Get everything necessary for my trip.

Done, obviously.

2. Figure out what I want to do on the trip.

Also done, but my best-laid plans have been shredded in a million ways. When I left Syracuse, I’d been planning to make it to Portland by October, not anticipating being refused entry into Canada, spending a month in Madison, or my current project. My present plan is to wait out the winter making money in the boomland of northwest North Dakota/northeast Montana and hit the road again in spring. Instead of heading straight to Oregon though, I’ll likely take a roundabout route south through Texas, the Four Corners states, Nevada and California, soaking up as much of America as I can handle. This will likely mean that I won’t reach Portland until August/September of next year at the earliest.

3. Monetize this blog.

Done, barely. I can now proudly state that I make roughly $10 a month from this site through book affiliate sales. I’ve deactivated the PayPal buttons because I no longer need donations, and because I want the “VIP list” to remain small and elite. If you reallytruly want to donate to me and it’s a sum of significance (minimum three digits), email me and I’ll set you up.

4. Record some demo tracks.

Also technically done; my biggest musical achievement to date is a thirty-second recording of me manhandling my guitar’s frets with a metal canister.

5. Lose at least fifty pounds, hopefully more.

Still working on this. I’m down twenty pounds from when I left New York (about 200-210 from a high of 225), but my attempts to go lower have been stymied by my current living situation. While I do a lot of manual labor, hit the gym most days and walk everywhere when I’m in town, I have to eat out a lot because I don’t have anywhere to stash or cook food. I’ve become noticeably tougher and more resilient from my physical activity though; on the second day of my trip, I nearly collapsed trying to walk two miles. Now I can make it about fifteen in a day before I have to call it quits.

Some people (read: haters) love to attack me by going, “Herp derp you make fun of fat girls but YOU’RE fat!” For one, I’m losing weight instead of trying to justify being fat, unlike those girls. Secondly, I’m not and never have been that big. I started bulking up when I was in the second grade, but despite living a largely sedentary lifestyle most of my adult life, I’ve never weighed more than 230 pounds (for reference, I’m 5′ 10″). I’m overweight because I was negligent about my health and nothing more.

In other words, I’m living proof that all those grotesque heffalumps waddling through Walmart had to work to get that fat.

They had to deliberately stuff their faces when they were full, they had to go out of their way to avoid physical activity, they had to take calculated, thought-out steps to get to their current hell of diabetes and hardened arteries. Not only that, there’s ample evidence that a lot of fat girls intentionally bulked up as an act of rebellion against evil society for daring to “thin-shame” them:


and FUCK YOU ALL who tried to degrade my being and sense of self with your hurtful comments and actions.


A while back, a certain manboob posted an article attacking me for my Freedom Twenty-Five post “Saving Women from Themselves.” Reading the comments, I noticed this:

*finishes off Toblerone from last night* tastes so much better knowing that it pisses them off

His post gives me yet another reason to be glad that I am a fat chick. I love that my mere existence is enough to piss off self-important jerks like him.

Read those quotes again.

These losers are so childish, immature and emotionally stunted that they are deliberately harming themselves in the hopes of annoying someone on the Internet they don’t even know.

That’s the difference between me and fat girls; unlike them, I have my head screwed on straight.

6. Learn bass guitar/take singing lessons/join a rock band.

Not happening any time soon. The last time I touched a regular guitar, nevermind a bass, was a month ago, and that was to keep a drunk nympho from faceplanting on it. (Long story.) Since I’m going to keep hitching until I get to the West Coast, I can’t leave North Dakota with anything that I can’t carry on me, so my musical ambitions are on indefinite hiatus.

7. Write a book.

In progress. I’ve begun outlining what will eventually become my account of this wacky, insane trip, mainly so I don’t forget or distort things. It (obviously) will not be out until the trip is over. I have a few other projects in the pipeline, but they’re on hold until I get some time off in a place that isn’t North Fucking Dakota. “VIP club” members will receive everything free of charge, of course.

In sum total, I’ve succeeded at all of my short-term goals, which were relatively easy. I’ve failed to meet the long-term ones, but I’m slowly inching towards achieving them.

Despite the rumors, I’m not going anywhere and I’m not giving up. Aside from bus rides from Plattsburgh to Syracuse, Chicago to Madison, and Madison to Des Moines, I’ve hitched or hiked over 2,000 miles across America. I’m closer to Portland than I am to New York right now, so close I can practically smell the artisanal bread and hipster armpit funk over the hill.

I’ve come too far—and done too much—to stop now.

Stay tuned for further dispatches from the Land of Awesomeness.

Read Next: Notes from the Road: How to Cross Six States in Eight Days on Foot