I leaned back in my squeaky sunshine yellow kitchen chair and waited.
My clunky laptop looked out of place on the sleek 1950’s formica and chrome kitchen table, whirring and buzzing as it attempted to connect.
The sound echoed off the empty walls of my apartment outside the city.
My eyes ran over the single glass and bowl drying on the counter. The row of cereal boxes on the shelf. The wall of empty kitchen cabinets.
Bleeping and humming surrounded me as I thought about the last time I knew things were going to change.
I had been on the same laptop six months earlier.
I was alone in our apartment, sitting on the floor by the big plain bed in a simple room full of his CDs, his gear, his posters.
He had gone away again, and I was determined to find my own rock climbing partner. Have adventures of my own.
I posted a profile and got an immediate response from a girl who shared all her personal information with me, in the hopes I would teach her to rock climb.
I emailed her back, told her never to do that – I could have been a crazy person!
We met anyway. Became unlikely and tentative friends, the blond lonely girl and the tiny international import.
We planned a trip to Montreal. A co-worker of hers was to join us.
That morning they picked me up, I opened the door and looked up. And up some more.
Her friend was well over six feet tall. Her hair was short and crazy. Her laugh was loud and came easily.
He stood behind me nervously for the first time in four years, as I picked up my weekend bag.
I went on this 8-hour road trip, ate warm croissants, chugged coffee, danced to French techno music, slept on a tiny hotel bed.
And made one of the best friends of my life.
I didn’t feel so alone anymore.
When I came home, I was ready to move out. It was over.
So I did.
And here I was. My new start.
Abruptly, the space around me fell silent. The World Wide Web was ready for me.
I scrolled through my job search options and cleared the saved fields.
My hand hovered over the keyboard.
I thought about the beach weekend my crazy tall friend and I got back from three weeks ago – just the two of us, this time.
We were lying on the beach, the sun bleaching our books while gulls cracked the air before us with their calls.
“I hate my job.”
A decision made in a seven-word conversation.
Weeks of faxing, emailing, phone interviews followed.
But it was all wrong.
My gut told me so.
My hand still resting on the mouse, I deleted “Los Angeles, California” and entered “New York City, New York”.
And started my life’s adventure for real this time, during which I’d never feel alone again.
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This post was written for Write on Edge’s RemembeRED memoir writing prompt.
The prompt went like this:
For this week’s prompt, we want you to recall those early memories of being online.
But, I’m not letting you off that easy…there are two catches.
Please do not use the phrase “I remember…”
Also? No laundry lists. Try to focus on one small memory and share that with us. Tell us how it impacted your life and what it meant for you.
The internet is what led me to new friends, when I was a college dropout living with an unappreciative boyfriend.
The internet helped me find an apartment cheap enough to afford on my own when I left him.
The internet helped me look for a new job, new home when I realized how deeply unhappy I was in Boston.
And when my gut told me Don’t leave Boston for California…go to New York City, the internet helped me do just that.
In the midst of that search, my friend was accepted to law school in NYC , so we ended up moving there within a month of each other.
Two months after that, I realized I worked with a guy who, the night we finally shook hands for the first time, I knew I would marry.
Because of the internet, I have never felt alone.
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