I've come to learn that life isn't always what you think it will be. If you asked me at age 20 what I thought my life would look like in 5 or 10 years down the road this is certainly not what I would have envisioned.
Please don't get me wrong, I love and care about my husband, but I also think there is a certain part of me that will always wonder "what if." There is a part of me that will always care about and wonder about how my life could or might have been different if decisions were altered. I'm not sure if this is "normal" or not. I would like to think that it is.
In my past I have been in some relationships that were not exactly what I would describe as being "healthy." My first fiance was not a good man. We started dating right before I turned 17 years old. I thought for sure he was "the one." (Thank God I figured that one out before it was too late!) Things went well between us for a while. He treated me very well up until I caught him cheating on me with his ex. He didn't sleep with her, but there were emails back and forth between them where he told her how much he missed her, loved her, and wished I were her instead. This all occurred right after I turned 18, and I was a senior in high school. At this point, he had also already asked me to marry him, and naively (or stupidly) I had said yes. Also by this time the emotional abuse had started. He called me names and put me down a lot and I believed him. Because of him I had changed my college plans. I decided to go to a local university instead of out of state like I really wanted. Then it all kind of blew up in my face. A few months later he cheated on the ex who he had gotten back together with, with me. Part of me just wanted to prove that I could get him back while another part of me was lonely and scared of being alone. This, in turn, caused them to break up and I took him back. Long story short, I ended up moving in with him and things were okay for a while again. Because of the emotional abuse I had already endured from at this point, I really thought I couldn't do any better and no one else would want me. Again, the emotional abuse started and not long after the emotional abuse, the physical abuse began as well. The first time he ever hit me was when I called his ex a "slut." That should have been a red flag for me. He slapped me across the face hard enough that I ended up on the floor. Of course he promised he would never do it again and said he was sorry. I think he even bought me flowers the next day. (My God... it seems so cliche.) Time went on and I kept taking it until some online friends of mine really drew my attention to how wrong I was being treated. They really gave me the courage to leave him and strike out on my own. With this ex I do not wonder about what might have been. I don't care. I know he wasn't good for me and I know that I deserve better than any type of life he could ever offer me. End. Of. Story.
The next relationship is where things definitely linger even now. A few months after me and the asshole fiance numero uno called it quits I met another guy. He was younger than me, but we really seemed to click. I was 20 and he was 18 at the time. We had a lot in common and could talk to each other for hours on end on the phone. He made me feel happy and special and loved. We were in a long distance relationship as he lived in Missouri and I lived in Kansas. In the end, the distance was our biggest downfall, that and all the baggage I had from my previous relationship that I was still trying to work through. He found someone that lived closer and we remained friends. Most of the time we were "friends" if you get what I mean. Even when he was in other relationships he would still come to me. I still cared deeply about him and loved him that I took whatever scraps he was willing to throw my way. Nope, it wasn't a healthy relationship (for either of us), but that's neither here nor there at this point. I ended up moving to Missouri to attend college (which had always been my dream) and we continued our "friendly" relationship. God how I loved him. To this day I'm not sure if he knows just how much I really cared. I dated some in college, but the whole time I kept wishing and hoping that one day he would come to me and tell me he was sorry for everything and that he wanted to be with me. That day didn't come and I eventually met Thayer.
And the rest is history... kinda. In some ways he is the one relationship I feel I didn't really get closure with. Maybe it is due to the nature of our relationship. Maybe it's how everything turned out with him and his now ex and me and Thayer getting married so quickly. I'm not really sure. Sometimes I do wonder "what if" and think about "what might have been." Is it normal? I supposed to some extent it is. Do I still care about him? Yes, he is and will forever be my friend. Do I love him? Again, yes. Do I love him differently than I did in the past? Yes and no. Am I sometimes confused about my feelings? Yep... but I'm trying to work through that and figure things out. Hey... I'm just being honest here. Do I love my husband? Yes. Does he drive me nuts a lot of the time? YES!!! Would I change my life and that path I'm currently on? I don't know, life is a work in progress.
Things are a little weird now that I'm living in Missouri again. This is my old college stomping ground. This where I found freedom and independence. It's weird now to be back and be married and no longer have all those same freedoms. Life doesn't always turn out the way you expect it to. The road of my life has been met with storms, pot holes, speed bumps, twists, turns, and mountains.... but I'm still here trying to make it through and trying to make the best out of everything I've been given. Yes, I get discouraged. Yes, I get knocked off track. Yes, I get scared and sometimes don't know which way to go or turn... but I try. I guess that's what makes the difference. Trying and sucking things up no matter what road blocks come up.