Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Scarlet Letter

Did you ever read the book "The Scarlet Letter" in school? I did.  As part of our class we had to wear a scarlet letter for the duration of the time spent reading the book.  At the beginning of the spring semester in my junior year of high school we each were given a tiny square of paper no bigger than a 1x1 inch scrap.  We each were to write or secret sin on the scrap.  I distinctly remember having no secret sin.  No obvious sin.  I was that girl in high school who showed up to church every time youth had an event or really every time church had an event.  I didn't party.  I didn't drink. I hardly dated.  I went to church.  I studied.  I loved on my family.  I loved on my friends.  I didn't have a secret sin because I strived for perfection. 

I drew a smiley face on the slip of paper.  Then we were given a necklace made of black yarn and two red squares taped together.  We were to slide the slip of paper inside the red squares.  Then the next two months or so we wore those necklaces every time we were on school grounds.  We wore our scarlet letter.  Our secret sin.  The secret sin that I did not have.

I still don't have a secret sin.  I have a public sin.  Divorce.  But that is not really the subject of this post...

Tonight I fail at logging in to hulu on my computer.  The saved data that has been there for the past year somehow got erased.  My email address with my maiden name and current last name "Land" does not work.  There is no record of this email address on hulu.  So I sign and think of my current scarlet letter.  ARCHER

My married name continues to haunt me somehow.  I know immediately that my former email containing my married last name of "Archer" will let me log in to the website. That name.  Each time I type it I think of "The Scarlet Letter".  A women forced to wear her sin.  A woman forced to wear her past.  A woman forced to wear something that is not all her doing but equally another's. 

Archer.  The name that reminds me of my past but not my current state or anywhere near my future. 


Sidenote: I must say I did like being an Archer.  Mostly because I was at the first of the alphabet. 

Friday, January 31, 2014


Dear ABC's the bachelor, 

I think you should pick me as the next bachelorette. Honestly, none of the girls on Juan Pablo's season are worthy of being the bachelorette. I am cute. Have been told I am sexy. I have a Kardashian booty. I have a masters degree and am working on my nursing degree. I have a southern accent and a sob story. What more do you need? See you at the mansion in the fall? 

Mary Kendall Land

Ps I want my occupation to say: literate 


"Remember the e comes before the i in weird because 'we are weird'". -my mother 

I probably should have realized this was more than just a spelling lesson. 

We had a new teacher in class last week who had us participate in a get to know you game. She had us answer different questions so we could learn more about each other. One of the questions was "what would you tell your 10 year old self?". 

As cliche as it is I would tell my 10 year old self to just embrace being myself. It is ok to be weird. Weird is good. Weird makes you interesting not an outcast. Be yourself and love it. 

Also, don't date that Archer boy. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014


May 22, 2013 
"I suffer from depression." 

I review the notes in phone looking for a new blog entry. I come across May 22 of last year and it only says that I suffer of depression. Today I am not feeling depressed but likely on May 22 I was feeling it all. Depression is crippling. It stops a "writer" from having any words. It shuts a person down completely. 

I've taken medication for my depression since 2009. I fear nothing more than getting off or changing my medication. I am not myself when my medication is changed slightly. The darkest days of my life involved changes made to my medication. Someone is really going to have to love me when I get pregnant because I won't be able to take my medication. God bless that poor soul that must endure those nine months with me. 

Depression is an illness. It is a disease. I remember when I first started getting really depressed. I remember my dad not understanding why I wouldn't just perk up. He has never suffered from depression. Real, diagnosable depression disorder. My mother understood though. I remember her telling him that it wasn't in my power to just perk up. It wasn't. It still isn't. 


But I have prayed for you that your faith my not fail....
Luke 22:32

How awesome is it to know that Jesus prays for us? It's one of those wow moments where I realize the love he has for us. So often I feel alone. I feel like I need someone praying for me but for whatever reason I don't reach out to anyone asking them to pray for me. How wonderful to know that there is someone praying for me? (And I'm not talking about my mother whom I know is continually praying for me!). I'm talking about Jesus who knows even better than me what I need prayer for at each moment. 

Friday, January 24, 2014


The prayer bathroom. 

"I think single stall bathrooms are a gift from God" -a very close friend

 I've have had two "big girl" jobs and most recently a part time job. I hated and loved these very different jobs. There is one thing they have all shared though. A single stall restroom. 

I am a woman and with that comes a certain amount of emotion. I cry on my bad days and I cry on my good days. I also cry on my days in between days. If there is a woman out there that can't relate then I would like to meet you. You are a modern marvel. 

When I started nursing school I was a basket of emotions. As if starting over after being out of school for several years isn't enough, I had a few other things on my plate like buying a house and getting a divorce. So when I found a single stall restroom down the hall from my nursing classes I was elated. A place to cry! A place to go with a lock on the door!

I had a single stall restroom at my first job  out of college. I worked at a law school and while it was a good job I didn't really connect with my coworkers. I'm fairly sure the single stall restroom hidden deep in the school's basement saved me more than a few times. I had a similar hideout at my next job. A sanctuary. A place to be alone with my thoughts an emotions. A place to cry. A place to write notes in my phone. 

I had the most wonderful evening with a very dear friend tonight. She told me about her "prayer bathroom".  A place she could go at work to pray and cry and journal. Sound familiar to any of you? It sure does to me. 

Even now at my part time job I need to escape sometimes. I love this job with all my heart and love my coworkers too. But still I need an escape. So I lock myself in the Heaven sent single stall bathroom and cry and write and decompress. 

Earlier today my therapist suggested I start making lists of gratitude. Things to be thankful for each day. Today, I am thankful for single stall bathrooms to cry in. I am thankful for single stall restrooms sent from God! 

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Liz Lemon seeks Ron Swanson. Must love dogs and accept them as family members. I prefer to be called Lady Mary, at least until I get to know you

I see nothing wrong with this as a profile for a dating website. A friend told me it screams "cat lady".

I just don't think my humor was meant for the internet. To know me (and actually meet me in person) is to love me. 


I truly believe that God created us to have relationships. As a good friend pointed out to me not too long ago, look at the Trinity. It's the best example we have of our need for relationships. 

The struggle I have is seeking relationships outside of romantic ones. I've had the closest kind of earthly relationship in my marriage. Having already experienced that relationship and now living without it, I feel a new and deeper kind of loneliness than ever. In my former pre marriage single life I had never experienced the closeness of when God joins two together. I couldn't miss what I had not experienced. But now...

Now I know what it's like to have the most intimate relationship humanly possible. And I miss it. I long for that connection that came with my marriage. While I probably have more close friends and connections than ever before none are like what I had. So I pray that my friendships be strengthened. I pray that The Lord will be my all and provide another husband one day.

In the mean time I try to appreciate what I have now. As for internet dating... I'm just not sure it can handle me right now. Maybe one day. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Going through the valley...

...if the valley is where you are when you are at a low point then I'm at the bottom of the lake in the valley. 

This is how depression can feel. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


A silly post..

I am a woman of habit, especially night time rituals. For the last ten years or so I have gone to bed every night with water, chapstick, and kleenex on my night stand AND a personal fan laying next to my head. The last ten years of my life are living proof that the old wives' tale about going to bed with a wet head will cause you to wake up sick is in fact not the least bit true. 

I discovered my freshman year in the dorm (due to poor air floor) that if I washed my hair before bed and slept with a fan pointed at my hair I could wake up with perfectly dry and frizz free hair. I've been using my fan as overnight hair dryer ever since. 

The fan travels with me everywhere. I have a lot of great "fan" stories. My favorite is probably the time I went to Mardi Gras with five of my best friends and one girl I had never met (who now is a great friend..maybe even somewhat because of the fan).  My long time BFF, Lindsey, and I wound up sharing a king sized bed with Lane. Neither of us knew Lane before the trip but we pretty much immediately bonded. Especially when I explained to Lane that she was going to have to sleep in between me and Lindsey because my fan was going to need to sit on the side of the bed. "Nice to meet you. Yes, you have to sleep in the middle of two strangers because yes, I am weird and my fan is my priority."  Lindsey also once threatened (as a joke) to not let the fan sleep with us on a girl's trip to Birmingham. The mix of anger and sadness that followed was intense. 

So I would like to give a salute to the unsung hero of my hair, the fan. It has been to two countries, thirteen states and slept with nineteen people and three dogs. What a whore. 

Monday, January 20, 2014


One thing about marriage is that you plan a future together. I imagine for most that future includes children. It did for me and it still does. There just is going to be a different husband and a significantly different time frame for those children. 

I'm at the point in life where the wedding season for most of my friends has passed and we are entering what I call baby season. I knew of three other couples who got married the same day as me. All of which are either pregnant now or have had their first child. It hurts. The "plan" was to be married three years before we had a baby. That means a pregnancy would have been something we would be trying for now. In some strange way my mind is still set on that time frame. I can't help but be disappointed watching others have babies on my time frame. 

I'm thrilled for my friends that are having babies. I really am. And in a lot of ways glad I'm not quite (or really far away from) there. It's a strange feeling of not really thinking I should be allowed to feel sadness about not being pregnant. Yet it makes perfect sense to mourn the loss of another aspect of my former life. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014


April 29, 2013 (from my journal)

I don't trust my own thoughts. I don't know what my true motivation is behind my thoughts and feelings. Am I truly convicted by my faith or by my loneliness? How can I continue on when I don't even know my own intentions behind the things I say and do? What have been my motivations all along? Was I just praying for a miracle because I am selfish and don't want to be alone? Or was I really wanting a miracle to glorify God through our marriage?  Well, I certainly did not bring God any glory through my marriage. What a failure I was in my marriage.  Do I really work to glorify God now or are all my actions out of my own selfish desires? How can I trust myself? Better yet how to do I ever trust anyone else? I know that I want to glorify God. That is true. But I also don't want to be single. Can I be both selfless and selfish with one action? Do the two cancel each other out? I know what I want. That is to bring glory to God through my life. But I don't know how to behave with truly pure intentions. Is it possible for there ever to be totally pure actions and thoughts? 

I wonder how JG is? What he is doing? Where is he? And does he still feel pain from this divorce? Does he ever feel regret about the way things turned out? Does he ever think of reconciliation? My heart is broken so badly there aren't any pieces left, just dust. There has been too much pain. The pieces continued to shatter until they became so small there is only dust left. It's painful having your heart ground into dust. Even when your heart is broken into a million pieces, there are still bits that can be put back together. Dust is impossible to put back together. All that can be done with it is make a pile. Like an ant pile. Easily trampled. Always trying to construct it and always being destroyed. 


Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, "It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father's household." -Genesis 41:51

Hope from Joseph, my favorite Bible character. Also, the scripture reference of my soon to be second tattoo. 

Friday, January 17, 2014


Easter weekend 2008

It was one of those perfect moments where all is right in the world. I was in the backseat of a Jeep Cherokee riding down the highway that runs along the shore in Destin, Florida. The four of us had spent the day on th beach and were headed back to our condo. In the front were Danny and Christen. In the back, I sat next to Mr. Valentine. (You remember him from my earlier numbered posts?) The windows were down and the breeze was perfect. "Come Monday" by Jimmy Buffett played on the radio. 

To this day I still feel like I'm in that perfect moment when I hear that song. It takes me back to a time when I was in love. A time before I really understood the  pain people can cause each other. 

I remember closing my eyes as Mr. Valentine reached for my hand. We all hummed along in perfect peace. It is a moment that I soaked up and wanted to never forget. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014


For my mother on her birthday. I love you

Much like tonight, I also had a cold that night.  We sat in my grandmother’s room at her retirement home.  She liked it there.  She had friends- smoke break buddies, a lunch table group, nextdoor neighbors. 

Nanny had been sick for over a year with cancer.  I still remember lying in my bed as my mother told me over the phone that Nanny had cancer.  I remember not knowing what to do.  Do I cry?  She is still here though.

We had over a year to prepare ourselves.  We knew she wasn’t going to beat it.

We had watched American Idol that night at the retirement home.  I didn’t feel good.  As Nanny hugged me goodnight she kissed my forehead.  “Mary Kendall, you feel like you have fever.”  I can still hear the way she would say my name.  Only she could say it just so.  She instructed me to go home and take care of myself.  We said our “love you’s” and I went home.  That was the last time I saw her or spoke to her when she was conscious.

Three days later I would see her in the hospital.  She was so sick.  A week would pass before she left us.  I was there in the room when she passed.  I don’t remember a lot about that time in the hospital.  I do remember however how concerned she was about me and my little cold.  A woman who was eaten up by cancer but was so concerned for me.  The last real time I saw her.  A precious and perfect memory.

I am the first-born grandchild on that side of the family.  My nanny kept me when I was a baby.  We had a special bond that just can’t be explained.  Strange how someone can be gone for five years now and not a week goes by I don’t think about her and miss her. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Mother's Day 2013

Random bursts of tears at public places are completely normal for me.  And while these crying spurts have become fewer and far between recently, they still happen. I can't really pinpoint what causes these random crying spurts. Sometimes it's all out sobbing and I have to run to the restroom and other times it just moist eyes that I can hide under my sunglasses.  My A&P professor told me that he could sometimes see moments of pain on my face in class. (After being basically the worst student ever I confessed my sob story to him after class earlier in the semester.)  

I'm currently sitting outside Another Broken Egg waiting for a table. My parents went to church and I came here to get our name on the list. I haven't been able to feel comfortable going to any church for a while now. And that makes me sad. So I sit here alone with nothing to do but think. And my eyes well up with tears for no particular reason. Thank goodness for sunglasses. I'm thinking about leaving, running home to my bed and curling up with Sally for the rest of the day. And then a coworker of a friend recognizes me. And I'm forced to put on my happy face...

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


In the South people become desperate in their late twenties.  We think we are desperate when we graduate college still single.  We just don’t realize that true desperation doesn’t come until about the age of 27.  That’s when your friends start to have babies.  Lots of babies.  That is when you realize truly all the decent singles are now taken.  You take what you can get at this point.

I met a perfectly lovely boy a few weeks ago.  We met at a bar and were introduced by mutual friends.  He has a good job and seems to have his head on straight.  He was a good conversationalist as well.  Maybe he was slightly over eager but I probably was too.  So we talked and drank.  And then we drank some more.  And then I drank some more.  I’m not even going to lie; I was drunk and slightly sloppy.  Not exactly the first impression I wanted to give off.  And certainly not the impression that would have ever gotten me a second meeting a few years ago.

But, you see, this guy and I are both in our late twenties and from the South.  So we are getting (maybe already there) desperate.  This not young man called the very next day to ask to spend more time with me.  He admitted that while I didn’t make the best first impression he still thought I seemed to be a good person and would be worth giving another chance.  Seriously? Why would anyone in his right mind want to take me out again?

It’s the desperation.  All of us Southern single folks past the age of 27 know what it is like to go out with someone we never would have considered in our early twenties.  We know what it is like to date someone a little too long because while we may not be overjoyed with our date they still are a date.  And dates can be few and far between at this point in our lives.

Monday, January 13, 2014


Honey, tact is for people who aren’t witty enough to be sarcastic. - Karen from Will & Grace

Sometimes just one small quote can sum up the majority of my life.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


I become myself.  Who am I? What do I believe?  I believe in biblical marriage.  I believe that this divorce is not biblical.  I lie in the floor every night pounding my fists in anger that this is happening to a faithful servant of the Lord. I cry out over and over for God to save my marriage. 

My parents ask me to give up hope.  My therapist says I’m basically praying for an amputated limb to grow back.  My friends say they will pray but don’t understand why I still want to pray for support of my marriage.  Further questions arise as to what I believe if so many trusted confidants have given up on my marriage.  Why? Why am I the only one to hang on?  Where is the Lord in all of this?  Where is my hope?

I meet with my dad at Peppers of all places.  My college favorite restaurant.  I eat my usual chef salad and coke.  I remember everything.  My dad pleads for me to give in and get the divorce over.  I tell him my reasoning.

I read a book once about how God creates certain people for each other.  What if God created me for JG because He knew I would be stubborn enough to hold out on divorce in our hard times?  My family has called me stubborn all my life.  What if that stubbornness was God’s design for my life? For my marriage?

What about that retreat my parents took us to in North Carolina when I was in middle school.  There was the cutest little girl sitting in front of us.  My mom and I talked about how precious the child was.  And then her father speaks about his wife’s pregnancy with that little girl.  The prognosis was bleak.  The recommendation was abortion. The family prayed when everyone else said to abort.  Up until delivery the child was not expected to live.  The child was born perfect, healthy, and beautiful.  Prayer was there.  Prayer made a difference.

So prayer can make a difference with my marriage.  I will pray it back to a state of reconciliation. I will.  I have to.  This cannot happen to me.  Of everyone I know, I am the least likely person I know to get a divorce.  I have to pray.  God will change JG’s mind and heart.  He has to.  I’m praying.  I’ve done everything right.  How can this happen to me?  I can’t live with a divorce.

And so I pray. And pray.

Saturday, January 11, 2014


Just one more drink? Maybe? Should I? 

I turn the corner into my driveway. I've been out with the girls. Everything tonight has been fabulous. But still...

They talked a lot about their husbands and fiancĂ©s.  When did I become the single one in this group? I was the first to get married. I was the one that always had a guy. How can I be the odd one out now?

Another drink for the pain? I better just go to bed. 

I'm ahead of the gang, right? They are still on husband  one. I'm looking for number two. I'm a leader, not a follower. I set the pace. I live the life we all dream of. 

Friday, January 10, 2014


I am sitting in my closet.  The walk in closet he built just for me.  Because who needs a bigger bathroom when you can have a walk in closet? I’m leaning against the stack of drawers my father-in-law built.  I’m finally talking to my husband.  It is the same day that Linsa called my mother.  Actual time wise that is.  In my head time has stopped. How could time have passed from morning to evening when my world shattered? He says he needs time.  Deep down I know it doesn’t matter.  He is gone, he just hasn’t fully decided. 

I pray anyway.  I cry anyway.  I lay in the bathroom floor with my face against the cold imported yellow tile.  I scream.  I scream like I’m dying because I am.  My world has collapsed.  That perfect cotillion life in the delta is gone. The house on the perfect street still exists but now I occupy it by myself. And the children, John Thurman “Jack” and Anne Stevenson “Annie” suddenly evaporate.  They existed in our heads but now they never will be.

Divorce is eminent but I am stubborn and know what I believe.  This is not a biblical divorce.  This may be what hurts the worst.  You should trust your husband within human limits.  But, God, he should never fail us and he never does but it sure does feel like it. How can the good little Christian girl from her bubble of perfection have this happen to her? My world is crushed.  My faith shattered.  Everything I have ever known and believed is gone. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014


It was messy.  The money, the emotions, the selfishness, the pride. It made a mess.  I cannot report for him.  I no longer know him. A foreign concept still today.  I married someone expecting to spend all our holidays and happiness and sorrows together forever.   Yet somehow forever is shortened to a year and some change.  Very little change.

He left on a Sunday.  A confession I have never made is that I saw him leave.  Our alarm system had cameras installed that could be checked from a mobile app.  I logged into the app at the exact time he was walking out.  He had his orange bag.  He was locking the door.  He drove away.  I knew.  But later when I got home and he wouldn’t answer my calls or texts I was still surprised.  I was still shocked that his bag was gone, his computer, and everything else he needed the next week. 

My mother said his mother was beeping in on our conversation.  She had to go to take Linsa’s call.  I was there in our house.  Waiting to hear what my mother-in-law would say to my mother.  It’s a feeling of anticipation and panic and knowing what is coming before it comes.  There was no chance I could sit at that point. 

Returned call from my mother saying exactly what I already knew.  He had left.  He was too cowardly or as my mother-in-law said too upset to talk.  When you grow up like we did in the upper middle class it is difficult to face reality.  It’s so much easier to get your parents to take care of your problems.  Unfortunately it happens.  And it happened to my marriage. Mother-in-law passes to mother who passes to daughter that her husband has left her.  No they would not say where my husband was located.  No my husband would not be in contact.  

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


5/15/13 (from the notes in my phone)

I was always intimidated by my mother and sisters in laws. JG is ten and seven years the junior to his sisters. He is the family's beloved baby boy. He was very doted on and for good reasons. I think the most intimidating thing for me was cooking. The women and men in jgs family are all amazing cooks. When we were dating JG would frequently eat at Ellen's house. And I always enjoyed listening to how awesome the meal was. For a girl who grew up on frozen lasagna, anyone who makes anything from scratch is someone I can admire. I've always wanted to be a good cook. And once I met JG the Archer women were the standard to achieve. I suffer from lots if insecurity when it comes to cooking. In my mind I had to be as good a cook as these women had been cooking for at least a decade longer than me. And when I didn't feel like I met that standard I was hard on myself. I think it caused a lot of resentment toward his family, especially Ellen.  She and JG have a special bond. He admires her. And in my eyes that was intimidating. 

I'm trying to read through the Bible in chronological order this year. I'm about 15 days behind though. Not too bad considering we are in the fifth month of this year. I've been reding through 1 Samuel and I came across a verse earlier this week that I cannot get out of my head. 

"So from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David." 1 Samuel 18:9

Saul was so consumed with jealousy toward David for reasons beyond his control. Saul couldn't stand that Jonathan loved david so much. It was Saul's own insecurities and jealousies that ultimately led to his downfall.  I want to learn from my mistakes.  And it's a painful pill to swallow when I admit my insecurities and jealousies. I can already hear those closest to me saying that I don't need to be blaming only myself and not JG. And that's not what I'm doing. But JG is his own person now and he will have to deal with his faults just as I am doing with mine now.  I'm thankful that I can recognize my sins and learn from them. I am thankful for a God who's words are so relatable to my own life. Even now I can hear Him telling me that He is taking care of me. And once again I am amazed at the way God continues to nourish me. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


“I will not cry. I will not cry. I will not cry.”

It is spring of 2013 and I am surrounded by my best friends in a van on the way to the beach.  We are laughing and talking.  I am “having fun”.  I am laughing along with my friends and even contributing to the conversation.  Yet I want to burst into tears.  Ugly sad tears from pain. 

I scroll through my phone to the app for notes.  I type, “I will not cry. I will not cry. I will not cry.” I squeeze my eyes shut tight to stop the tears from coming out.  I rejoin the conversation.  Less than a minute has passed but it feels like an eternity.

This is what it is like all the time living with depression.  Sometimes it feels like work just to breath.

Monday, January 6, 2014


April 22, 2013

(from my dream diary)

Once again I hate sleeping. I had bad dreams last night. I was longing for John George to come back. It was awful. He would pop in and out of my dreams. I hate typing his name out. It's a name I never want to see in print again. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014


February 7, 2011

It was a Monday night.  It was just like any night.  I was cautious.  I had been burned.  I knew better than to trust any man.  We had met on August 12, 2010.  We made it official on October 1, 2010. 

We had never talked about the future. 

He asked the week prior if he could take me on a date, a real date to Walker’s Drive Inn.  This was typical.  I thought nothing of it.  I wore a $15 Gap t-shirt and leggings.  I told my roommate that he was annoying me that day.  He was.

He picked me up.  He looked amazing.  I doubt any other woman anywhere would have said this, but I did.  I loved his reseeding hairline and belly.  He was perfect. I can’t remember exactly what he wore but I know he looked good.   He was mine.  He was the most handsome man on earth that night. 

In perfect Mary Kendall style a Jehovah’s Witness knocked on the door at the same time he arrived.  Later John George told me he wanted to punch that guy.  I agree.  I want to punch them even when I’m not about to be proposed to.

Saturday, January 4, 2014


I Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis Presley

Our first dance as a married couple.  “Only fools rush in”.  Is it true?  Did we rush in? I don’t know.  My classmate was talking about how she and her husband knew after a month they would get married.  That is how John George and I felt.  We didn’t even need to talk about it.  It just fit between the two of us.  And even though we ended in divorce I still believe we were meant for each other.  It was a perfect pairing.  We are human.  We make mistakes.  God allows those mistakes.  And yes, He allows us to suffer the consequences of those mistakes.  Thus my (our) divorce.  Most of the time I am glad I’m out of that situation with that particular family.  But in the moment I hear that song it takes me back to our wedding and why we fell in love.  “Take my hand, take my whole life too.”

Friday, January 3, 2014


I was packing and he was there.  He was helping me.  John George and I were getting married in a matter of weeks.  The top of my closet was filled with books.  I love books.  Books take me away to a place I would rather be.  There in the mist of CS Lewis and JK Rowling was my journal.  It was tan with cross-stitched flowers.  Lauren (my high school and college best friend) had given it to me for my twenty-first birthday.  In the front was an inscription about filling the pages with my adventures.  The pages had been filled, but not with adventures.  They were filled with sorrow from my break up with him, Mr. Valentine’s Day first kiss.

I held the journal up.  There was a trash bag in John George’s hands and a box of things to keep next to him.  I shrugged.  I remember it like I did I five minutes ago. I casually flipped through the journal.  I didn’t even stop long enough to read a single word of the tears and pain that were written in that book.  I tossed it in the black trash bag in my fiancĂ©’s hands.  “Glad to be done with that. Glad to never feel that pain again.”

We packed my boxes and hugged and kissed.  Not passionately though.  Just routinely, the way some couples do out of habit.  All the while with the journal in the back of my mind.  The passion and tears that were in that book.

John George and I were perfect for each other.  If I grew up with a silver spoon in my mouth then he grew up with an entire silver place setting in his.  His family actually had a silver service set that was buried during the Civil War to hide it from the Yankees.  The epitome of the old south.  Every thing my heart had ever desired. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014


When I was younger I dreamed of being fancy.  I dreamed of being from an old southern family with class and money.  I dreamed of growing up to have a husband, three kids, a dog, a perfect house on the perfect street and absolutely no problems.  In fact, when I was young and dreaming I never even knew that problems existed.  That is how idealistic my childhood was.  A guy I dated once told me that my family was too normal and too close to the American dream.  I honestly had no idea what it meant to have troubles. And this was at age 24.

I don’t think I knew anyone who didn’t go to college until I was 22.  That is one year after I finished my undergraduate work.  I went to a private school my entire life.  I truly did not realize there was an option of not going to college.  I lived in a bubble safely protected from the real world.

I’m the kind of girl that strangers stop on the street to let her know she is beautiful.  I don’t say this to say I am any better than anyone else.  It is just something that happens to me. Maybe this happens to everyone.  It’s my hair.  Auburn curls; the red from my namesake (my grandmother Mary) and the curls from my mother.  The only other things I got from my mother are my hips and my lack of coordination.

I never did anything wrong my entire life.  My family moved three hours south to Meridian, Mississippi when I was in the tenth grade.  My father, a headmaster, had a new job at a new school.  It was at a school outside of the delta.  It was a school outside of segregation…at least as far as I was concerned.  There was one African American student at my new school.  I remember going to a football game with friends and riding to the game with him, the black student. I wouldn’t sit in the back seat of the car with him because I thought it was wrong.  A fifteen year old in modern day thought it was wrong to sit in the back seat of a car with an African American male.  Yes. I am ashamed.

I lost friends in college because I was what the infamous they call a tee-totaler.  I did not drink before I turned twenty-one.  It was illegal.  And heaven forbid I do something illegal or wrong or against my parents’ wishes.

My first kiss came at the age of twenty-two.  I was a second semester graduate student and it was Valentine’s day of 2008.  I was instantly in love.  I thought that God had saved me from heartache for one special man.  I was wrong.

He broke my heart.  After a year and a half of good and bad he broke my heart.  He said he never wanted to marry me.  I resisted.  I quit.  I moved home to my parents.  I stopped eating.  I barely continued.  My parents did probably the best thing they have ever done for me.  They kicked me out.  “We will pay for you to move.  Just get out and find a job.”  

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Twenty eight year old single female who owns her own home, has an undergrad in art, master of business and is working on her nursing degree.  Works part time at a doctor’s office, lives off of savings and somehow manages to pay her bills on time.  Yesterday was told she is amazing and has her life together.

Life is not what it seems.  Life is not what you plan.

I grew up in the Mississippi delta, also known as the most southern place on earth.  I grew up with dreams of silver spoons and country clubs.  I attended cotillion (every year possible) and perfected my manors.  I loved Jesus and the Republican Party, although I never knew why.  I just did what was expected. Then….then I grew up.