As I write this, I sit in my backyard. Just one line of the ever-growing list of reasons why I love my life today.
How much has changed in a year.
Every day, a delivery comes with some new addition to my forever home.
It looks amazing. I want people to come visit so that they can tell me that I am a design genius. My desire to make new friends is fueled by this one purpose.
The only bane of my existence is the fact I have more furniture to assemble. But at least I know, when I swear, sweat, and throw screws and boxes everywhere in frustration, that on e it's done, it will all be worth it.
Everyone has a list of items they would love to add to their home. Mine has been steadily growing since I was 18 and newly engaged. My first set of furniture was a mixed bag of hand-me-downs from my mother in law and my parents. Our walls were so stark and bare that I bought posters to hang on them. I've only owned one house, and while I loved certain aspects of it, namely the kitchen and the pool, it was far from my dream house.
This is my dream house. Its not huge...only 2100 sq feet. But it's laid out beautifully, and we are leasing it, which means that in two to four years, it will be my name on the deed.
It's been an interesting journey, the past 15 years since I graduated high school.
An unexpected first child, and his battle with Aspergers.
Two long deployments to Iraq, as I managed to deal with two young boys, not knowing how to teach them to become men on my own.
Three moves in Georgia, three years in Alaska, and four years in New York. It was those last four that made me lose any hope for my dreams.
And then I lost everything that my life was. In a split second, one text message ripped my life apart and sliced clean through my heart. It drowned me in the continuous ocean of sorrow, despair, grief and confusion.
But it presented me with the opportunity to get rid of all the chains that were wrapped around me. All the things I couldn't say or acknowledge. All the lies. All that suffocated me.
And, on June 8th, my husband will be out of the army, and all three of my boys will join me in this wonderful life that I've created on the other side of the country.
I support us now.
It means so much to me to be able to know that I was the one who did everything the wrong way...and got the looks of disappointment from my family for getting knocked up and married, with two sons before I was legally allowed to take my first drink.
I, who lived on $14k a year with a family, having to donate plasma to have the luxury of going out to eat.
I, who in my first year of adulthood, managed to fuck it all up before I even had a chance to spread my wings and try to fly.
And now, I make more than my sisters, who, in my shadow, tried to do everything right. I don't think it was a conscious choice for them to try to stick it to me, but that's the way I made myself feel.
I watched as my best friends, one by one, moved west, leaving me behind. And I wondered what I had done.
And so I've lived my life wondering how to get back to that time, so I didn't have to watch my life pass me by.
But I caught up to it.
And I grabbed at my chance when it came, so fiercely determined that I will not let those 15 years be in vain.
I hung curtains this weekend, by myself. I enjoy my nightly happy hour, smiling at nothing and no one as I sit and look at what I've accomplished. I was scared, when I left. Scared of what I was leaving and if this would turn out to be another misstep.
Would it be what I dreamed, or like everything else, was it going to be a disappointment?
I'm so happy.
I know that I won't always be.
The most we can hope for in life is contentment.
There will always be a battle to fight. Always be good and bad, happiness and sadness.
But today I am enjoying my happiness, knowing I haven't felt this good in my entire life.