When I met John O. on the Safeguard Business Systems ski bus to Whistler, I knew it was all over. He was cute, charming, handsome, and so much fun. His personality was something I wasn’t used to. He was quick witted, had a great sense of humor with a brilliant air of confidence. How could I have known that in the back of the bus very insecure John C. was stewing as I didn’t want to marry him at 20 years old. We dated twice. 

 When we pulled into the parking lot after the trip, two men were in a ring fighting for me. This was a once in a lifetime. Poor John O. didn’t see it coming. It didn’t last, but it was memorable.

 I loved him dearly. We had fun for about a year and a half in southern California. We played crazy dress up with another couple (our roommates) and walked up and down the Sunset Strip. It was a wild experience. We met so many characters by becoming them. It was beautiful.

John liked to pretend that we were rich. When I met his parents, we took a limousine to LAX to fly out. When a black stretch limo pulled up to our apartment in Alhambra, I’m sure our neighbors were amused.

 I wore a black and white striped dress with a hat. I had a cigarette extender to make me look cool. Or whatever we did that for. Of course, my man went all Gentlemen’s Quarterly for the ride.

 On the way to the airport, we had a flat tire in the back. The driver was a beautiful and thin woman wearing a tux. This bothered me. We weren’t even asked to get out of the car to make it easier. I wanted to help her. He didn’t even think about it. It wasn’t something that touched his soul as it did mine. I couldn’t get it.

 She changed the tire and we were off.

  When we were picked up at LAX to go home, apparently the wires crossed. Our stretch limo had about twenty seats. We weren’t alone.

 We moved to Boston together and both quickly were hired again at the New England branch of Safeguard in Newton Center. 

 Something was off. We had so much fun in LA, and now our wedding was in the next six months. What was going on inside of me?

 I loved him with every fiber of my being. He was handsome, the most fun person on the planet, and I know he loved me. I was even becoming a catholic for him so we could get married in his church. He would at least have the wedding of his dreams. I didn’t have any dreams of a wedding. With my mother’s five husband’s (by sixth grade for me) and my sister’s five, husbands were like dating to my family. It wasn’t special.

 I called my sister and asked her to fly to Boston. I was going to leave. I couldn’t do this. What in the hell was wrong with me? I saw a life with him. It would be fun and magical. I had to leave. 

 When I knew she was on the way, I told him I had to have a break. It was April. I had to open my head to see what was happening inside. I know the words were loving, yet defensive and pathetic at the time, but my “gut” was totally twisted in knots for weeks. I didn’t know what I was being told, I just knew I was creating a cancer if I didn’t listen to the feeling.

 I broke his heart and rocked his perfect world. When I saw him look at my finger, I pointed to the nightstand. The “full carat marquis on a Tiffany setting” was there in the box. The one he screamed that he sold his stocks and bonds to buy. 

Why? I was embarrassed by such a rock. I didn’t want it. I only wanted him.

 Donna came; we drove from Boston to Las Vegas. We had a blast. It was great to see her. She had a break from work and the husband had the kid. We made great company.

 Once I left my gut was in complete alignment. All of the icky feelings I had that led me up to leaving – they were gone. Completely. I didn’t know it then, but when your needle is back in your groove, it feels delicious. I loved him and wanted to be with him. I could not understand this feeling I had for the last weeks prior to my leaving. He was my everything.

 It was late April when I left. I knew he would be back in Pennsylvania with his family nursing his wounds on the weekend of our wedding. I flew to Boston for Labor Day to get what I could. 

 I got a “drive away” service for a car. Someone who moved across the country left a car and needed it delivered. I signed up to take it to LA. I just had to cover gas. It was a big Country Squire station wagon with wood paneling. They had some stuff in it, but there was plenty of room. 

 Unfortunately, the man who picked me up at the airport had a very small car. I had to get what I could fit in a tiny four-seater with two people before he took me to my ride. 

 I grabbed my custom-made wedding dress. I forgot the veil. I couldn’t fit my sewing machine as it was in a big cabinet. I made us all kinds of clothes back then. I made him a button-down shirt, and dresses for me.



 I got what I could from our house, then I high tailed it out of Boston for good. He didn’t know I was there until he returned. It was hard.

 He wanted my wedding dress back. He had a huge hand in the creation as again, nothing mattered to me. He loved seed pearls and a certain type of lace. We ended up having the top done from a certain designer, and the explosive bottom from another. It was stunning. 

 I couldn’t understand the world he lived in. He wanted the dress back to have it embalmed. He had the veil. I didn’t even know what that meant. I still don’t. It just sounded so odd to me.

 We were going to have a “Cinderella wedding” with all of the trimmings. While we were still in California, he was guiding his mother and brother in Pennsylvania as boots-on-the-ground to get our wedding planned. They had the venue, church, band and hall for our reception. They had a huge guest list. I guess we had a lot of people coming. Also covered was our two-week vacation to Paradise Island in the Bahamas. My family couldn’t afford to come. I couldn’t cover a dime, but I was barely going to have an imprint on this event. I would be Barbie.

 I could play this part with no problem. I was going with the flow. I just knew this was not to be my story.

 His family and religion were everything. I knew for John O; marriage was for life. It mattered to him. What a longshot I would be with my family history. He never questioned it. I would never do something to hurt someone – ever. I knew if I married him, I had to stay. And I would. I had to face that consequence whatever it would manifest as. It always shows up as something.

 The gut tug was all I had to go on at 21 years old. It was spot on in the eleventh hour. But it was spot on. 

 If I stayed, I would have developed a nasty disease or horrific illness early on. I saw it growing when I had a decision to make. If I chose marriage, I would have died early. I would have to come back and start this ride over. I am here for a reason.

 Today, this amazing soul is one of my best friends. He was the angel who got me on the plane to join him for his reunion. That was the flight when I met Larry. I prayed for a knight in shining armor. John called. He told me to get on the plane. He wouldn’t let up until I agreed. He was an angel pushing me hard to take that next step that I begged him to push me to take. I had to take that flight. I had no choice. 

 After an angel on the plane disappeared and a powerful gut tug in the form of a bowling ball in my stomach. I saw the man who would be the next breadcrumb on my path.

This is why I push you so hard. There is something amazing waiting for you. A man I loved dearly and trusted with my life insisted that I do something crazy and I had to “do it right now.”  There was no time to fear or ponder. I didn’t need to bring anything but toiletries. Everything would be provided. I just had to go. A ticket was waiting at the counter. 

When you face these intersections, you know your life will never be the same. But you asked for them to show up. The Extreme Vallarta Adventure I just went on was just this. You didn’t have time to think. You had to jump off of the platform or zip to the next one. Someone was roped in right behind you. 


I had someone in my life. He scared me. Flying away would put an end to this story for sure. I was terrified. I wanted out. I went to the airport.

Two and a half years later, Larry brought me to Ohio. I found the path to my big-girl panties. Learning how to put them on would take me another five and a half years.

John O. has often been how I get back on track. A quick nudge, reminder, lane change. Then I don’t hear from him for a year. I love it. He is also going to remain anonymous. He has a generic name and a beautiful life. If he wants to come forward, it is always an option.

 Larry and I sat together before this incarnation and planned our intersection. He would become a bodybuilder; it would change his life. My life would be so lost, sad and alone in Ohio that I would force myself out of my comfort zone. Books became the trail of breadcrumbs I came here to find.

The darkest thing I put myself through was stewing in constant thought about how I would escape the life I chose in Ohio. The problem was always my thoughts. The ‘doing’ was easy after months of self-torture. We can amazingly talk ourselves out of everything we know we need to do.

My book is about showing that it is not hard to leave a difficult situation. It is our “thinking” about it that makes it hard. Leaving is easy when you “know” it is time. When you “know” at the soul level, you will realize the hard work is already done. You planned it. There are no errors.

 It is the thoughts you torture yourself with that create your dis-ease.

  I did everything by trial and error, and instinct. Leaving John O. immediately set my soul free. The human had to mourn a few tears of confusion. The soul was at peace. He had to move on as he thought he had a perfect plan with me in the picture. He had to course correct, recalibrate, and find his new beginning. 

I am happy to report that he is living the life of his dreams. It is full of beautiful people and clothing, lavish real estate, riches and abundance. He’s traveled the world. He had his Cinderella wedding. He has two daughters who will both have the same. He said the only thing he and his wife disagreed on was if their education was to be strictly Ivy league. 

I would die in that life. I would have wanted to die. Those are conversations I don’t want to hear. 

 I’ve sent him pictures from hiking, my fire pit or paddleboarding in the mountains. His response is always, “Well aren’t you Nature Girl?” He loves five-star luxury and everything at the top of the line. I love hiking, mountains and a roaring fire under the stars. We joke often about how different we are. We are exactly where we are supposed to be. His life is what he wanted it to be. 

 I was not the right fit for his story. We got to figure it out right away and not drag it out. In my book I question if life would have been different if we didn’t have the weight on our shoulders of “we have to get married.” Perhaps if we moved to Boston and played for a while, we would have had a different experience. Better yet, what if we stayed in LA as we were both already in management in the company. We were both so young.

 It is that thought of the “expected” next step you take in life. I don’t know what would have happened to us. I believe we would have evolved apart eventually as those parts of us wouldn’t always match up. They couldn’t. But I got to see it early. We got to miss out on having that fun together, but also the heartbreak we would have had to deal with. 

 No matter what, listening – once you hear the feeling – is all you need. It is your guidance telling you to get back on track. Those aren’t always butterflies of excitement, sugar.

 And my life, oh my. It is spectacular and immaculate. I listened to only me and my gut my entire life. I never questioned. And now here I am. It is a solo ride because everyone else is stuck in a story and loaded with beliefs. I am not. I know why we are here and it is magnificent. 

 I never did become a catholic. That poor priest. For two weeks he had to listen to my questions. He was so frustrated. With an attempted smile, he would silently scream in my face, “JUST BELIEVE!” I said, “I need to believe what you are saying just because you are telling me to?” 

 Lowering his head and sighing as if he thought I finally got it, he said, “Yes.”

 Right there I saw what the problem is with this world.