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  • Writer's pictureLaura L

Christmas was rushed, S was out of town until the day after, and the food was mediocre. I had to work all the way through Christmas Eve and did not have a lot of time to prepare for my friends to arrive (they flew in from Seattle). I ended up buying pies, cheese & wine from Whole Foods, we made Trader Joes's frozen garlic pasta, and I bought cookies & coconut truffles as snacks at the last minute. I was embarrassed by my lack of preparation, but in the end, everything worked out. Most importantly, the company was spectacular.

I've heard from a lot of people that grief fades with time. I have not found that to be true. The shock is certainly gone, but the depth of my grief has not lessened one bit since losing C. No, the loss stings as much today as it did the first day; time has NOT healed all wounds. Instead, my life improved by the addition of new friendships, deeper friendships, new relationships. I lost C, but S came into my life, and I inherited his friendship with the wonderful O.

We made a toast to C -- for he is loved, even today. Now and forever.

  • Writer's pictureLaura L

A girl R & I once knew (who is now an "influencer") posted photos of the most lavish decorations last year with the caption, "All my garland dreams came true!" This year, I couldn't resist sending R a photo of my staircase with the text, "All my garland dreams came true as well! Except my shit's from Walmart, and only $12.95 ."

It's a day early for Thanksgiving, but I'm feeling a rare moment of gratitude to my dad. I was the ONLY female in my class who didn't get an American Girl doll. Felicity, Samantha, Kirstin -- nada. Money was not the divider: even the kids who lived in trailers/apartments got their American Girl doll. I never liked dolls anyway, but man, it burned to not get one. My dad sheepishly came home with a pre-owned copy of "A Time to Kill" one day (after another one of our big blowouts), and I snatched it from his hands and screamed something like, "I hate my life, and I hate you!" What he didn't know was that I ended up devouring the entire book that night, and it (at least in part) kicked off my interest in the law.

"A Time to Kill" depicted an injustice far more severe than a Midwestern girl who didn't get her doll; it reflected the need for individual people to step up and fight to right the wrongs of society. As my young mind learned that night, even people like Jake Brigance and his family members were called to inconvenience themselves for the greater good.

Maybe my dad was onto something. Perhaps I was never meant to play with $200 dolls, or be known for my home decor. Instead, I found a way to be paid as a full-time nerd (i.e. do things I would be doing in my off-time, anyway). His cheapness/poverty forced me to carve another path; his pitiful consolation prize provided the catalyst to my life now -- for that, I actually am grateful.

I never did follow-up on my post from July. As luck would turn out, a few days after the gigantic grasshopper landed on my steering wheel, I received an invitation to interview for a job I did not remotely expect to get... and then I got it. I f**king got it. It was like, wait, what? Things happened so quickly, I had some difficulty processing everything. I went from "doing well" to "top 1%-rich" overnight. I don't feel rich, though, because my dad has a million health problems that I'm paying up the nose for, and I also helped my roommate/best friend buy a house. Additionally, I contributed to the political campaign of another one of my close friends, so yeah... Maybe once all these expenses are paid, I'll finally feel wealthy/buy something for myself!

In addition to the gigantic luck career-wise, something even more important and "big" happened to me: I met S. I feel awkward saying he's the one I've been waiting for; I don't want to be disrespectful to those I've dated and genuinely loved. C was one of my favorite people in the world; I can't even describe who he was to me in entirety because he was my everything. Yet, I also know this to be true: as much as I loved C, and as much of a force-of-nature as he was (and as it was for us to meet and spend those years together), I also did not feel like we were "meant to be" in that way. He was my friend, the funny, brilliant and big-hearted human being who was my companion and our third musketeer. When I die, he better be there to receive me into the next world, whether that's a world of unconscious nothings or a traditional "afterlife" or something none of us can even imagine in our humanly state. But he was not "the one."

You see -- as I wrote in my very first post -- just as I always knew the city and neighborhood I was going to live in since I was a child (as well as the type of home I would one day own), I also knew the person I would end up with, even though I had not met him yet. It was always just so clear to me, even when I was 16-17. I knew the church I would marry in, his hair color, his eye color, his occupation, his likes and dislikes, the conversations we would have, his essence. And as much as I have had some amazing friendships resulting from my past relationships, and have even been genuinely in love, I just always knew.

And so, here I am, finally. With the job I've been wanting my entire life. With the one I spent my life searching for. I looked into the mirror the other day, with a few strands of grey hair and the heaviness of the past years weighing in on my once-youthful face, and I thought: things definitely did not turn out as I'd planned, but I did grow up to become exactly the person I thought I would, and exactly as I'd always wanted to be.

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