My birthday is this week. I am turning twenty-eight. My ten year high-school reunion is this coming May. It makes me think back to the girl I was a decade ago.
Ten years ago I was in my last year of high school struggling to make ends meet and living with Adam. I was head over heels in love with him, and I honestly believed we'd get married and live happily ever after. I wanted to get a BA in Theatre and teach high school or middle school theatre classes (because Adam wanted a wife who had a job outside the home, in addition to children, and who had a college degree). I had finally accepted, after 3 years of hating myself and God, that Christ was my Savior and that my abuse at the hands of a boyfriend was not God's fault. I was a newly converted Christian in a way I had never experienced before. I knew who Christ was without any of my parents' love for Him coloring my own relationship with Him. I desperately wanted to marry Adam and have children with him. I wanted a family with a strong leader of a husband, both spiritually and temporally. I wanted Adam's love and respect, but I kept undermining it by trying to be the woman I thought he wanted me to be instead of the woman I am.
Today I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have a stronger faith in Christ than I have at any other point of my life. My testimony of the Savior has withstood friends and family who didn't understand my decision to follow Christ into the waters of baptism, a divorce, and friends who didn't understand the church when I got remarried. I am married to that strong leader I've always wanted, and his name is Patrick. He loves and respects me for who I am today, and who I will be tomorrow. I know he loves me and grows towards being a better person along side me. I never did finish that college degree, and after 6 changes in major I figured out that I love Mathematics more than I did Theatre Arts. I am a stay-at-home mother with a three year old daughter. I have good days and bad days, but there is laughter and love in every day.
Ten years ago, had you told me that this would be my life now I'm not sure I would have believed you. The pain and betrayal of abuse buried so deeply in my heart and psyche would have hoped you were right, but would have whispered in the dark of night that there would never be a man worthy of the commitment and vulnerability I have with Patrick. I'm not saying he's perfect, but he's perfect for me. I would have worried that I couldn't be the loving, caring, concerned mother that I am now.
All said and done, I am happy with the woman I am and the woman I am becoming. I wouldn't change any of my mistakes because they are part of who I am now. I hope that in ten years, when I look back on being twenty-eight, I can love the woman I am now and say that I wouldn't change any of the mistakes I'll make in the coming ten years either.
Here's to living life to it's fullest. We are that we might have joy.