Chapter 12 of Life After 30
No fiancé (or even a boyfriend), no job, no place to live next month… possibly, Maya thought as she opened the door to her apartment.
The chic minimalist furniture cries out to her with an ugly sob. She worked so hard to get this place just as she wanted. But now, there was no way she could afford to stay. Her lease was going to be up in a couple weeks. Could she possibly get a new job by then?
Maya flops herself down on the couch. She should be at her laptop, updating her resume and looking at her connections on LinkedIn. But she couldn’t help but wallow in self-pity.
How did her life end up like this? Every goal she had for her life up to this point was at her fingertips. And one by one, they’ve been vanishing. What does she have to show for her life now? And just at 30 years old when one should have their life figured out. Now she has to start back at square one.
How long will it take for her to be considered for an editor position at a new publishing house?
And subsequently be able to afford a place on her own again?
If she wanted to start having kids at 35, she’ll have to find a boyfriend pronto, have enough time to get to know him, get engaged to him, get married, and ideally live together on their own for a little bit before they expanded their family.
How did other people her age get all of this so quickly? Some of them already had full families. Not that she wanted to be at that point yet, but still. They lived in nice houses, were supervisors or managers at their jobs.
Like Karolyn Keats.
Karolyn had everything Maya wanted and had always gotten it before her. But even though Maya told herself that she hated Karolyn, she knew that she was actually jealousy. It didn’t help that Karolyn knew Maya was jealous, either. She had to enjoy waving every accomplishment Maya strived for in her face.
Which is why it honestly felt a little good to call Karolyn out in front of everyone at the company party. But only a little. Maya knew she shouldn’t have stooped that low.
And if she were to be even more honest, Will breaking up with her made it feel like she was losing control of her life. And she ended up hurting a lot of people because of it.
It was up to her now to own the responsibility of her actions and realize that she does have control, and has had it all along.
Thinking about this made the knot in Maya’s stomach come back, but it was a little one. She knew this wasn’t going to be easy, but it had to be done. She was 30 years old, after all. She couldn’t run away from her mistakes or have someone else take care of them for her anymore.
First up, Lindsay.
Her best friend of 3 years had to be first. Especially since Maya said all those mean things back at the hospital.
She had to patch things up and set things straight with Lindsay before heading into the other apologies she had to do. She had to at least know that she has someone on her side.
It had been a few days since she last saw Lindsay on the day she was fired. Saw her, but didn’t speak to her.
Even though their cubicles were right next to each other, when Maya came by to take her stuff, Lindsay walked out of her’s to talk to Michael a few cublics down.
Maya collected her stuff in silence and left. She figured she would give Lindsay a few days of space before trying to talk to her. She didn’t blame Lindsay for giving her the silent treatment either. Maya felt she deserved it.
Maya decided to catch Lindsay on her way out of work.
She was waiting a few feet away from the door, as to not be completely stalker-ish.
At about the time Maya thought Lindsay would be walking out, there she was, pushing the door open and stepping out into the sun.
Maya walked up to her, trying not to run, so that it could look like they just casually ran into each other.
“Oh! Hey Lindsay, I almost didn’t see you there.”
Lindsay looks at Maya and couldn’t help but roll her eyes. “Hi Maya. I’m sure you’re not stalking me, waiting for me to leave work so you could talk to me.”
Maya attempts to laugh it off, “Of course I’m not stalking you. This is truly an organic meeting.”
Lindsay gives Maya the knowing look.
“Okay, fine. I’ve been waiting out here for 30 minutes for you. But I would have waited 2 hours for you just to say I was sorry.”
Lindsay crosses her arms. “Sorry for what, exactly?”
“For saying your life is easy when I full well know that starting your family was really hard for you and it didn’t exactly go as planned. And for getting drunk at the work party and embarrassing you. And… for not telling you that Will broke up with me before my birthday party, but I asked him to pretend to be my boyfriend for the party so that I didn’t have to face people’s questions about us. And I didn’t tell you because I thought you wouldn’t be able to keep a secret.”
“Wait– Will broke up with you before the party? And he was pretending to be your boyfriend?”
“Maya… what were you thinking when you proposed to him?”
“I was thinking that maybe he still loved me… deep down… and that he might just say yes if I proposed…”
“But also you were jealous of Karolyn being engaged.”
“Um, yeah, that might have been a catalyst.”
“Maya, I know Karolyn can be annoying, but you have to stop comparing yourself to her. You are not Karolyn and you will never be. And that is a great thing because you are you. And you have your own life. And you need to learn your own lessons and grow in your own way.”
“I know you’re right. I’m just having a hard time right now because I feel so out of control. Everything that I’ve wanted for my life is gone. And I have to start all over.”
“I have no doubt you’ll get right back on track. Or hey, maybe this a great opportunity to find something new.”
“I don’t know. I’m still wary about what I should do now.”
“Well, I’ll let you know that I’m not about to go away. Even though it does hurt to hear that you kept the break up from me because you thought I couldn’t keep a secret.”
“Can you blame me though? But really, I was too embarrassed to tell you we broke up.”
“You’re my best friend, Maya. I won’t judge you for something like that. And no, I guess I can’t. I know I have loose lips.”
“But I won’t keep anything from you anymore. You’re my best friend. You should know what’s going on with my life.”
They hug and continue walking together, step for step.
“So, who are you going to apologize to next?”
“Are you nervous.”
“Nervous is an understatement.”
Come back every Friday for the next installment of Life After 30!