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I paused, pursing my lips as I watched the water run hot into the coffee pot.

Swirling the murky brown liquid, I lifted the glass container high as I poured its contents into the sink. “I don’t know,” I responded thoughtfully, “I guess stay in California and work for a bit?”

“That would be fun!” Diana said, bracing her giant pregnant belly as she shifted uncomfortably in her chair. She sat pensively watching the two blonde haired boys fighting playfully on the living room floor, lifting her eyes briefly to gaze out the window at the quiet street below. “You could go anywhere, do anything. You really could,” eyebrows raised, she shot an intentioned glance at me, the nubile college freshman, home for the summer to help her out around the house.

“I do like to cook, I think,” I said. “Maybe I’ll travel, go to cooking school in France, live there for awhile?” I asked, as though poking for Diana’s permission, or approval. Drying my hands on a kitchen towel and tossing it onto the counter, I turned to look at Diana’s face as I leaned against the sink and crossed my arms, anchoring myself against dreaming too big.

“You totally could,” Diana smiled, “It would be amazing,” she sat back in her chair, “You could do anything.”

“I could,” I thought aloud, although the words didn’t feel quite right as they spilled out of my mouth. Again I whispered, mostly to myself, “I guess I could.”

December 4, 2006

I think I’m pretty much the most unpopular R.A. I guess I’m kind of gruff and agitated at times. I just get run down and forget to re-charge. I had my first final today (biology) and my last is tomorrow. I’m not sure at all what to expect, but no matter what, I’ll feel unprepared. Such is life in Mr. Boon’s class. Taking another one next semester — gotta love it.

Anyway, I feel the need to write in order to document two things for later re-pondering:

1. I hate that I always get whiteheads. WHY whiteheads?? Why not just normal, cover-uppable zits??

2. Why can’t the man I love, love me too?

Sean thinks, apparently, that the more he ACTS vulnerable (“It took me 11 months to realize that I should have cherished you every day”), the more likely I am to fall in love. Whatever, fucker. He’s mentioned about 3,000 times how all of his friends have people to love, and that he has no one. Oh, wow, Sean, take me I’m yours? WHAT a PISS ANT! I think I might rather be celibate than date him. But, whatever. In the interim, he helped me look for my car keys, and has been bending over backwards to keep in touch and “show me he’s changed.”

Chet, on the other hand. Oh, Lordy. What a fiiiiine specimen. I can’t control myself around the dude. I just wanna jump his bones! But of course, he’s the one man I can’t have. I made a commitment that I wouldn’t be the first to make a move, and I know he never will. Oh, my poor broken heart. He’s so damn tasty. PLEASE let him get the balls, feel the love, and say something!!! Otherwise, I just might die.

Wow, dramatic much? One thing is for sure, College Me had a lot of feelings. College Me was scattered, and insecure, and scared as hell of making the wrong decision and messing everything up. What if I picked the wrong major? What if I picked the wrong guy? What if I picked the wrong lunch option in the dining hall? There were way too many big decisions for my young, impressionable mind to process.

Still, while I laughed out loud (in public) at the melodrama of this ridiculous journal entry, the thought suddenly hit me: I still feel this way. I still obsess over every decision, every mistake, and every failure. Even hints of success bring only momentary warmth — after which I immediately return to my usual, totally freaked out mode.

And it’s unfortunate, because when I look back on all the decisions I’ve made in life — both the ones I feel good about, and the ones I probably botched — I wouldn’t take any of them back.

Sure, there are moments when curiosity gets the better of me, and I wonder “what if? Where would I be today?” But can I tell you that I am, deep down, happy with where I am today? And the things that I so desperately want to change — my career direction, the amount of money in my bank account, my kids driving me batshit — all of these things are fixable. I can literally take steps today to work toward changing them.

So, what about you? Are you scared? Are you constantly wondering if you’re living your best life, and making the right decisions? You don’t say. Me, too. At age 31, with many of the questions I sweated in my journals (my future partner, kids, career) answered, I still can’t relax. Every mistake, every decision calls out to the part of myself that obsesses about The Big Picture: but what if I fuck everything up?

It makes sense, if you think about it. You only have one life, one chance to do this thing right.

OMG, WHAT IF YOU BLOW IT???

Join me as I dive deep into the fears, concerns, and woes of a 20-something gal coming of age in the first decade of our third millennium. I guarantee laughs, maybe some tears (from laughing so hard), and possibly a bit of wisdom peeping through the haze of drama. Because, in the end, everything turns out okay. I promise.

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