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Happy Birthday Cindy Meredith

Happy Birthday Cindy Meredith

Cindy Meredith
There’s probably like 5 Amy’s in this picture, but Cindy’s in the red sweater.

I’m awesome at remembering dates. I can remember the day Princess Di died, her birthday, when she got married (I remember a lot of royal stuff), the date Carolina won the NCAA tournament in 1982, and well a lot of other random stuff that for whatever reason made an impression on me and in turn I cemented the date in my psyche.

I haven’t seen or talked to Cindy Meredith since 8th grade graduation when half of the class went to Ragsdale and  the other half to Southwest, but every year, December 20th, I remember her birthday. Her “Krush Grooving” birthday party where we “jammed to the hotest music around” was the beginning of my borderline OCD, one-way 18 year love affair with C.

For some f’uped reason on that night, I became enamored, obsessed with C and didn’t fully let go until I was in my 30’s. STUPID, STUPID, girl, I tell myself over and over.

I blame Guiding Light.  At 13, I had already been watching soap operas for half my life. Soap operas in the 80’s,  well, I guess, today too, teach you that true love means you can never be together, that something’s always going to get in the way of a fairytale ending. If that was the standard, I nailed it and deserved an Olympic medal.

C moved away 6 months after that party and I didn’t see him again for 5 years.

At 30, I finally “got” him, or at least so I thought for the 18 months we dated, flying back and forth between Michigan and Tennessee.  When I “got” him, he was straight off a divorce, 30 pounds overweight, and we lived 8 hours apart.  Seriously? I was a nut job over this boy. Again, STUPID, STUPID, girl, goes off in my head in a constant loop.

And tonight was no different than the 28 December 20th’s before it, I remembered. Cindy Meredith, where ever you are, “Happy Birthday.” I hope someday to forget.

My Past is Her Future

My Past is Her Future

Timing is everything. I came across this quote only four days after my first love and heartbreak said, “I do” to someone else. It’s  been over 20 years since we parted ways, but it doesn’t make the sting any less.  I loved him with all a 20 year old college sophomore knew how to love, but to find “happily ever after” before seeing the world, testing my limits and dare, I say, finding myself, would have been foolish. We said, “good-bye” 20 years ago, and over time I slowly let him go, recognizing that there were many more boys to like and love.  Today, as as a mature thirty-something, single gal, who is fully in tune with herself, I understand, I accept that my past is someone else’s treasure. Geoff, I loved you then, and in my heart you’ll forever be, but I am your past, she is your present, your future, until death you two part.

 


A Letter to My Younger Self

A Letter to My Younger Self

1st year post-college with new roommate, Paxton
1st year post-college with new roommate, Paxton

Amy,

Right now you’re lost and unsure of what the world expects of you. Up until now, you’ve done everything according to plan:  Go to college, graduate on time with an above-average GPA, get a job(any job to support yourself and avoid moving back home), pay the rent on time and live life. But it’s the “live life” part that you’re struggling with. You have your own place, friends and enough money to enjoy higher quality beer than college $2 pitcher nights and a few good dinners out. But you’re asking “is this it?” Is this what I spent 23 years aiming towards?

And yes, dear friend, it will get a little worse before it gets better. Friends will pair off, get married, have kids and ditch you in favor of play dates over wine-infused lunches.  You’ll still be doing much of the same thing: working Monday-Friday at a respectable, yet boring desk job that has no relevance to your degree or world interests and spending  Saturday nights overindulging in cocktails that lead to all day Sunday’s in bed.

The vast array of eligible men  will dry up and dating will become an urban myth. They’ll be a few select boys who float in and out, and you’ll secretly hope that one of them will be the mysterious “one,” but they’ll frustrate you with their lack of substance and maturity. You’ll try hard to make it work and overcome the glaring incompatability between the two of you, but it exhausts you and you’ll wonder what’s wrong with you.

Nothing’s wrong with you Amy, it’s just not your time. You are not traditional and neither will your life be.  Instead, your life will be  unconventional, adventorous, and scary all at the same time. You will  take chances that others fear, live in places you can’t find on a map, meet people from all parts of the country and world, see history unfold in front of your eyes, and travel through 14 timezones alone to see The Great Wall of China. You will ride a camel through the deserts of Egypt and sip wine at a cafe in Tuscany.

You will not wait for a man to complete you or your life, but instead you’ll rely on your inner-strength and willigness to keep going on. Your passion to live life, to see the world and experience different cultures will fuel your drive to survive alone in a world made for two. This is what completes you.

You’ll realize that though marriage and children have eluded you, it’s not everything and it’s not what defines you. Only you, defines you.

So take it easy on yourself and chin up. You have more strength, perseverance, and curiosity for life than you give yourself credit.  Sometimes you may feel your life may lack drama, excitement and companionship, but to many, your life is a dream waiting to be fulfilled.

Dorothy Hamill Dreams Dashed

Dorothy Hamill Dreams Dashed

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Easter, circa 1978. I hated this dress!

Like every other little girl in 1976 I wanted to be Dorothy Hamill. Unfortunately, the closest I ever got to being women’s figure skating Olympic champion was this haircut. I begged for lessons and tried to convince my mom that my dance costumes could do double duty on the ice.

There were just a few problems with my plan. There weren’t many rinks in NC and it rarely snowed more than 2 inches. Simply, NC was not a haven for winter sport athletes. After all, why would you want to be a figure skater when you could be a little league cheerleader?

I was confident. Despite the fact that I had never been on skates, I knew I was a skating prodigy waiting to be break loose. After all, I could pull my head through my legs and do Cirque-Solie things with my body.

Well, we all know how this story ended. I didn’t become Olympic Figure Skating Champion. My six year old ambition wasn’t enough.  I moved on, and yes made the cheerleading squad on my first try. Yeah, for me. I learned to yell loud and wave poms poms on cue. I guess yelling out loud was my gift.

On the 4th Day of Christmas: .50 Gift Certificates

On the 4th Day of Christmas: .50 Gift Certificates

Remember gift certificates? Yes, before gift cards became all the rage, gift certificates would often make their way to our Christmas stockings. This 1975 McDonald’s commercial starring a three year old Corey Feldman reminds us of a time when that .50 gift certificate could actually buy us something at McDonald’s. It was “something special for someone special.”