20 Years Ago

03 May 2016

Twenty years ago today I was a seventeen year old bride, scared to death but excited for the future. At this point exactly 20 years ago I was in a hotel with my new husband having a mental freak out because all of a sudden I wasn't supposed to be a kid anymore. We had a baby on the way and out of nowhere it slammed into me that we were now supposed to be adults and our own unit. We were expected to raise someone else. It was a lot to absorb. Even though I was worried about the future and how exactly life was going to work, I was happy because I had this person who loved me. I thought that's what happiness was supposed to look like. 

Fifteen years ago today I was in tears most of the day. The marriage this day commemorated was in trouble and I knew it. I had learned a lot in the years since "I do". I was the mother to two absolutely amazing children. Life was a struggle, but we sort of got by. I tried to count my blessings, but I was not the wife I was expected to be. My heart hurt because happiness was a concept I didn't grasp anymore. I wasn't a great mom. I was depressed and lost, all because I thought the only way to be happy was to be loved by a man, to be living some sort of fairy tale that eluded me. I knew life was not that way for me, for us, and I was miserable for so many reasons. 

I had it all wrong. 

Tonight there are a few tears as I type, not from sadness for where I am now, but from relief the person I was five years ago is long gone.Why has past me a memory and something I will never be again? It's because the power of I. 

“I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.” ~ Groucho Marx
I figured out happiness isn't about a man loving you. It's not about a big house, having all the money in the world, or raising perfect kids. Those things don't make you happy, it comes from within us. Figuring that out was a game changer for me. Guess what happened? I became someone I am proud of. I am an amazing mother. Have a job I love. Am finally going to college after years of believing it was impossible. I accomplished a dream by becoming an author. I am strong, so much stronger than I ever believed. I am smart. Funny. Kind. I am blessed with the most incredible family and friends who support and love me unconditionally. I found myself and guess what? I. Am. Happy. Life still throws curve balls. Depression still sucks. Not every day is perfect, most are far from it. Even so, I am happy. It's a life changer. So, on a day I once dreaded and viewed all about loss, I now celebrate. I am no longer a sad, scared girl. Twenty years later I am a fierce, strong, HAPPY woman. I really doesn't get better than that.

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