One day, after years interviewing strangers for work, I started wondering what it would be like to interview my friends. My husband, who is responsible for stopping me when I get a crazy idea, encouraged me to pursue it.

I decided to limit myself to one-hour interviews, and aim for twelve participants. I told them I’d change their names, but warned that because of their connection to me, some readers would still identify them.

I also decided to focus on people in their thirties. I’m in my thirties, and many of my friends are too. Like any decade in life, it’s unique.

There are still more weddings and births than divorces and deaths—you still feel more young than old—and the sense that anything is possible lingers.

Even if you haven’t suffered, you’ve seen it from the sidelines; whatever the case, life has shaken you.

By your thirties, you’ve lived long enough to have made up your mind about some things, and changed your mind about others. You might have a partner, some kids, a house, a career—things might be settling—but nothing’s quite settled, not yet.

Anyway, the idea for this project came to me earlier this year. I conducted the first interview in late April, and the last in early June. I ended up with characters I could never have created, and dialogue I could never have written. Words came and went. This is the result.

Emma Wilkins

July 2016

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