Monday, August 20, 2012

What a difference a year makes

The past two years have been full of growing experiences for me! I lost my dad to his battle with cancer, had a baby girl, had my husband leave for a deployment, then had a divorce. Following this was a year of transition. Trying to figure out life, what I wanted out of it, and what I needed to do for my kids. I started with the idea of nursing. Thinking it would take me 3 years and I would have a degree and a good job. Well when I realized the logistics of all of that and just about flunked out my second semester, I thought I should take a step back.
Honestly when I first got divorced, I thought I'll get right back on that horse and be in love and married before I know it. In fact that almost happened, I fell in love with an amazing man, picked a wedding date and thought that was going to be it. I found myself seeing red flags, and realizing that I needed more time to heal from my own divorce before I could truly move on and give myself completely to someone again. I broke things off and dealt with a lot of hurt and pain stemming from that.
This summer has been so eye opening for me. I feel like I have fully come into me, who I am, and who I want to be. I have begun to maintain a balance with being a good mom, keeping a house somewhat clean, and giving myself what I need, as well as going further with my education. I have realized that I have dreams and aspirations that were overshadowed by my marriage. Which is completely ok. When I was married, that was my sole focus. I was a wife and a mom first and above all else. I gave everything to that, and would have sacrificed anything I needed to, to ensure the happiness of my family. Now my life is different. I am a single mom, raising 3 kids on my own. I have no help, I don't get breaks every other weekend, or summers without my kids. It's us all the time. I have been blessed to have such super supportive in-laws. They have taken the kids for me a few times when I have realized that it has become to much. In order for me to be the mom I want to be and the mom my kids need, I need a break sometimes. I have found balance through all of it though.
I started to panic about a month ago, realizing my ex is getting out of the military and that will affect my whole financial situation. I have been blessed to be able to go to school without having to work. Money has been really tight, and I am living a life style far from what I was two years ago, but we are making it work, and I think in a sense I am actually happier not worrying about keeping up with the Jones' anymore. I have come into my own, realizing what is important to me at the end of the day. I don't care what amenities my car has or if I have new clothes for the fall season, I care that I am able to spend time with my kids, making them smile and laugh and ensuring their continual happiness and stability. I am working really hard in school right now to ensure that my kids have a financially stable future, and that I am able to provide them with things that I was given by my parents. I want them to be able to have a car when they turn 16, not have to worry about paying their tuition for college, and help them pay for their missions and weddings and such. This means I have to make sacrifices now for their greater good in the future. Once I realized that, things became a lot easier for me.
Recently my ex has met someone and is engaged. It has been a struggle for me, I'm not going to lie. It's hard to see someone happy when you feel like they were the ones that ruined your happily ever after. We had a future planned, ten years of life invested in it, countless sacrifices made, kids, a house, 2 dogs and a cat, the whole shebang. It was swept out from under me with no warning, and crushed my heart, I loved that man with everything I had. People change, life changes, and that's just how the cookie crumbles sometimes. I have realized that I am so happy in my life right now. Not that I wouldn't have been happy had my life not changed, but it did change, sitting back crying, playing the what if scenario's in my head and so forth does nothing.
I had the most wonderful thing happen while on the road trip I just went on. The kids were sleeping, music playing, and thoughts running through my head. That can at times be a dangerous combination, but for me in that moment it was amazing and just what I needed. 10 years with someone, it's hard to go anywhere and not have a memory there. Driving home through Wyoming yesterday I had a memory pass through my mind of a time my ex and I were driving through there. I ended up stopping at the same gas station in which over 7 years ago we stopped one night to get gas. My ex almost got in an altercation with a truck driver there, it's actually a pretty funny story. When the memory came I chuckled. In that moment I realized something in me has changed. Instead of this memory making me sad, it made me happy. I used to hate memories like that, hating that he was in my head again just wanting to break free. Memories of him brought memories of all the pain that I had to go through to get here. This is my life, the good, the bad, the past, the future, its all a part of me, and it's brought me to who I am today! I am in love with myself. I don't know that I have had that love for years. I was so caught up in trying to be who everyone else wanted and needed me to be, that I forgot who I needed myself to be. Now I have a path that I am following, and it is my path. No matter what comes, I am remaining true to myself. I don't need a relationship to make me happy, I am not closed off to the possibility of one day finding someone to love again, but instead of that being my focus, it's just kind of something in the distance that would be a bonus if it happened, it doesn't determine my happiness. I have the most amazing friends, all over the world. I have my kids and when I am with them nothing else matters. That is what this life is all about, taking what you are given and making the best out of it, making my Heavenly Father proud, and raising my children to be individuals that will make the world a better place than it was when they entered it. If that is all I do in my life, raise my children to be good Christlike people, I have done my job!