Life isn’t easy.
We all pretty much know this to be true (I know, I know – thank you, captain obvious, amiright?), but sometimes it can be so much harder than anticipated. And that just plain sucks when you’re already anticipating a shitstorm.
I’ve been through my fair share of twists and turns in my life; some of them were easier to navigate than others, but all of them were hard. You’re not taught how to live life knowing the hardships that are going to come your way – because you don’t know what hand you’re going to be dealt. You don’t know which fork in the road will be yours or which route is the best choice. It’s impossible.
But one thing I have learned in my twenty-something years of life is to expect the unexpected.
I pictured my cookie-cutter life as a little girl – you know, white picket fence, charming husband, happy and healthy children running around, good, solid job to help pay for said life. So I stayed the course: I graduated high school, went to college, dated, got engaged, graduated college, got married, and continued down the path I saw myself taking for forever. But then life happened and it all fell apart.
I didn’t get the degree I initially sought after. Instead, I ended up in a field completely unrelated to my initial goal. And I didn’t live a happily-ever-after married life. Instead, I ended up divorced, living with my brother and his girlfriend, questioning everything.
Life has been anything but smooth sailing, but it was never promised to be such. Instead of all those things I longed for and saw myself doing, life is totally different right now. I’m happily married but not currently living with my husband whom I absolutely love and cherish more than anything, we have a newborn baby boy, and I am technically “homeless”. I pretty much live out of my car because I don’t know whose house Landon and I will be staying at from day to day. That’s not to say that I don’t have options, because I absolutely do and am unbelievably grateful for that. I’m not trying to minimize anyone else’s situation, but I’m currently in a place I never, ever anticipated or saw for myself and my family. It’s all completely unexpected.
I never dreamed I’d be divorced. And then it happened. Less than three years of marriage, and my then-husband whispered those awful words to me and meant them oh so seriously. And just like that, I was divorced and became a statistic I dreaded and hated.
I never dreamed I’d ever move back home to live with my parents. And then it happened. Twice. And ironically, neither of those times was because of the divorce.
I never dreamed of living in an RV. And then it happened. I moved in with Cory while he was living in his fifth wheel.
I never dreamed of being happily married but NOT living with my husband. And then it happened. We’re still house hunting, but in the meantime, Landon and I are living with my parents and Cory is in the fifth wheel closer to work. So, I bounce around from here and there and everywhere to unpack, wash clothes, repack, repeat. Week to week, it’s kind of just happening and I’m doing my best to take it as it comes.
I never dreamed of commuting to work. And then it happened. It started several years ago when I met Cory and moved back home, and it hasn’t stopped. I currently drive over an hour and a half to work every morning unless I stay with my sister for the night. Otherwise, I’m loading Landon in the car to make the long drive to daycare and then my office.
I never dreamed I’d know a love like this. And then it happened. The love I feel for and receive from Cory is totally indescribable and I am unbelievably blessed to have him by my side. He leaves me breathless and always makes me laugh. I never dreamed I deserved a love like this.
I never dreamed that today, this is what my life would look like. Divorced, remarried and happier than ever, with the sweetest baby boy I could’ve ever hoped for, and living with my parents. And, you guessed it, then it happened. This IS what my life looks like, but it’s because reality was different than my dreams. Because of all the unexpected in my life, I’m stronger, braver, more self-aware, content, more confident, and much happier than I ever could’ve even begin to have imagined I would or even could be. Each and every step of the way, I stayed positive and knew that I’d be okay – that each risk would be worth it in the end. The moves, the loves, the friends that have come and gone along the way. Because of each of these things, I am who I am today, and I am loved. I am happy. I am living my fullest life that looks nothing like what I thought it would.
And I’m okay.
Not only that, but I’m better than okay! I’m happy, and I’m reaching new heights because of all the unexpected that’s come my way throughout the years. Yes, it’s been a long, hard journey, but the happiness and joy that has stemmed from it all is unbelievably worth it.
I got unexpected time with my parents in my adult life and got to know them on a much deeper level. The relationship I have with them wouldn’t be what it is today (amazing!) if it weren’t for living with them again as an adult.
I unexpectedly learned exactly what is important in life by moving into a fifth wheel with my boyfriend. I didn’t need the stuff I always thought I did. I learned what I can live without, and it was absolutely freeing.
I unexpectedly found TRUE LOVE post-divorce. If not for the divorce, I wouldn’t know what love really looked like and could feel like. I wouldn’t know what love should be. If not for the divorce, we wouldn’t have Landon.
I also unexpectedly learned so much about myself over these past few years. I’ve learned to be strong and when to fall apart. I’ve learned just how much I can take until I break. I’ve been pushed to and past my limits on more than one occasion, and it’s taught me how to handle what is thrown at me.
And I unexpectedly learned to be vulnerable. Divorce, moves across the country, financial crisis after financial crisis, I’ve had to ask for help from so many people, thus learning of my vulnerability and when and why it’s important.
So expect the unexpected. But not only that. Take it a step further and appreciate the unexpected. Because you never know where it’s going to take you or what it’ll teach you, and it might just be better than your wildest dreams.