When I Was 20.

Three Fridays remain before I leave my 30s. For the next three Fridays, I’m going through journals and sharing entries that represent the decades of my life. 

When I was 20, I was terrified that I’d never get married. I’d seen a couple of friends get married, and my roommates were always dating up a storm, and I was completely panicked–at 20–that I’d end up alone for the rest of my life. Oh, karma/irony/fates/God/whatever. Stellar sense of humor the cosmos has, no?

Here’s the funny thing about when I was 20: I have no journals from that summer.

I know I went to Canada that summer. I know I biked about 35 miles a week that summer. I know I worked at Taco Bell from 11 AM-8 PM five days a week.

I have a letter from my roommate Aimee and a birthday card from my friend Mike, and nothing else. 

I started the summer by dating pretty much anyone I felt like, but by the end of May I had narrowed it down to two guys, both named Chris. That made it pretty easy. By the end of June, one Chris had enough of sharing my time and said I had to choose. Since he asked, I chose him.

(I chose poorly, by the way. Although the other Chris wasn’t all that decent either.)

By the time my birthday rolled around, we had broken up and gotten back together at least twice, and it would be another year–about a week before my birthday–before we would break up once and for all. The last thing he ever said to me?

“No one will ever want to marry you.”

He told me that 19 years ago. He got married six months later. Sometimes I wonder what he knew that I didn’t.

Anyway. I don’t have any journals from that summer, probably because I was either at work or with him and never wrote, and he didn’t think that writing was a good use of my time. You know, since it took away from worshipping him and all.

But if I’m honest with myself, I can say that on my 20th birthday, I am sure I felt loved–or at least what I thought love should look like at 20–and I am sure I had hope for my future. And that’s really not a bad way to spend a birthday, no matter what happened in the following 365 days.

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