I wonder if people are as confused as I am when thinking of past and present relationships. Romantic ones. Friendships. Work ones. Biological family. Family who is not of the same blood.

I sometimes spend hours obsessing about what went wrong with my Freshman college roommate. We were friends for years until one day she told me I only contacted her when I wanted something. I wondered what she me meant since she lived in the UK. Me in the US.

Or my friend who I showed up for when her heart broke over a guy who wasn’t good enough. The day someone broke into her house. The day I helped her pack her car when she moved across country. When she came back into town I remember canceling on a night we planned to get a drink. Weekdays were too hard. Too raw from the non-profit work I did during the day. I only saw her once after that. She adopted her son and was nice enough to invite me to a brunch when she brought him to town. He was so handsome. I knew she had so much love to give him. I was so happy for her.

My neighbor in my old apartment building who told me I was an asshole to move stuff around in our lobby. It looked like a funeral home lobby from 1985. My mother slowly dying from dementia. When my mother did die I thankfully moved out within 6 months. I never saw the lobby or my neighbor again.

My co-worker and her son who were like family to me. When she brought him to the office I sat with him for hours. We played with matchbox cars. Watched him draw such advanced pictures with crayons and colored pencils. She eventually stopped talking to me when she stopped showing up to work. Stopped caring about her staff. Blamed me for the internal transfer. She really should have been let go then. I thought about reaching out to her when her father died. Other co-workers warned me not too. She blamed me for not having her job. She blamed me for the next job when that one didn’t work out too.

I am self-aware enough to write the following words. I am the common denominator for all of these relationships. I haven’t even gotten to my sister’s hatred for me yet. I could write about so many other relationships lost. Why did I allow these relationships to end? Were any of them worth resurrecting?

i am a first generation italian-american who grew up in southern new jersey. Life is amazingly beautiful and devastating. Sometimes in the same day.