I was engaged at 19. I lived in a small town and it’s what you did. Except that I couldn’t. It wasn’t for me. I always had a dream of moving from my small town in Idaho to Seattle. Many summers were spent with my aunt and uncle in Seattle and I fell in love with it. I told myself and anyone that would listen, I was moving.
When I was a Senior in High School, I dated someone who was a few years older than me. He helped me through a really terrible time in my life. Mike was my rock when my family life was not good and I was also dealing with an eating disorder. A year after I graduated from High School, we moved in together. I knew deep down he would never move away, he would always want to stay there, and I felt like I was suffocating. I was going to college and working 2 jobs. One of my jobs was stressful, I worked at a Retirement Home as the Office Manager. If someone called in sick for their shift – I volunteered to fill in. I played cook, housekeeper, activity director, and resident director sometimes.
I wasn’t happy, in fact I was miserable. Our activity director gave me a Xanax one day at work and I took it. I literally zoned out in her office, tears streaming down my face for a good two hours. The next day I left and I drove around. I called my best friend who was away at school 5 hours away and next thing I knew I was driving to her. A few days later, I called another friend, I told her I had to leave him. We got her brother and husband, and the four of us went to my apartment and moved me out. It was one of the hardest things I did, but felt that’s how I needed to do it.
My fiancé at the time wasn’t a terrible person. We just wanted two different things and two different lives. I loved him but couldn’t give him what he wanted; I was 19 years old and not ready for a family. For me, there was so much more to life than being young and pregnant. I wasn’t ready for it.
A couple months later, several applications filled out and interviews conducted, I was moving. My aunt and uncle had since moved to Idaho so I knew one person there. I didn’t even care. I was going. My dad and I were slowly making amends and he helped me move.
The first year was horrible!! I was depressed. The cost of living was more than I expected so I got a second job. That job was also a way for me to meet other people. I got into more debt and I gained 40 pounds. I called my grandma’s all the time. My great grandma even sent me peanut butter cookies once to help me feel better. I remember going home to visit family. My grandma looked at me with tears in her eyes and asked me, “What’s wrong? This isn’t you.” My grandma couldn’t believe how big I had gotten. She knew I was depressed but she didn’t know how depressed I was. It was awful!!
Trying to find my happy.
I went back to Seattle and started walking. I still ate like shit and drank (I mean I did just turn 21) but I was more aware and would try to watch what I was consuming. Dating started to happen again and I was slowly getting out of my funk. I ended up moving closer to my jobs and where I was spending most of my time.
But, I still felt like I was missing something. I thought I needed a man to make me happy. I actually laugh at the thought of that now. If I went out on a date and they didn’t call me the next day, I turned into that crazy girl. Then the tears, why don’t they like me? What’s wrong with me? I was spiraling out of control. Then I met someone.
We dated off and on for two years. He was such an ass hole and an alcoholic, and I was dumb. I thought I was in love with him and we were going to be together forever. Turned out, I was staying with him because I adored his family. He sucked, but his family was awesome!!!
I tried dating again and turned into THAT girl again, I was sick of allowing myself to feel hurt. If we are being honest, I did that to myself. I played victim and I was OVER IT!!!
Turning My Life Around
I focused on my work and my friends. Yes, I still dated, but it was different this time. This was when Myspace was the thing. I met up with guys I met on freaking Myspace for cryin out loud!!! I literally stopped caring. Not about me, but if I wasn’t feelin their vibe – I told them “peace out.” I wasn’t about to let any man dictate how I felt and I wasn’t going to live my life for them or around them. Was I mean? No. But I needed to protect my heart and me.
Time to live my life for me, and I had so much fun during that time. More time was spent with my friends and doing what I wanted to do. I went back to school to finish my degree and was doing well at work.
Then they promoted me and moved me to Philadelphia….
What did I learn?
- Move away, just because you move away for a while doesn’t mean you can never go back. Experience life. Figure out who YOU are.
- Make mistakes, but learn from them.
- Live your life for YOU. If you decide to have a family later in life – you will be living your life for them.
- Only YOU can make YOU happy!!
- Cherish your friendships. Be a good friend. Don’t be an ass hole.
- Always call a cab or Uber – don’t drink and drive. How I’m still alive today is a mystery, don’t be stupid.
- Never let anyone take advantage of you. Ever.
- Call home once in a while and check in, let your family know you are still alive.
Want to see how what I’m up to today? Follow my here!