As the days pass, it happens less often. But on some early mornings when I don’t want to pull myself out of bed, or late nights when I can’t fall asleep, I think about where my life is today and wonder if, given the opportunity, I would do everything differently. Its a silly notion, of course, as we all know you can’t rewind the clock for one second, never mind almost 7 years worth of time. But when your heart aches enough, it seems to be a normal human reaction to wonder “what if?” (Or better yet, “what the f*@# did I get myself into?”)
Thinking back, to the very, very beginning, I have to say no, I wouldn’t take it back. The angry part of me, the part that feels hurt and betrayed, wants to scream out “I WISH I NEVER MET YOU!!!!!”, but my heart knows that’s not really true. Because in the beginning, before kids, before school, before stress about bills and jobs, and so many other things I don’t care to rehash…we were young, carefree, and there was love. I mean true fairy-tale-story-book kind of love. The kind where I couldn’t even tell you anything about my day to day life that summer because I constantly felt like I was floating on a cloud. It always felt surreal because it happened so fast, that one day when we both needed it the most, the ocean tide pushed two complete strangers together and bam, the rest was history. (And no, that’s not a cheesy metaphor, we were literally in the ocean, we met while surfing). The kind of love that a lot of people never have the opportunity to experience. The kind of love that the memory of those summer nights alone kept us hanging on long after things became blatantly volatile.
I’ve spent the last month and a half being angry. Pointing fingers. Wondering how the hell it all fell apart, how our fairy tale had to have such a craptacular ending. It doesn’t seem fair.
But I’ve also spent the last decade of my life learning to let go of negativity. To not dwell on the bad but instead find the good in every situation. I am a very blessed girl. I may not have it all. I may be just months from turning 30, never married, mom of 2 living with her parents and struggling to pay bills. Life is NOT what I imagined, these are not the dreams I had for myself nor my children. But I refuse to lay around anymore and think things like “why me?”, think that this is so unfair, that I wish none of this ever happened, or what the hell am I going to do, or who is going to want me now? No, I refuse to cave into those thoughts because despite everything, my life is beautiful. Despite everything, I love ME enough to be true to myself. And my two beautiful children are a product of something that at one time was love, and that in itself is a rare blessing (especially in this society). Hopefully when they are grown, they will appreciate that for what it’s worth.
None of this negates what happened, it doesn’t mean I forgive or will ever forget a lot of things, but it does mean that I can honestly hold my head up and say “sorry it didn’t work out, thanks for the memories, and I wish you only the best in life.” We are shaped and molded by every person that touches our heart and every experience in life. It’s up to us whether we let them shape us for the better or the worse. I chose better, and continue on down the path of the adventure that is my life.
This morning, my 3 year old reached out for me to pick him up from the breakfast table. “I NEEEEEED you mama!” He almost whined. I picked him up with a sigh (the whining wears on me quickly), and then he looked me in the eye and said very matter of factly “and you need me too. We need each other, because we are a family”. I hugged my wise little man tightly.
Life may not have turned out the way I expected, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.