A Cruelish Twist of Fate

It’s my anniversary today. I had this whole post planned out: It was sweet but not saccharine, personal yet relatable. Something about how my heart still drops when I hear the door lock as Tom leaves for work in the morning. Something about how I still wake up a little disoriented about why there is someone else in my bed.


I was having a perfectly lovely day taking advantage of the free cookie at the Church Office Building cafeteria, when on my way out I see the subject of “Insight Gained Basking in the Light at the End of the Tunnel having lunch, and time halted.

 You know, it’s funny. I really thought I would have reacted better, but the adrenaline hit me and I almost puked. I walked out with legs shaking thinking, “Why today? Of all days, why tarnish this beautiful day?” I caught a glimpse of myself in the glass and remembered I was looking fierce, and that I may never look so good again, and I’m just gonna walk by one more time as confident as I know I am, and I was gonna give myself the satisfaction of letting that be (hopefully) the last way he saw me. Not a crumpled mess—a woman who is adored and proud of who she is. And so I did. His stare caught me like a hook, but I bumped it away with a swish of my hips.

As soon as I got outside, I sat down on a bench facing the temple and I called Tom. “Tom, I want to throw up and it’s not because of the nasty office fridge I spent an hour this morning cleaning out.” I explained, and he listened. I began to feel bad about dragging him into my hysteria. “I just wanted to call you and hear your voice tell me you love me.” “Anne, I don’t think you even know how much I love you.”

And that was it. I was looking at that stunning building where we got married two years ago, remembering how upon walking into our sealing room I was engulfed in the most intoxicating serenity I could ever imagine, an honestly unworldly feeling. I looked around the room and was overwhelmed seeing all these people I loved, the afternoon sun pouring through the window making my grandpa’s white hair glow. A dose of that heaven I experienced two years ago whooshed back with his words, and my eyes began glistening.

I decided there could be no better way to spend my anniversary. What started as a punch in the gut, led to being drenched in the sweet memory of what I can honestly say was the most beautiful day of my life. I won’t take this for granted. I know how lucky I am to wake up, roll over, and after remembering why I was sharing my bed, be so happy to see Tom by my side.


My quarter-life crisis

I’m a little embarrassed to admit that as my 25th birthday approached, I grew increasingly introverted and retrospective—this was the first time a birthday had made me truly examine the direction of my life. My accomplishments were not scarce: I survived adolescence, heartbreaks and high school. I’d even gone on to graduate from college, live in another country and learn a new language. I had a full-time job, a car and a mortgage. The stars had aligned for me, and I managed to find and marry a man who could not have been better tailored to suit me.

Yet my birthday this year felt as though it were encroaching upon my settled and uncomplicated life. I began to wonder if I was squandering my existence by complacency with my habits and routines. People would ask me what was new, and I never had much to say besides, “Nothing. What about you?”

Eventually, the hunger pangs of ambition returned to me in full force. I decided to complete a triathlon, my first race of any kind. (I ended up taking second in my age division!) 

I wanted to learn how to sew. (I bought a machine and took a 4-week course.)

I wanted to learn more cooking technique, so I took a couple cooking classes and have begun cooking my way through The Science of Good Cooking from America’s Test Kitchen. (This book blows my mind! Buy it! The Science of Good Cooking)

I wanted to learn to play tennis, so Tom and I have been practicing at night when it’s not too hot. 

I resolved to sing at the top of my lungs in my car more often. I carved out time to read and write more. I wanted to volunteer, so I signed up with the Best Friend’s Animal Society in their Kitten Nursery. (Eeeeeee!!)

These were all great ways to spend my free time, but one of the biggest things pressing on my quarter-life crisis stressed mind was that my job was sucking the life out of me. Dramatic? Sure. An accurate cliché for how I felt? You betcha. We dedicate so much of our time to a job or career, so it’s no wonder that it has the power to completely transform who we are. I noticed that I was critical more often than I was kind. My patience would max out in a matter of mere moments. I didn’t like to do anything spontaneous for fear that it would exhaust me and I wouldn’t have the mental capacity to keep my head down and work hard. Passive aggressive behavior, gossip, and back biting were a daily struggle. I would cling to the few people I worked with who made those 40 hours a week bearable, but sad as it is, one negative experience often erases several good ones.

This is not who I wanted to be! I have a passion for the beauty in everything, so why was it being buried under episode upon episode of resentment and altogether nasty feelings?

I’ll end this torrent of negativity now with this: I was thrown a life line. I was hired by a company known for its good work environment and humble employees. I would get an eye-popping raise. I would get a chance to start over, something that I’ve been aching to do.

My quarter-life crisis made me sick almost any time I thought about it, but as we are wont to do during hindsight, I see that it was absolutely essential and beneficial for my welfare and progression.  In case you have doubts, God knows what He is doing when it comes to your life. Sometimes it’s much more simple to give it your best shot and let Him take over. Just consider that bit of knowledge Quarter-Life Crisis Management 101.

Oh, and I failed to mention we also bought a car. What’s a cliché if you don’t really go for it?

This beauty was our natural gas car steal of a deal! We are in love.