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1. …and one who reminds you of how far you’ve come.

From the twin bed in the spare bedroom, I hear the creaking of the front door and immediately shut my eyes so I can pretend I’m asleep when he walks up the stairs.
I just cant tonight.
It’s been too many nights of the same discussion.
I just can’t.
I want just one night to pretend this isn’t really ending. After 6 years. This way.

I don’t hear him round the landing, like always.

“I just…… I just don’t love her anymore.” The words steal the oxygen out of my lungs and suck it down the stairs, searching for him.

*His brother must still be up. *
*SHIT.. What am I going to do now?*
*This is all I know.*
*What about our house, our dog, our cars?*

It was one of those ‘life flashing before your eyes’ moments.
This is real now, isn’t it?


It started when I looked to my left and saw the man that held my whole heart sitting across the isle.
Our last names both start with F.
So as we sit alphabetically in our caps and gowns, he sits directly across from me.
All anyone else can think of is FREEDOM.
All I can think of is running to him.
There is an aerial view of the caps being thrown in the air, somewhere out there. There is 1 white gown in the sea of maroon.
That was me. With him. Where I belonged.


I turned 18 with him.
Then 19, 20, 21…. All the way to 24.
Between 2000 and 2006 we experienced a lifetime.
More jobs between us than I can even count.
Sicknesses, surgeries, hospitalizations.
Long distance dating.
Parenthood, as we raised a puppy from birth together.
We sat on the end of our bed at 7am as we watched 9/11 unfold.
That morning in shock would ultimately lead to his future career. Who knew.
Our first house.
Cars we loved. (the truck) Cars we (I) hated. (the station wagon)
Jobs. Jobs. More jobs.
Quitting college.
Temporary job transfer overseas.
infidelity. (from both of us. Surprise!)
Strange hobbies.
6 years of a lifetime.


I just need out of where I’m living right now.
We haven’t been separated long, he’s working late. I just want to go “home.”
I’ll just got there for the night, while he’s working.
The light turns green.
My mind is (honestly) a million miles away.
I blink and suddenly see a tire in front of my window.
Is that a tire?
I’m slammed to a stop.
I don’t know why but I look up.
The traffic light above me is green.
“they ran a red light!!” I shout out. There isn’t anyone to hear me.
The car fills up with smoke.
I test out my legs, my feet, my arms.
I’m ok I think, but I’ve gotta get out of here.
I stumble, feeling drunk, into the middle of a BUSY intersection.
I see a middle aged man stands by the edge of the overpass, watching the freeway traffic flow below him. A glowing cigarette hangs out of his mouth, his phone pressed to his ear. He looks at me, “bitch.”
Everything is coming at flashes around me. I’m turning in circles. I’m really not ok.
Someone grabs me, “the ambulance is on its way. Can we call someone for you?”
“um.. My uh… Boyfriend. I think he’s still my boyfriend. Can you call him? He’s at work. I need him. ”
I blink again and he’s there as I sit trying to focus and answer questions for the paramedics.
I don’t hear their questions but my mind thinks “maybe this is it. Maybe he’ll realize he almost really lost me. Maybe this will turn out to be a good thing. Maybe he’ll realize he can’t live without me.”
“So, uh… I guess you probably want to stay at my house tonight?” He asks and I can hear him hoping I’ll say no and let him take me back to where I’m staying.
“If I can, please.” I ignore the tone of his question because there is nowhere else I can be right now.
I stand and look at the burns on my face, the cuts, the scrapes, the marks that will turn to bruises.  He makes me a bed on the couch.
I guess this wasn’t “IT.”
My bruised, broken body sunk into the familiar cushions that we so often sunk into together.
I laughed just a little,  too much hurt, as I watched my tears roll easily off the fabric protected microfiber. Remembering he was the one that wanted to pay extra for that.
Blocks away they swept up my broken heart alongside the pieces of my broken car.


I slid my wedding ring back on to my finger and took a deep breath.
I can do this, just one night.
It’s too soon and too much to tell them right now. I can pretend for a night.
After dinner, he pulls me aside.
“Something’s wrong, I know something’s wrong. What is it?
DEEP BREATH….. “He left. Asked for a divorce.”
Without saying a word he hugs me in that way that held me for 6 years.
6 years later the hug feels the same. Comforting.
“Come to dinner. Please come to our house for dinner one night soon. My wife and I would love to have you over. Please?”
“Of course, I would love that.”


I became an adult with him.
Because of him?
I was a young girl graduating high school too early, before he came into my life.
When he left i was a home owner, a car owner, a pet owner, a woman.
Because of him, with him, I had come so far.
In the best way, he reminds me of that constantly.

This is a series I will be writing on each of the things outlined in the 30 by 30 list originally posted in Glamor magazine. And posted about (by me) here. They wont be in order. Probably.
Read them all here.




1. One old boyfriend you can imagine going back to (part 1 of #1)

The cold rock was hard against my back but simultaneously felt like the softest place I had ever rested.
A few stars sparkled through the towering pine trees above us.
The air was cool and crisp, but I still couldn’t take a full breath.

I know EVERYTHING about him.
He told me the story of his lost virginity. It took my breath away because it was so unexpected and not at all loving.
I went to the mall to see who she was. I still remember the movie they were watching.
I knew every story of his childhood that meant anything to him.
His parents. They were something else. My parents had a few run in’s with them.
We watched “My Best Friends Wedding” together. A lot.
We made the cheesy promise that every male female best friend couple made in 1997.
I closed my eyes tight and wished for 2013. When we’d both be 30 and single.

The night had lead us, alone, up to this rock that we both loved.
The brown fake fur blanket was warm against our bodies as the sensation of the cold rock chilled our backs.

I don’t remember a single word of our conversation. My mind was a million miles away. Or frankly, inches away. With him.

I moved my hand under the blanket onto his stomach.
The literal sparks that flew from the blanket echoed the sparks in my heart.

He leaned up resting on one elbow and asked “What would you do if I kissed you right now?”
I felt my lips tightening, my head falling back and I couldn’t hold back the laughter.
“Probably slap you,” I laughed.
Where did that come from?
Everything I always knew that I never really wanted with him was right in front of me, but…
“I cant lose my bestfriend. I don’t know what I’d do with out you. I cant risk that.” Was what I said instead.
“You’re right…” he mumbled as he sighed back onto the hard rock.
The stars still danced as my mind raced with WHATDIDYOUJUSTDO’s.
I was right.. right?

The conversation resume to “normal” as quickly as it had veered off that track.

It was late.
“We should get home.”

I will never forget the moment we drove down the winding canyon road when another car pulled behind us honking.
Then pulled beside us.
He knew her.
I didn’t.
WE didn’t end there.
But they began there.

6 years later my phone would ring while I was in the baking section at a WalMart in California
6 years later his voice would be shaky on the other end of the phone.
6 years later he would cry as he told me she was pregnant and he was going to marry her.
And could I come back for the wedding . Please.

6 years later my dreams of 1997 would be shattered.
But I’d still have my best friend.


This is the first installment of a series I will be writing on each of the things outlined in the 30 by 30 list originally posted in Glamor magazine. And posted about (by me) here. They wont be in order. Probably. Except for the first two.

4. When to try harder and when to walk away.

The sunroof was open shining the early afternoon bight sun onto my newly red hair, my cup holder held the largest Slurpee I could find.
Slurpee’s are the key to my happiness.
In case you were wondering.

The disembodied voice blaring over the radio started talking about a list.

A list of 30 things every woman should have and know by the time they are 30.

Something struck me.
These are REAL, attainable things.
I found myself nodding along.

And while this list was written in 1997, I feel like it was written for me.
YES. I want to have and know these things. Not by tomorrow, not even by 30 but wow. Yes.

Secretly (except not so secretly because I just said it..) I want to write a post about each of these things.
My mind jumps at every one of these situations..

By 30, you should have …
1. One old boyfriend you can imagine going back to and one who reminds you of how far you’ve come.
2. A decent piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in your family.
3. Something perfect to wear if the employer or man of your dreams wants to see you in an hour.
4. A purse, a suitcase, and an umbrella you’re not ashamed to be seen carrying.
5. A youth you’re content to move beyond.
6. A past juicy enough that you’re looking forward to retelling it in your old age.
7. The realization that you are actually going to have an old age — and some money set aside to help fund it.
8. An email address, a voice mailbox, and a bank account — all of which nobody has access to but you.
9. A résumé that is not even the slightest bit padded.
10. One friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry.
11. A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra.
12. Something ridiculously expensive that you bought for yourself, just because you deserve it.
13. The belief that you deserve it.
14. A skin-care regimen, an exercise routine, and a plan for dealing with those few other facets of life that don’t get better after 30.
15. A solid start on a satisfying career, a satisfying relationship, and all those other facets of life that do get better.

By 30, you should know …
1. How to fall in love without losing yourself.
2. How you feel about having kids.
3. How to quit a job, break up with a man, and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.
4. When to try harder and when to walk away.
5. How to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn’t like to happen next.
6. The names of the secretary of state, your great-grandmothers, and the best tailor in town.
7. How to live alone, even if you don’t like to.
8. Where to go — be it your best friend’s kitchen table or a yoga mat — when your soul needs soothing.
9. That you can’t change the length of your legs, the width of your hips, or the nature of your parents.
10. That your childhood may not have been perfect, but it’s over.
11. What you would and wouldn’t do for money or love.
12. That nobody gets away with smoking, drinking, doing drugs, or not flossing for very long.
13. Who you can trust, who you can’t, and why you shouldn’t take it personally.
14. Not to apologize for something that isn’t your fault.
15. Why they say life begins at 30