The benefit of having over 8 years of your life documented on a old live journal, is that whenever you feel the need to relive your past you can. Every angst-filled, toe-cringing, my god-was-I-really-that-ridiculous moment is there in black and white (and the occasional pink sparkly text). So a few days ago, I combed through the archives looking for some old entry on a old vacation I took and stumbled across the entries following my break-up with my high school boyfriend. A year of heart break spilled over entry after entry. Part of it was slightly amusing, I mean the melodrama of it all! Part of it reminded me just how little perspective you really have as a teenage girl. But most of all, I just ached for my 18 year old self, because I remember exactly what if felt like to be the girl who once wrote, "I am positive I will never ever find anyone else to love again."
I can't tell you exactly what it was about him that made me want to be with him, but I can tell you he really made me laugh at a time in my life when I walking around with a fake smile everyday. At 14, everything was so incredibly hard. I was living in a house where I literally never spoke to my stepfather, my father was treating me horridly, and my anxiety and depression felt incredibly isolating. But once I met him, I felt less alone. Soon we were staying up every night talking till the sun rose, and on my bad days I would just call him and cry for hours without fearing judgment. And after I talked to him, I always felt better. We soon spoke of getting married in the future, and what we would name our kids (and I realize that was a little silly for our ages). And on the eve before Thanksgiving in 2002, I lost my virginity to him in my bedroom at my grandmother's house. Although I had always promised myself I would wait, we really loved each other and even after we broke up, I have never regretted it.
After we had dated 4 years, the dynamic of our relationship started to shift. I was not the same wounded girl that he had met years earlier. I was no longer depressed, no longer needy. He had always been my protector, my shoulder to cry on. He could no longer fill that role, and we started to lose who we were as a couple. Plus, he was in college, had new friends, and had less time to devote to me. At first, I really didn't mind, but as time went on, he really began neglecting me. Eventually I got tired of arguing with him, and just decided I would just take any time he was willing to give me. But once I realized I was just settling I knew it was time to move on.
So on a quiet, summer morning I broke up with him. I cried, he cried, but we both agreed it was for the best. And for the first few days I was fine, and then it hit me like a ton of bricks, and I changed my mind. But he was standing firm, and insisted we needed to not talk to each other for a while, to be able to move on. But that was hard for me. So I would promise him I wouldn't cry, if he would just call me, so he would call, and the minute I heard his voice, I would fall apart. I still had his email password, so I was obsessively reading his sent email, and he had told someone he was kind of "relieved" about the whole thing. I was devastated, but now I understand that was only male bravado.
For six months, I could not stop crying or spewing melancholy over my blog. And it probably took a year and a half before I had fully recovered. And I strongly believed I had missed my chance at lasting love, but ironies of ironies I had already met the man who would be my husband. And when Adam came into focus, he filled a niche that wasn't based on loneliness or neediness. Things just flowed so easily for us from day one. Pure and simple.
I know I get really schmoopy on here a lot when I talk about my husband. But I just love him so unabashedly. And sometimes in the really quiet moments, like when we are cuddling on the couch or just driving down the road, I feel so overwhelmed by how much I love this man. Adam has given me something I have never had my entire life-stability. And he has taught me what I never really believed, "Growing up in a broken family doesn't necessarily mean you won't have a good marriage.” I don't know what I did to deserve this kind of love, but I know how blessed I am.
A big part of me really wants to go back in time and tell my younger self that it will be ok. That her life will be so much different and brilliant than she could ever imagine But I know myself, and my younger self would never believe my older self.