So how did I get here?
When I ask myself that question I almost laugh, because it seems like I’ve asked myself that very thing thousands of times over the last ten years. The honest answer is: I have no idea. But that doesn’t make for much of a blog post, so I’ll try to give you the abridged version. I loved Colorado as my home, and I had no desire to come to Utah. In fact, I hated the idea. But as things worked out (ironically, as they often do in life,) I found myself in Utah attending BYU, anticipating the “normal” life of a Mormon college-aged girl. I didn’t want to get married right away, mainly out of a need to prove I wasn’t the stereotype. But I was in no hurry to finish school either, because if I finished without being married then what in this big wide world would I do with myself?! Corporate ladder, shmorporate ladder. I didn’t care about a career. All I really wanted was to stay at home and be a mom.
Five days after my 22nd birthday (and before finishing school, phew!), I was married. I actually thought I had done pretty well making it to 22- not too young, not too old, I could have all my kids by the time I was 30 and spend the rest of my life gaining back my pre-pregnancy body. I’d be a young grandma, I could travel with my husband once the kids moved out, we could serve a mission, everything seemed to be pretty much on track.
I spent the next five years learning that reality is harsh, that expectations are not always met, that some people will deceive you, that some apologies never come, that it is actually terrifying when things don’t work out the way you thought they would. In fact, I NEVER thought this life would happen to me. How did I get here???
But I also learned what love is (and what it’s not). I learned that I am strong enough to make difficult & scary choices. I learned how to stand up for myself and what I think is right. I learned the importance of having people in your life that support you. I learned to stop comparing my life to others’. And I learned that life, for most people, doesn’t look like what they thought it should.
And NOW I’m learning that that’s actually okay! Like, it’s okay that I’ve lived in Utah for the last 13 years when I never wanted to be here in the first place. And, it’s okay that I’m divorced and a single mom, because I don’t even care about those labels anymore. And guess what? I’m 30 now, and I only have one kid. My body probably won’t bounce back after babies in my 30’s the way it did at 24. If I do get lucky enough to have any more children I’ll probably be a very old grandma to their kids. But all of that is okay, in fact it’s more than okay, because I can’t even tell you how much I love that little girl of mine. Motherhood is the best thing that’s happened to me so far. I’m so grateful –every day– for the chance I get to be her mom. And living in Utah has led me to finding an incredible group of girlfriends, and a boyfriend who does so many things for me I couldn’t even begin to list them. And if we have more kids someday and my body doesn’t bounce back quite the same way, I’m pretty sure he’ll still love me.
So from what I can tell, how I got here matters less than the fact that I’m here. And I’m actually better off for it. I’m so grateful for this life, and I can only hope that I get the opportunity to see what’s next for me, because I think it’s going to be really, really good.