May Amy – #26 – 1/2 Way to 50

Dear Amy at 25,

Congrats! We are half way to fifty and we have a lot to be thankful for. Things may have taken longer than we originally thought they would, but there are a ton of things to be thankful for. Aside from the new job, in December we are featured on a blog for work, we have our first VoluntEAR experience, and we are planning our first trip as a cast member.

Alex has a business trip to Los Angeles so we tag along in January and rent a car to drive ourselves around. We drive from Manhattan Beach to Disneyland and don’t really get to see too much of Alex the first day. It’s also our first trip to the parks alone, but it’s actually quite peaceful. Being alone gives us more flexibility, more eating what we want, and more attractions that we want. We also get a chance to visit the Glendale Campus and it is amazing – and I don’t just mean the pins available. Their buildings, floors, offices, cereal bar, fountains… it’s just all amazing. Soak it in: this is our goal.

After the trip we start planning a new one for J’s graduation (our youngest sister). It will be a bit tight and a bit weird having all siblings in one place together, but it should be good at the same time.

Work continues as normal, we get selected to be a part of different extra tasks, selected to be a trainer, and get made a permanent employee. Alex goes on several business trips and we start collecting Starbucks “You are here” mugs. Our cupboard is now full of them. We also do our annual pilgrimage to Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo and consider the potential that this is our last year as it is slowly decreasing in areas that we value.

Somehow luck is on our side and we score an amazing condo in walking distance from work. Alex’s friend and one of our groomsmen, Alex, joins in as our roommate and for once we are in a place things just work. This is the roommate experience we always expected: relaxed, equal, and open. It’s also the first place without any association with Jones, but we have our memories.

Come June, Alex is heading to Sweden and we are headed to J’s grad ceremonies. Our new-found friend at work, Anett, is made permanent and we decide to go on a celebratory trip to Disneyland. Soon we are both a part of a new team focused on something called character support and it is right up our alley – an initiative that is focused on being an extension of the story. Eventually this project completes itself, but the group of us involved with it turn our mini trip into a joint trip with all of us. It’s a whirlwind of a weekend, but we get to visit the original Partners statue at the Burbank Studios, see the Hyperion building, and touch hands with the amazing minds of Bob Gurr, Angela Landsbury, and others.

In October we train the latest batch of recruits and then head to Disneyland with the siblings. It is an interesting trip to say the least. The weather is very hot and humid, the park is full of people, the dollar is not working in our favor, and tensions between the siblings is high. Overall there are a number of good memories from the trip and that is what should be focused on. Try not to worry or stress out too much about the trip; you have Alex and Alex to complain to when you get back, and they will show you the balance of it all. Admit it – we would travel with the siblings again without hesitation.

After the trip there is some family stuff that goes down and the source we least expected is the one that contacts us. Everything is still in the middle of figuring out what the end result is, so I don’t want to touch on it too much. There are definitely sides regardless of what people think or say, and let’s just say that we are of the same opinion of many.

– A

May Amy – #25 – Love & Marriage

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Dear Amy at 24,

This is it – this year is all of our stress and nerves bundled up. We would be lying if we said we hadn’t been planning the wedding since Alex gave us our first wedding planner for a Valentines Day many moons ago.

Thanks to our long engagement, the biggest worry is just paying everything off rather than locking down contracts – something we did almost right after we got engaged. The details are sorted and everything seems all fine, and then like always something fit hits the fan… that’s how it goes, right?

First off – our landlord declares bankruptcy and has to move back into our place so they drop off a hand written letter in the middle of the night to evict us with less than the minimum amount of notice. We write her an email and outline the tenancy act for her which gives us exactly two months from her and then we have to leave. Luckily finding a new place isn’t too difficult, but when we go to sign the papers we realize that something is wrong with Jones – he is acting odd and walking weird so we panic.

The vet thinks that he had some kind of stroke and isn’t sure if he will get back to the way he was, but runs some tests and gives us some meds to work with. We dismantle our bed so that we are only sleeping on the mattress on the floor (so he can get onto it easily) and we cordon off anything that he might try to jump on (and then fall because he has no strength). We also keep everything in our room, switch to a lower litter box, do some muscle exercises, and make sure that someone is with him at all times.  Slowly he starts to regenerate and is back to his old self except for the weird tremors he gets when he sleeps. Apparently an after effect of a stroke, residual memory of the trauma or something like that. Sometimes he shoots himself a foot or so over from where he was.

Needless to say we don’t end up signing the papers in time. Our one roommate moves in with their partner, and our other moves on to other things. We clean the crap out of the place, get a dump person to come take all the extra stuff out, leave everything in better condition than it was, and then get duped out of our deposit because none of us can do a walk through and… well… the landlord is broke. So with four-ish months until the wedding we move into our in-laws basement. It’s temporary and we hope to be out before the wedding but it doesn’t happen.

Jones stops eating and they tell us that he needs oral surgery as soon as possible because some of his teeth are melting into his gums. We start a donation page and soon piece together enough to get started. The oral surgery goes well, we get picture updates, and soon  he is home again. A little worse for wear, its hard having so many changes in quick succession for a small pet, but he seems alright.

Wedding comes and nothing seems to be alright with us. The flower lady uses an older agree so our finalized arrangements are not there, the seat sashes are not the right color, the many minor details that only we would know about do not please our OCD, and the wedding dress will not zip up. Fear not! KG brought her wonderful mother who has a keen sense for sewing (especially since she sewed her own wedding dress) and within an hour or two it is all resolved the night before — at least the dress is.

We lose our luggage tags, our hair gets cut, and we are off to our Disneymoon in Florida. WDW is amazing – we could probably write a whole letter about it, but just soak in the time without worries with Alex. Nothing else but the moment matters and it is perfect for the time that it was.

When we get back, Jones is looking a little under the weather. We take him in and they say his kidneys are failing fast. I will never understand how they didn’t see that in any of their other tests from his strokes or surgery where they literally tested every single thing to make sure we were on the right stuff, but they didn’t. We make his life as comfortable as possible, and then eventually (a few weeks later) its time. Jones was one of the best cats we ever had, and we haven’t existed with Alex without him so it hits us hard. The moment we see that he is struggling we take him in – its 1-2 in the morning – and the vet says that this cat has had so much strength and comeback that he wants to hope there is more but there probably isn’t. Hardest decision, but for a cat as his age it is the best one – we would never want him to suffer at all. We don’t sleep that night. We take some time off. I wish I could tell you that this death gets easier, but it still isn’t the same without him and we still don’t have another pet.

A week later we get a phone call interview with Disney Interactive, then a live interview, and then a job offer. In the main interview our future manager asks us how we handle change. We bring up Jones’ struggle right after the happiness of our wedding and right before the happiness of finally getting a Disney interview. We cry… in an interview… and we will be known as that girl or the girl with the lightsaber chopsticks for the first few months. Moving to this job and being surround by similarly minded people was the best comfort and still is. You’re going to love it, and I know you will because I still do.

– A

May Amy – #24 – More graduation

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Dear Amy at 23,

We are in our last year at University and it is a rough one. Among our classes are some that we need for credits and don’t want to be at, and some that we need for credits and our professor is… interesting. For the ones we don’t really want to be at, Art History, the content isn’t the most interesting and our professor is snooze worthy. We have seen many a student fall asleep because people can’t listen without falling asleep.

Eventually we struggle to attend because of transportation and the early hours, but we still hand everything in on time. For one of our final papers the professor asks to talk to us and states that we plagiarized some of the citations because we are saying they said something when they didn’t. We cross-reference and double-check and point out all of the citations so that the professor can see where we are pulling these quotes from and she says that we are misunderstanding the text and therefore plagiarizing… it was weird. We even had another professor go over it and she said that she could see where both parties saw the different values in the references, but either way that wasn’t plagiarism.

The other class… well.. be prepared for due dates changing without a ton of notice. We’re talking less than 24 business hours. Regardless of what is best for everyone, we stick to our guns and hold to the original, agreed upon due date that is in the syllabus… and the professor flips out in class in front of everyone. Not just at us, but also the other two students who did the same. It’s almost like our mom yelling at us for saying “Oh My G–.” Unacceptable by any standards, let alone a university of this quality. Needless to say, almost all 12 students end up reporting the incident to various people and some even drop the class. We stick it out after talking to a few professors to let them in on the situation just in case it happens again.

It gets a little frustrating because the professor ends up changing key aspects of our final project multiple times which messes with our year-end deadline. Luckily enough we come up with something pretty solid and then the professor marks us down negatively for doing it. The whole thing is pretty stupid… but patience is key here… just breathe and then graduate! Another professor talks about self publishing with us, and another tells us that we need a good editor. Both good pieces of advice so take them – even criticism is good.

There is an awesome photo of us at grad that mom takes. It is a short-lived moment, but everyone seems to get along for once. Not that it really matters – if they don’t want to get along then so be it. Nothing we should worry about because we can’t change it. Same with the house and moving… again. The in-laws purchased a house across town and the landlord is looking for another family to move in rather than continuing to rent to Alex and us. So we find a place in… an interesting side of town… with a good friend and a new one who introduces us to a potential opportunity with a new company. And Jones comes with us!! We wouldn’t leave without him.

Things at Staples are getting a little dumb. We are tired of hard work being overlooked, for everyone not just us, and we are tired of the politics involved. People would be told that they’d be next in line for something, be trained to do the job, being doing the job, and then never actually given the position or the benefits or the pay or the hours. It’s all too much – so we leave and head to Shaw. We aren’t the only ones either. In fact, it’s a bit of a max exodus as they say — 5-8 people all quit within a month span to move out of the company, some without anything lined up. All of that aside, it feels good to try something new.

– A

 

May Amy – #23 – Engage!

Dear Amy at 22,

Another year of interesting things! We are now pacing ourselves well with university and everything seems to be going fairly well. The time has come for a new car, so we pick out two and ask our grandparents to grab one for us and we will send them the money — there are more cars out in the Lower Mainland. In the end we end up with something a little newer than what we wanted. It’s still around… took a lot though so have some patience over the next few years.

With all of our classes in order and projects underway there is a lot going on. Alex is also in post secondary and there isn’t a ton of time for us together which stresses things. There is also a bit of tension between our friends, so we start hanging out with people from school because we have a few things in common. Definitely different from the type of people that we have hung out in the past, so this too adds a bit stress to the situation.

Come March there is our own issue of emotional detachment, and another guy, and it causes issues. Regardless of what happens, Alex works everything out with us and we continue on our adventure together. We visit his family for Easter and then our car dies so he has to drive us around. Everything seems to be evening out so we decide to go on a new adventure together. East Coast Canada or Disneyland (Alex has never been), but it ends up that Disneyland is cheaper so on we go in June!

Whatever our suspicions, just go with everything. When we get dropped off at the airport, Alex’s dad asks why he was in the spare room that morning and his mom kicks him under the table. Our room is at the Park Vue Inn, right across from the Disneyland walk way, and it is amazing with its giant jacuzzi tub in the room! He tells us not to go through his bag twice for two completely different reasons, tells us not to wait for him at customs as they search his bag, has to go back to the hotel for a nap part way through our first day there, and then leaves us to talk to some woman. Weirdest day ever. Eventually we film the fireworks for his Dad or something… and then in front of the magical castle after the fireworks, he proposes. Seriously heart stopping and awkward, we say no a bunch of times because its awkward and then say of course.

We search all over for the engagement buttons, that were retired the year before, but we manage to find two at a hotel. We get free stitching on our hats and free drinks. It was amazing. Even the next day cast members were asking us if we were the Castle couple, and later in the week there was a different couple in Frontierland so that was cute to be asked which one we were.

After the excitement of the summer, we head to Leavenworth with his parents for Thanksgiving and Oktoberfest. The excitement just continues and we have an amazing time. The beer, the eats, and the atmosphere there are just amazing. Everyone is friendly and there are collectible pins, and Alex and I have our own room and things just feel like they are getting into place. Let the wedding planning begin!

-A

May Amy – #22 -Moving Mayhem

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Dear Amy at 21…

This is a weird year and there really isn’t anyway to talk about everything. After all of the funerals we are a bit of a shell version of ourself.

Harry Potter comes out after our birthday and we sew a set of Gryffindor robes which gives us a sense of stability with a deadline, but it just isn’t the same. We’re emotionally detached from everything, and that’s putting it lightly. Our other half is busy with work so we head home for Christmas alone instead of the two of us like we planned.

A lot of stuff happens, but to sum it up. Being emotional unstable and detached for the world led our relationship to sort of crumble. Alex seeks out a friendship and feels like he is emotionally cheating even though he never physically did anything and so we end up moving out and back to Quesnel. Our manager at Staples decides to put us off on a leave of absence rather than accepting our resignation, and our mother-in-law tells us that we can take Jones.

Jones is their cat who loves us a bit more. He recognizes the sound of car and waits for us by the door, he has mini meowing conversations, and cuddles with our head. We think about it, but there’s just no way. There is a bit more drama than I am outlining, but it is one of those things we can’t dwell on.

Back home there are two Chinese exchange students who are around at our place, and we get our payout for our car accident finally. We get back into WoW, eat nothing but spicy chicken cup of noodles for a month, and eventually start talking to Alex again. By end of February we are moved back into our grandparents house in the Okanagan and registered for university in the fall. We head back to work where Alex is surprised to see that we moved back and we work through our issues.

This is where we really start to find ourself and how comfortable we are with our emotions. It isn’t a bad thing to be emotional, but there are limitations and we need to learn to be more vocal about our feelings… something that we generally avoid; looking back on it, I think we didn’t open up to Alex a lot during the funerals because we expected him to abandon us the way that L did. We didn’t want to get left again so we kept it all in.

We get a new car with our settlement money and it speaks German when we turn it on… well the dash has scrolling German to let us know any issues. Probably one of the best cars we have ever had: Nimoy, a 1989 525i in a deep silver color. It has the odd rust and paint chips, but any car of that age would. It’s beautiful, so please cherish the small time we have with it. A man will offer us $4000 for it at a gas station, and we don’t take him up on the offer because we love it too much.

Our renewed focus and understanding leads to a stronger relationship with Alex, and then some other things as well. We go to a cabin, go canoeing, go fishing, dye our hair, and just have an amazing summer with Alex. We enter our photography in a Fall Fair and win a fair chunk of money, start University in the fall, and are reunited with the Jones cat. In October everything seems to happen at once again: we get food poisoning, our car gets destroyed, and then we get bronchitis for a few weeks.

The long and short of it is that the auto shop we took our car to for winterizing ends up totaling it. They called to let us know it was done and we could pick it up the next day, then we went to work, and they we got a call from a police officer telling us that it had been in an accident. The lady who was putting it back in the lot put it in drive instead of reverse and shot through the shop wall. They tried to claim that there was a malfunction with the car, but they had just been working on it – so it was technically still on them.

The shop tries to give us a loaner car… but it doesn’t have plates or full insurance, and there is the bonus wasp nest in the gas pump flap. If you can, get someone to speak for you – I still feel like we were a bit too nice, but we ended up with a decent settlement again… not that it was what we wanted.

This chain of events also leads us to miss about a month of school which takes a toll on our grades, but we make it through. Luckily the renewed vigor and strength we get from coming back from last year kind of holds us together. Nothing will ever be as bad as all those funerals, just keep that in mind. It all gets easier, and some of it gets better.

-A

May Amy -#21 – Loss

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Dear Amy at 20,

Congratulations, you officially have a degree! The year starts out the same, still at Staples, still in school, but by June we are fully moved in with Alex and we finish the school year with some alright photos. Everyone comes down and there are some good family shots too – but we get extremely sunburned.

The Vancouver Olympics are going on this year and we manage to get down there twice for them which is awesome. We are downtown for the different events, get to see the torch, and also get to experience the Hockey Gold and Closing Ceremonies! Some crazy videos of everyone in the Earls singing “Don’t Stop Believing.” The feeling of patriotism and love for our country and our athletes is just amazing.

The summer goes according to plan from what I can remember, and then September comes. First, Neighbor Bob passes away; a man we’ve known almost our entire life who lived next door to our grandparents. It’s heart breaking and we go with mom to his funeral. Then comes October and more death.

We get a text message from Kurtis saying he just heard about Kirsty and wanted to reach out. We are outside etching into slate and have no idea what he is talking about. Within minutes we have been on Facebook and contacted a handful of people on our phone, and we find out that there was an accident. If there was ever a moment of my heart fully stopping, it was probably when Sam asked us where we were and if we are sitting down. Kirsty’s daughter is already passed on, and she doesn’t look too much better. Everything happens so quickly and within a few more minutes we are being told that we are not allowed to drive there, that there is a bus, that we can meet somewhere. Then we are in Merritt, sitting together, a handful of us, staring at each other in disbelief that one of our closest friends is just gone. We text L because we know they were close and are unsure if anyone else can or will.

Back home the next day we find out that there was another car accident and another friend lost her niece. We go to that funeral since we are fairly close and was a nanny for their wedding. Soon after we go back to Merritt and then Kamloops for two funerals because the families have their own. Dominick thinks we look pretty and L looks like a superhero. It’s weird. We break down into tears at the funeral and a girl who is younger than us comforts us. We hear mixed stories about what happened, some say they swerve for a deer and others say the driver fell asleep. Its painful. The second funeral is the next day, we see lots of people we haven’t seen in awhile and all nod at each other in somber solidarity. Some of us still haven’t seen each other since then, but we definitely talk more than we once did.

After the now four funerals within a month span, we get home and hear on the news that a friend from middle school was in an accident – both her and her son pass away. We don’t go to the funeral. We’re shutting down. It’s too much, we start to fade, over think everything and anything, consider some things, read our last conversations with her, go over pictures. Its all too much, but hard to complain when we’re still here.

Our 20th year ends and I don’t even remember most of the final months except for Kirsty. How I could have been there more often, how I wish we talked more, how I wish we visited more often, how I wish that I could have done something – even though that’s impossible. People ask themselves these questions when one person in their lives passes away, let alone multiple. My advice to you is to not feel like any of these thoughts or questions are bad, and work through your grief in your own way. We start to write a book about loss. I’m almost happy to say that it isn’t finished because we find our way back to the light.

-A

May Amy – #20 – Voting

Dear Amy at 19,

The year starts off with a bang — not really. A few days before our birthday we find out that the cost of an eye exam goes up when you hit 19, so we go the day before our birthday and it turns out that we need glasses. We think its funny considering how often we would wear other people’s glasses to add an accessory.

Alex knows that we aren’t a huge fan of birthdays because they always go wrong, but he endeavors to make it better and sets up a 19th birthday party for us, which is a surprise that we pretty much ruined. He contacted a bunch of people from high school and the college, and they all showed up for the most part. We told him a week before the date that he should do throw together a few people and he looked at us oddly… which is how we figured out that he had already planned something. Everyone around the table… kind of… orders us a drink and then we open presents; Kurtis wrapped his gift in elastics, so there will be a bit of difficulty.

Our first year of college is underway and everything seems to be piecing together. We go on an amazing field trip to the observatory in Penticton and surprisingly almost no one goes – there are about four or five of us – including our lab partner for Astronomy; its important to note that finding a lab partner was one of our worst fears since we didn’t know anyone, but Kevin is awesome and super helpful for the math portions. As we start our second year, we think about the potential to continue on to a Bachelors after all and start to look into student loans. Contrary to what half of your family and Alex’s will say – this isn’t a bad thing. We are still paying off our student debt, but we learn a lot and make some interesting memories.

The best part about college is definitely our professors. From Creative Writing to English to Astronomy – all of the professors at the College are interesting characters themselves and are passionate about what they are teaching which is huge. Learning from someone who doesn’t want to be there is boring and we dropped most of those because we couldn’t stand it. Eventually we discover a website that lists good and bad professors… its accurate for the most part, but a lot of the posts are just biased from one encounter. You’re warned.

We start our first year as a Brownie leader in September and on our way to our first meeting we get in a car accident. A girl decides to turn left across traffic and later tells the police officers that she didn’t see our car. Paperclip, our second car, is totalled. The ambulance driver tries to tells us that we should be way more banged up than we are and it is probably thanks to our car that we can still walk. Our main concern is that we let the Brownie unit down, and Karen’s wedding is the weekend after; we still go, bruises and all, and make the most awkward maid of honor speech of all time. At least that is how it feels.

Since we are 19, we also get to vote for the first time. It’s an odd experience because we actually just go to confirm that everything is in place for us to vote and the lady let’s us know that this is actually our advance voting station so we can vote right there. We’ve voted for other things before, but never in a capacity like this so it is very exciting for us.

This is also the year that Alex graduates from High School. We wear Mama’s dress from when she was our age as a grad dress and look a little vintage. This is the last time this dress will fit us – for now – so enjoy it. We’ve been wearing it for years since it somehow ended up in the tickle trunk, and it finally fits us. It’s amazing and we still have it just case we manage to squeeze into it one day. Hold on and just be patient, everything turns out one way or another.

-A

 

May Amy – #19 – Changes

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Dear Amy at 18,

Right around now we start plotting ways to get out of here. The town is too small, our car is gone, we are back together with L but they aren’t going so well, and all things considered we just want to go back to school. A degree isn’t anything we are interested in, but we definitely want to get back out there and beef up our grammar and editing so that we can publish our first book. Its as ambitious as it is a take-charge-attitude and my best advice is hold onto that for as long as possible.

Come New Years we have handed in our notice, packed the few essentials (like our computer), filled everyone in, and are ready to go down to the Okanagan. Our boss doesn’t actually read our letter until the day before which makes for an odd exit… don’t worry about that either. We pause in Merritt for News Years with S which has become tradition and she decides to come with us. It doesn’t last long because we can’t find a place and there are other things on our minds, but it was a good effort.

The job hunt is also a bit rough and we start applying for almost anything. A great job pops up with Scholastic running book fairs and we apply; definitely a dream company to get an in with for someone who wants to write. We get a call back but the voice on the other end is hard to hear; there is a phone number, but we never get it right. Trust me when I say that we desperately dialed a lot of wrong numbers. Eventually we give in and go to Staples to ask if they will accept our transfer and they do after a quick interview.

Enter, Alex. We definitely thought that we were working with the other Alex, whom we had already met, but we also definitely caught this new Alex staring at our butt. An interesting friendship is born that involves Chinese food ordered to the store, telling L that there is no more us, bringing along another guy to our first “date,” and sharing sushi while guessing songs. There’s almost a first kiss on a bridge… but we are both indecisive losers. He offers to buy us coffee and gives us his bank card and pin number so that we can grab it for both of us while on our break – our heart stops because we have identical pin numbers, and the rest is for you to experience. And that is exactly what it is.

Two of our friends have babies, we attend both baby showers, go to the graduation ceremony for those who were in the year below us, finally pick up our year books, and see KM for the last time in person. That’s a worry for another year, but it’s too long.

We take Alex to Quesnel to meet the family, realize he fits in with our two year age gap perfectly. Apply to college, get accepted, start college, find out all of our classes equal a degree, and start mapping out our courses for something we never knew we wanted.

– A

 

May Amy – #18 – Graduation

Dear Amy at 17,

We made it, but this year is a bit taxing as well. To start off, our French class is going to Quebec but we are sick the week of fundraising. We come back to school and discuss doing our own fundraising, but we are told that instead of allowing us to do that they are replacing us with 11th graders. This means that most of our friends are going to be gone, and we are expected to sit in an empty classroom for this block for almost two weeks. Needless to say we dropped French after a few days. We also drop English 12 and opt to take it via distance because our teacher is a bit off her rocker.

Truth be told, we don’t experience much of her. We are sick for about a month and regardless of the homework we do to catch up she still attempts to fail us. Its worth noting that she has a tape line around her desk for boundary issues and an empty desk for her invisible friend. We’ll never know how much of that was played up because we bow out. It bodes well for us because we end up with 98% in English 12 thanks to an amazing teacher, Mr. Scheitel. He recognizes our discomfort of being at this other school, adapts and helps us persevere, and even stays in contact after we move so that we can get everything in for our high school diploma. If you can, thank him more often – he deserves it.

This is also the year that the principal decides to screw around our friend. That’s putting it lightly, but it ends up being such a big issue with the grads that for once we are all united. Odd feeling since we are all on different levels. Aside from confusing us all about whether or not we were graduating, what the heck the portfolio program was, if we even had to do it, and refusing to shake S’s hand for a picture, he also calls the cops on her for showing up to a commencement that she is a guest to. No reason for the police to get involved at all. Even if she wasn’t graduating, she was there as someone’s date and was quite peaceful until Mr. Stick-up-his-ass started getting huffy. Choice words were swapped that night.

This is one of the last times we will all be in one place and still getting along. We fight it for awhile, and a few of us are still friends, but not all glue holds. Different people choose different paths that are right for them and the past sometimes doesn’t tag along. Lives get busier, communication slows which can cause tensions, and eventually we are left with our appreciation for the memories.

We wear a wedding dress to grad and keep it hidden since we assume that we will marry L one day. Not going to happen – in fact we just aren’t good for each other at all, but you’ll experience the interesting end to that yourself. It doesn’t help that he ends up moving almost without us knowing, when we needed him the most no less, and all of that compounds into emotions… lots of them… which just makes it worse. Try not to dwell on it too much.

Another year, another move. Our Z is in his later years now and right before the move it ends up that he can’t walk anymore. We take him to the vet and try everything, but its just his time. The siblings are away and when they get back each of us takes one to talk to. Losing a fur-family member is always hard, but knowing that it is their time gets easier.

Then comes Q-town… it smells… like something weird. Our house is a decent size, but the WiFi sucks and it is is the middle of nowhere. Good news is that we have a car and eventually we have a job; which is nice because we don’t just have to shuttle the siblings to school now. Staples… is interesting for us – its the start of us slowly getting used to who we are and who we portray, finding our soul. It’s going to get even better.

-A

May Amy – #17 -Lessons

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Dear Amy at 16,

Out of all of the letters this may be the hardest to read and write. It isn’t easy mentally being us at this age. You will hear a lot of “it gets better,” and it does, but it is hard for us to see it. Our friendships are weird, our relationships are weird, we don’t have a strong understanding of life or why we are here, and everything seems to be a popularity contest.

Someone will toss around the term “Queen of the uglies,” but try not to take it to heart. People won’t want to be your friend, they may threaten to kill you, they may not like you the way that you like them, they may cheat on you – but we are stronger than that. You will hear a lot of “you must be bipolar,” or “you’re a headcase,” but we have a valuable ally with Mrs. Hand. She’s one of the counselors and  quite possibly one of our closest friends. It’s weird to think of that now, but we will go to her whenever: when it gets overwhelming, when things are weird at home, when we want to rearrange classes, when we need to complain about a teacher, or just spilling our emotions. She’ll tell you that you shouldn’t say some things or she’ll have to take action, but open your ears and heart to her. She’s quite possibly the reason we are still alive.

I’d tell you not to do it. That it won’t work. That its not worth the hours of getting sick, getting shots to stop you from throwing up since your stomach has been emptied thousands of times already, nurses talking about stomach pumping, or how much Mom blamed herself after she found out. That we never really wanted to succeed since we told Sean, who told L, who came and interrupted the last batch; I think we subconsciously hoped that one someone would. I’d tell you that its not the solution, and neither is the “scratching” that takes the place of our thoughts after the fact.

People will say or do things without thinking or caring about consequences, but its not our fault and we shouldn’t blame ourselves. We are strong enough to get through this and anything that comes our way – and if stumble there are people to help. There always are. I’m crying just writing this because I feel bad for you. We never feel this way again, I promise you that, and I am sorry that we ever felt this was the best case of action.

People today probably wouldn’t believe that we went through something like this – that’s how confident, quirky, and persevering we are. We are emotional, but for good reason. It keeps us in tune with those around us and makes us approachable and human. We are good at hiding our real emotions with other emotions, a mask if you will, but don’t be afraid to let someone in. When in doubt – Mrs. Hand. She retires eventually, as people do, but reach out when you need to.

It takes time, but we’re good at patience (especially the card game).