i am twenty years old. the year is two thousand and nine. i am wearing a white dress that i designed and sewed myself. i am not happy with the dress. i don’t like how it fits and i don’t like the way i look in it. i am frustrated and angry that one person is not at my wedding. instead of being glad about all the people who are here to celebrate my special day, i fixate on just one person. i should have had my eyes fixed on my groom. i do not notice the way he looks at me. for him i am the only person that exists today. later i will see it in photographs- the way he looked at me on that day. by the time i see it we are both beginning to believe it is too late.
i am twenty four years old. the year is two thousand and fourteen. i can’t breathe. i didn’t see this coming. i did not believe this would happen. R is breaking up with me. he has fallen in love with someone else. this can’t be real. this isn’t happening. i can’t breathe. please don’t leave me.
i am twenty four years old. the year is two thousand and fourteen. i am single for the first time in my adult life. i am trying to put the pieces of my life back together and move forward. i want to be someone who my sons can be proud of. i have decided that i want to be a teacher. i have enrolled in college classes for the first time in over three years. i believe i can do this. i will not fail this time, this is what i tell myself.
i am twenty seven years old. the year is two thousand and sixteen. R is single and has an extra bedroom. he has asked me if i would like to move in, as his roommate. we’ve started having sex again; we are friends with benefits. it sounds like a good plan.
i am twenty eight years old. the year is two thousand and seventeen. i have just gotten my first paying job of my adult life. it is at a yarn store. i am excited about the possibilities of this. it is a step in the right direction. a stepping stone.