Six weeks later, my skip turned into a slow grudging trudge. OK, it was officially time to freak out! I was as broke as a joke and it wasn't funny. I was out of work for 2 months when my aunt (the one in Charlottesville), who lived in Texas at the time, offered me a one way plane ticket back to California. What to do? I could stay in Richmond and possibly starve, or go back to California. Looking on the bright side, I wasn't eating much, I was walking everyday to find a job so I was losing weight, and I was in the best shape of my life. I was on the Top Ramen One-a-Day diet (consult your doctor before trying - women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not try this diet). Naturally, of course I declined the ticket. I don't know if this is a good thing about me or not, but even though I was starving and my electricity was about to be turned off, and I was about to loose my first apartment 2 months in, I was some how happy? I was living on my own which is something not everyone gets to do. I had no roommates; it was just me. Even though I wasn't at my peak, I was still drinking my tap water out of goblets, and I truly believe that Ramen tastes better served in china and eaten with chop sticks!
As the weather grew colder I felt more than just a chill in the air. I really started to feel that this could be the end and I had failed. I remember praying on Christmas Eve, "Well this is it. Either give me a job, or send me back home." I had applied to many places - hopefully someone would hire me. I was also planning on sending Christmas alone that year. Emily had left on a mission, and all of my friends were in Newport News (which was a good hour and a half away). As I was praying and thinking of all these things, I heard, "Knock! Knock! Knock!" Oh no. I thought, they're coming to evict me. I answered the door to find one of my friends, Alyssa Jensen, from Newport News. She came to pick me up and bring me to her house for Christmas. Thank goodness I didn't have to spend Christmas alone! I was beginning to feel like one of those cat ladies who spends Christmas by herself, dressing up her cats in Santa hats just to have a good time. Good thing I kept the receipt for the Santa sweater I had bought for Lila! That year all I got for Christmas a tube of Bert's Bees Chap Stick, and a call from a furniture store offering me a job. It was the happiest Christmas I had evehad.