I’ve had a lot of time to think recently. I spend the majority of my days driving (we won’t get into that), and when I’m not belting out songs along with the radio, I’m usually thinking “How the hell did I get here? Why am I driving a laundry van around, concerned about what I’m going to feed my kids for dinner and when I’ll have time to get to the bank?” I wonder how in 9 years I went from a lost girl, to a lost-again and then found wife, mom and woman.
I got married when I was 21. I’m not going to lie about it, I regretted that decision for a few years. I spent a great deal of time in the early stages of our marriage totally hating it. I hated it so much, I found a way to get out of it as soon as I could. I was not ready to get married. I had no concept of what marriage was. In fact, the night before I got married, I laid on the bathroom floor of my hotel room crying. I had no idea why. I didn’t know that I was afraid. I didn’t know what to do. When DH and and I got married, I had absolutely no idea how hard it would be. I was a kid. How could I? I left months after we got married, moved away to go back to school, and lived with one of my friends from university. I totally bailed on my husband. I felt guilty, but I also felt normal again. All of my friends were either still in school, or were just starting out on their own. They didn’t have mortgages, husbands or real responsibilities. I was jealous. I felt like I had made a mistake. After a year away, I missed my best friend. Although I had gone away, we still talked and he was still very much my husband. We did have to keep up appearances, prove that we were fine, and all was well with the newlyweds. I’m pretty sure we weren’t fooling anyone though. I actually can’t believe how great he was during this time. I will say, that if he had done the same to me, I don’t know if I would have stuck around. I’m thankful he did. I’m very grateful that somehow we found our way to “happily married.” It took us almost 3 years. We were both too young and totally different people than we are today. We grew into our marriage. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. Through all of that, and then years of struggling with depression, it’s a wonder that we’re still standing. I’m sure there are many people who are totally shocked that we’re still married. I’m so proud of us though. We pushed through, when a lot of others wouldn’t have. I have come to terms with a lot of the hurts we inflicted on each other. They’ve made us stronger as people, and as a couple. I’m happy and proud to say that I married the right person, at the wrong time. I don’t regret it anymore. In fact, I’m so damn happy that it happened. It was worth it, and I’ll always fight to protect it.
That said, I feel like we are two survivors after a tornado has ripped through our trailer park. We’ve made it through the storm that comes with getting married young, having 3 babies in 4 years, and building a business to sustain us. But now what? Where do we go from here? How do we pick up the pieces, and move into the next stage of our life? I don’t think there is an answer. We look around us, and see the people who stuck by us, and we celebrate them. We celebrate our kids, because they gave us a reason to keep pushing through. We celebrate the life that we have created together. Maybe we’re going to leave those pieces for awhile, and just enjoy the rainbow that comes after the storm.
You look like a lobster, but I still love you.