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I’ve never been a very conventional person when it comes to relationships. Sometimes I wonder what my husband was even thinking when he proposed. He will joke about how Ariel from The Little Mermaid is the perfect woman when she has legs and can’t talk. Yes, totally chauvinistic, I know. But here’s the joke to that one…he married me. I’m loud, I’m opinionated, I often speak without thinking and my sentences….well, let’s just say they’re not short. So he may joke about a woman who can’t talk but take heart in knowing he’s married to a woman that he hardly gets a word in edgewise with.

In my friendships I’m selective. I’ve had a good go ‘round with bad friendships, unreliable girlfriends, two-faced girlfriends – you name it. It took me twenty years to stumble upon someone worth hanging onto that I wasn’t related to. And her name was Kristi. She was a Polynesian Mormon with a hearty laugh and a creative wit. I met her on a fan-based website when she submitted a review for one of the very first attempts at writing I posted online. That was nearly ten years ago now and though we don’t talk as much as we used to, she’s still one of the best friends I have. The other two – Christy and Catey (better known as Kitty by the four of us) live in Colorado and Tennessee. We’re living proof that distance cannot destroy closeness and that sometimes the people you meet on the internet really do make the lasting impressions that carry with you through your life. These girls were unexpected rays of light in my life. We’ve struggled together, changed together, flourished together. We’ve saved one another and by saved I mean everything from saving a struggling marriage to saving a life. It may seem extreme, but the truth is there. My ladies stood by me, fought for my marriage when others said “leave him.” They didn’t just believe in me – they believed in us. They believed that my husband and I could make it through the crisis we were going through and come out the other side stronger than we were when we went in. And they were right. And in retrospect, we each played our role in bringing one or two back from the brink, though the stories are not mine to tell. Catey and Kristi both flew up for my wedding, spending a week and a half helping me conquer cold feet, make decorations and act as insurmountable pillars of support. Christy was a late comer to our group but accepted with open arms. For my birthday which wasn’t all that long ago she and Catey made a road trip for a surprise drop in.

The reunion of all four of us has been a year in the making and comes to the forefront in less than a day. We continually refer to the week we’ll spend together as epicenes. And I am sure it will be. I face it with a mix of pure joy and anxiety. This will be the longest I have ever been away from my daughter. I know this will be good for each of us. We are ridiculously attached to one another. She needs to learn that it’s okay for mommy to be away and that she will come back and I need to learn to trust others with my baby girl. It’s going to be difficult but I’m looking forward to spending some time with three women who, next to my sister and mother, matter more to me than anything in this world. I hope that one day my daughter has friendships that are as strong, understanding and lasting as ours. It would be a blessing to know she had women so strong and so wonderful drop so unexpectedly into her life.

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Dreams and aspirations were two things I was very good at when I was younger. I wanted…and I wanted big. My goals were never to become a mediocre number in some huge company where one could easily get lost as an individual. I had goals – huge, glorious goals that would make a place for me in this world. I had expectations. I should have realized long before my 29 years of life on this earth that having expectations should always be balanced with preparing for the unexpected.
As it was, I did not prepare and ended up, during one of my weaker moments, deeming myself the Queen of the Unexpected. Now I’m never one for self pity. I know there are people out there who have it worse than me, people who struggle far more than I have ever struggled. But you hit that point where you just can’t remind yourself. The list of unfortunate situations evaporates into nothingness as you wallow in your own self-pity and think the words “how can it possibly get any worse?”
With a mounting pile of unexpected events – sudden deaths in the family, job losses, internal struggles with depression, a marriage tearing ruthlessly at the seams that were doing a pretty disgusting job of holding it together – it was often hard to remember that things could quite possibly look a lot more ugly than they appeared. Even now I have a hard time remembering that. I’m facing unemployment for the second time, my insurance is running out at the end of the month and every time my 22 month-old daughter smiles or hugs me, as uplifting as it is, I can’t help but think I’m failing her. It’s daunting – raising a child and wanting to provide the best for them but not being able to.
There’s a light at the end of this tunnel though. And there, my friends, the truth of this entry lies. There is always something to cling to – a shred of hope that you are in total control of. And the fixes are always far more simple than you think they are. If you’re like me, that mind of yours turns in crazy circles that complicate matters far more than necessary. Take a step back, breathe…that’s what I always have to remind myself to do. Then make a list of everything going right in your life.
I’m going to school and I fully plan on graduating, though at this time the course of interest is a little fuzzy. I’m sure I’ll see it clearly once I reach the end of this winding, indecisive tunnel. My marriage, though not what it once was, has become stronger. It has its tentative moments. I’m a firm believer that all marriages do. I have this family that has been a massive support beam in my life. How, when I was a teenager, I felt animosity towards my parents I will never know. Maybe it’s a rite of passage into adult hood. You have to want to get away from your parents to truly understand how much they mean to you.
I’m working on a novel – my novel. This has, for the longest time, been one of those huge, glorious goals of mine. As I grew older, fear started to edge my hopes of ever getting published. I suppose that if you let fear stop you though, you’ll never accomplish anything. I want to treat that fear of turning my work over to a publisher into the same kind of fear I had when it came to giving birth to my daughter. Sure, I was scared as hell…but I had to do it. I didn’t have a choice. That’s how I want to feel about my writing. My writing to me is more than a goal – it’s a thirst, it’s a craving. One that’s gone unfulfilled for far too long. This time…I’m not backing down.
And to top it all off – I have the most fantastic, adoring, fiercely independent little girl who makes me realize every day that unexpected things happen. A true test of your character is how you handle the unexpected.
Look at that list of positive things! They seem to outshine the unemployment, lack of insurance and lack of a prospective job, don’t you think? Guess I just needed some wild, rambling reminder of all of that.

Nothing in this life is guaranteed. You wake up, you start your normal routine – you go through your day. Sometimes there are expectations. Expectations like the coffee shop you visit on your way to work every morning having the fat-free vanilla creamer you absolutely must have in your vente coffee or your boss calling your boss wearing the tie his daughter gave him because it’s her birthday today and you expect him to wear it as a reminder. It’s a hideous thing but the sentiment does not escape you. There are moments when the unexpected happens – a vehicle breaks down, you get a call from the school (apparently your son through streaking through the cafeteria would be a wonderful idea). The unexpected happens and it isn’t your job to be ready for it. It’s your job to deal, to process…to move on and make light of the situations that leave lasting memories over the course of your lifetime. These are my spins on life and my stories. Welcome to my unexpected!