a new decade

"Too often we are so preoccupied with the destination, we forget the journey."

I’ve got about 12 hours left of my third decade on this earth.  It’s odd to be able to count off my life in decades (I don’t think most people do), but it’s kind of cool at the same time.


Like I said I’ve still got a little bit of time left so it’s tough to get nostalgic or reflective yet.  I mean, a lot could happen between now and 9:12 tomorrow morning (mostly sleeping I hope).


Still, the twenties for me were pretty much constantly in motion.  I really don’t have the knack for staying put for too long.  I think that’s slowly changing.  This past year of totally rearranging my life was much harder than I expected.  I’m not as nimble as I was at 21.


Ironically I find myself at the end of this decade pretty much where I started.  Single, in school, working at a restaurant, really involved with church and really excited about the future.


Hard to believe it took ten years and a paradigm shift to be back on track.


Not that I have too many regrets about my twenties, because I don’t.  I’ve learned a lot (mostly the hard way).


The one underlying theme that I see in these last ten years is this:  I am blessed.


I have an amazing family that loves me very much and I love them.  Friends that have lasted and others that I have crossed paths with and journeyed for a time with at what seemed like just the right moment in my life.  For all of them, I am grateful and I know that I am blessed.


Mostly, I look back and see my path with God.  While I have not always understood the whys and the hows of my relationship with Him (sometimes purposefully ignoring it), I have always known that I when I wanted to, I could feel His love.  For that, I am certainly blessed.


So here’s to my twenties and everyone in them! And here’s to kicking off my fourth decade, with hope and excitement for the adventures to come!  Slainte!   


Young Love: Final Installment

"I was never one to patiently pick up broken fragments and glue them together again and tell myself that the mended whole was as good as new. What is broken is broken -- and I'd rather remember it as it was at its best than mend it and see the broken places as long as I lived."
-Margaret Mitchell

So we come to the last installment of the story of Nate and Paul.

Paul was many of my firsts.  First to date.  First to travel with.  First to love.  First to introduce my family to.  First to leave.  First to know.  First to mourn.

I wrote to Paul a few weeks after my ex-husband and I split.  It was a rare moment that we were both at our computers so we wrote the following exchange within a space of two hours:

December 15, 2005


So I'm single again. Wasn't sure if I was going to write you, but for some odd reason I feel the need.

How are you? What's new? Fill me in . . .



I want to ask what happened. I have a million questions. I even want to know if you have to go through a divorce. But, I don't know if I should. You must be hurting, whether you want to admit it or not.

I will ask you this though: Why were you not sure if you wanted to write me?

Nate, I can't be anything valuable to you. I want to, but I can't. Maybe an ear, but that's it. I'm sorry that you are single again, because I want you to have happiness. I'm also sorry because I know I am weak.

Please don't pursue me, Nate. I know you aren't right now - but the day might come - and I want you to avoid it. I know you are a very caring and sensitive person. You have always respected me. If I could turn back time, things would be different. But, I am happy where I am. I want to be there for you - I want to be with you. I'm sorry.

You should know that I read Annie Proulx's, "Brokeback Mountain," and thought of you.



So I suppose it wasn't that fair of me to send you this cryptic little message without being clear on why I was sending it to you. I want you to know that I am NOT pursuing you. Not that I don't have that desire, but like you said I respect and love you too much to put you into that situation. I am glad to you are happy.

I guess I would want to know if something big changed in your life as well. I would hope you'd be willing to share that with me still. No walls, no expectations. You are, and still will be, such a huge part of my heart, that it only felt right to at least let you know.

My ex and I were simply not happy. We grew to resent one another more than we appreciated each other in our relationship. It was past time that we needed to give each other our space. So he moved into an apartment not far from the house. I am confident that we will be very good friends . . .

Anyway, it's funny you read that book. I just picked it up yesterday to start reading. I'm excited to see the movie when it comes out in Utah. I wouldn’t suggest going and seeing it with your wife! (Just Kidding)

I was in Denver last weekend for my sister's graduation. Thought about you a lot and wondered where you were and what you were doing. If you ever find yourself in Utah I hope you don't feel that you can't look me up. I don't honestly expect you to anytime soon. But just in case...


Mr. Currey,

Thanks for the fill-in. So, what now? Are you in rebound mode?

I just finished my semester last night. One more semester to go and I will have an MBA. Next semester I am going to be interning - hopefully - on top of my regular job and two other classes. So, my life will be "owned" until next May. Then, who knows? I want to get a job in new product development for a biotech company. It will be interesting to see if and what I can get hired doing. Otherwise, nothing is new. Merry Christmas, by the way.

Where are you at spiritually, Nate? I know the last time I spoke to you about that, you felt mostly reconciled.

Different subject - I must say that I was jealous of your husband. He was really good looking. Sorry, that's crass. But, if I'm ever going to be with you again, I'm going to be insecure about the men you've been with. Not that I plan on being with you again - just in my mind. But...

Nate, I absolutely hate the fact that I have a "tragic" part to me life. I love my wife, and I would never hurt her. But, I've never felt about anyone else, the way I still feel about you.

Have you ever seen the movie, "Love Actually”? There's a scene where a guy flips a bunch of cards expressing his deepest heart to a woman that just married his best friend. I lose it during that scene because I know what it is to never again have the one thing you've always wanted.



Reading this makes me want to hold you. I have seen that scene in that movie; it's my favorite scene in that movie and I too think of you every time I see it.

No I am not in rebound mode. I'm just trying to work through this and be happy again. I need some time alone to work it out in my own head. We were together for a long time and I have a huge void in my life right now. Not so fun during the holidays that's for sure. I find myself having good days, and then days like today where I am desperately trying to find a smile once again.

Spiritually I am well. Moving back to Utah was really the final part of that healing process. I was not able to avoid the Church AT ALL when I moved back here. It is a part of daily life here. It's been very cathartic to reestablish ties with friends from my mission and BYU and be honest with them about who I am and what my experiences have been. I have a solid personal relationship with God and still have a deep sense of spirituality everyday. I will admit that I am much more skeptical about organized religion though.

My ex is a very handsome guy. I was surprised to read that line from you. You must know that it's your heart that I still love. I will NEVER forget the moment that you pulled me toward you for our first kiss. I've yet to experience something like that again. So put your inadequacies at rest and know that you are the one . . .

I'm glad that I can share these thoughts and feelings with you. I really couldn't think of anyone else I'd rather share this with.

Be happy and know that there is a very comfortable couch here in Utah anytime you find yourself out this way . . .


p.s. Do you still talk to your wife about me? Does she have any idea about your feelings?


I haven't spoken to my wife about you in some time. She became very bothered by the idea of you the last time it came up. I think she sensed that I still have feelings for you, and she is afraid of those feelings, just as I am. If she knew how deep those feelings are...

There are some things that can never be spoken of. There are some loves that go on forever. No one ever promised us life would be fair. Love would not be so powerful, if it wasn't also so awful.

I cannot offer you a couch here – my wife would figure out who you are very quickly. (After she saw my eyes when I look into yours.) I'm sorry I can't reciprocate. But, I wouldn't want to stay on your couch anyway. I would want to hold you, and be held by you.



I never expected a stay on the couch with you! I never ever want to intrude on your space with your wife whatsoever. That would be about the most unfair thing that either one of us could do. Especially to her. She is a lucky woman to be able to experience your love on a daily basis.

Listen to that song I sent you. I love it...

Write me back...



I'm listening to the song right now. Hope you like the one I sent you.



I can’t open it for some reason. What's the title? I'll download it.

Thanks for corresponding with me tonight. I've had a tough day and you've just made my month. You are amazing as ever...



"Don't go to strangers." On her "Both Sides Now" disc. The one that was in
"Love Actually." It's meant to be a little tongue-in-cheek.

But, if I was going to send you a song that expressed my real feelings - well, I would ask you to get "We're so far away," by Mae, on The Everglow.

I'm glad I could make your month. Here's to better months to come!



I'm downloading both of the songs right now and will give them a spin. After that I'm off to bed. You should be too!!



I will head off to bed here in a moment. I'm going to listen to Collide - while I fall asleep. It was magical, wasn't it? Our brief moment in time together. It seems like a mirage now.



Paul and I have written since and we will keep writing each other the rest of our lives I suspect.  For that I am grateful.  I do not know, nor expect to actually see Paul ever again.  But I know we will write.  It is in that safe space, not hearing voice inflection, or reading facial expressions or body language, that we have carved out our way to communicate.  

Now then . . . on to different subjects to blog about. . .


Young Love: 4th Installment

Better never to have met you in my dream than to wake and reach for hands that are not there.
-Otomo No Yakamochi

December 28, 2004


I'm glad you wrote to me.  Sorry you had to join the gold membership to do it!
I'm living and working in Utah and have been out here for a little over two years now.  I'm still with Enterprise (4 years now) and have my own branch in Northern Utah.  Things are going really well.
I think of you often, especially when I head back home for visits.  Let me know what's going on with you.  How's your wife? Your job?  What have you been up to?  I hope things are well for you.
Hit me back with a note.

Yes you read that correctly . . . wife.  

After the last installment, Paul and I didn't have much contact.  About a year later we bumped into each other at a club once and talked all night about getting back together.  Shortly after that, I called Paul and we decided to meet for lunch.  There were both things that we needed to tell each other.  

For my part I told Paul that I had made a big mistake with him and that I wanted to give dating him another shot.

For his part, he said he was glad to have my friendship, but that he was dating a woman and that things were getting serious between them.  

It was clear that I had missed my window of opportunity with him, so we left lunch that day with a big hug and a pledge from one another not to contact each other again, for both of our sakes.

Fast forward almost three years.  I had signed up for an account on one of those class reunion sites, the kind that extorts you out of money if you want any meaningful information about your old friends.  Just after Christmas of 2004, I received an email from Paul through that site trying to get my contact information.  

The email at the top of this installment is what I wrote back to him.  The following is what was returned to me:

December 28, 2004


Hey Nate,

Glad you got back to me.  Would have been a waste otherwise.  Currently, I am in the MBA program at CU Denver.  About half way through it.  My wife and I are going along well.  We are passionate people and our relationship shows it.  I am working for the University of Colorado, going on about four years now.  I'm on winter break from school and work right now.  Lots of free time.

 So, you are in Utah again.  Why did you go there?  Are you back with the church?  Where are you living? I am glad to hear you are still with Enterprise, and apparently heading a large area.  Congratulations.  (Can you see the walls?  They are almost tangible.  Why?  After all these years.)  Are you in a relationship?  I guess I am asking too many questions.

(I am about to take down all my walls - I'm sorry for the honesty.)

There was a time when I would not contact you.  For fear of betraying my own feelings.
  I guess I am not afraid anymore.  I loved you deeply back then.  I told my wife that.  She has been okay with it, surprisingly.  But I did not know how deep my love for you was, until more recently.  I have never stopped thinking about you.  There are times, especially at night, that I think about you and about our relationship. There is a place in my heart that longs to know you again.  I write about how I felt with you.  I dream about how life would have been with you.  I think over the day you decided to leave, and then about the day I saw you at the club, and then finally the day I saw you at Denver West.  All of it is like yesterday.  As clear as crystal, and as delicate.  Thinking on all these things has brought me to many conclusions.  But few as potent as this:  you were, and still are, the love of my life.  A love I can never have.  I say this without regret, or hope, or agenda.  It is something I have felt the need to tell you for some time.  I have made many mistakes in this life, but none as great as not following my heart.  But, I will not betray what I have now.  I will not add insult to injury.  I will live and love, and I will never have you.  I am a bitter man.  A broken man.

That's what I have to say.  It is a bit extreme, and certainly over-dramatic.  But, it is me, and nothing less - with no walls believe it or not.  I just thought you should know.

I love you, now and forever,