I’ve been contemplating writing this blog because I knew it would take a lot out of me emotionally, and honestly, it’s something I’ve kept private my entire life. However, if my story can help just one person, it’s worth it, so today, I want to share with y’all about how my “perfect life” came to be.
Growing up with divorced parents is really hard, especially when they don’t get along with each other. For as long as I can remember, my parents haven’t been good at communicating with each other, and as a result, I suffered. Lack of communication about their relationship already weighed on me, so I had that to deal with. Then, once I reached middle school, I was bullied daily by the “popular girls.”
Their parents were still married and resided in their Stepford cookie cutter houses in the country club of the small town where I was raised. I even had a girl that lived right down the road from me that would play with me all day and all night in our neighborhood like we were the best of friends, but if I saw her at school, she would berate me and call me nasty names with the other girls. I was so prideful that I never vented to my parents and this bullying went on for years until my mom found a note in my backpack from one of the girls. She basically wrote that I was trash because my parents worked blue collar jobs and I’d never have any friends. My mama immediately made an appointment with a therapist so I could talk to someone about what all I was going through. I shared a little with this lady but kept most of it to myself and I transformed my life elsewhere.
My mom had to work to provide for us, so this meant I had to go to afterschool care at a daycare (which was so horrible, I hated it there) or I could walk to the library when school would get out and wait for her to come pick me up when she left work. No matter what had happened that day, my mood would instantly change when I opened a book. I would read a book a day, and I became such a fast reader from sitting at the library every day. I made myself a quiet little corner with this old bean bag and I would just sit and read for hours. Reading will always be my first love. It helped me get through some hard years, and to this day, it can calm me when there is a lot going on and I’ve let anxiety creep back in.
As the years went by and high school approached, things started to change. This girl with long blond hair started to grow into a young woman with a perfect body from playing tennis, and the boys started to take notice. Of course, at this point, my sister had moved to a town a few hours away so my mom would go and take care of her children during the week and weekend while she would work, and this left me staying at home for days by myself. Around this time, I started making girl friends, and guys who picked on me for so many years started paying attention to me. I started going to high school parties with lots of drinking involved. My mom started to notice and tried to put her foot down, but I would walk all over her because if I knew if she was gone, she really couldn’t enforce any rules. I would take my car and pack my cooler in the trunk and ride dirt roads all night with people I thought were my friends. As a mom myself, I feel horrible about the way I disrespected my mother. It also makes me fearful about having teenagers of my own.
The partying only became more intense as I got older. I turned into a social butterfly, loving the attention I would get from everyone. The attention I craved from my parents, the attention I craved from having friends was all given to me in a pretty little bow in the form of alcohol. It would make me feel as if I was the queen of the world. By this time I was a senior in high school with a fake ID that would get me into any bar or club I wanted. I would party all night and show up at school for class hung over and sleep through my first period. I was so smart that I had completed all of my credits for college the year before, and my senior year consisted of 4 classes that basically meant nothing and I could come and go as I pleased.
My SAT score was 1490 and helped me get accepted at many different colleges, but I picked FMU because at this point, I was already going out in that town and I had formed “friendships,” so I felt comfortable. I had a full ride my freshman year, but I didn’t appreciate it whatsoever. Instead of applying myself, I was going out pretty much every night of the week, and I had a constant flow of girls at my apartment who I thought were my friends but obviously were only there for the party. I ended up losing my scholarship, and it was one of the worst experiences of my life.
I took out student loans to finish school and worked my ass off while I wasn’t at school. I became a nanny, and at one point, I was keeping 5 different families children just to pay my rent. I’ve worked so many types of jobs; I feel like I have formed so many life skills that I’ve become a know it all. I had different relationships with guys which failed miserably because I would fall for the guys who couldn’t be more wrong for me. Partying consumed my life. I felt such a high from being out and having every one want to talk to me and pay me attention that it was hard for me to not be there. I had a fear of missing out.
I started working out (because years of binge drinking and late night fast food eating caught up to me) and changing my circle of friends after a bad breakup. A few months later, I was out one night and spotted Derrek. We had met previously through a mutual friend, but that night we started talking and didn’t stop. I say we’ve been glued to each other ever since. He was a chiropractor at the beach and after being around him for months, I started learning things that have changed my life into what it is now. I’ve turned into this naturalist because I was presented with the information and it made sense to me. It’s as easy as that. It’s not a façade, it’s not a show, it’s who I am now. People change, and I’m so glad I have. I became pregnant with Nolan and our lives changed even more and since then I haven’t been a big drinker like I used to do.
I have written this blog with the hopes to inspire you. My entire life I was trying to fill a void from my parents being so disconnected, from having no friends and being picked on for so many years, and once I got that attention from partying it became a drug I couldn’t let go of. I was so horribly broken I couldn’t see that how I was trying to cope with my problems wasn’t working at all.
I thank God daily for Derrek because his presence in my life quite literally changed everything. When I say I have a perfect life, please don’t misunderstand. It’s not because everything goes right and everything is actually perfect; it’s my way of saying that what I went through gave me this. God drug me through that mess so I could fully appreciate what I have today. I found someone who actually cares about me and loves me so much that we are together 24/7. We have five small children who drive us crazy but fill our hearts with so much love we couldn’t imagine being away from them. We work ourselves to death so we can stay at home together and be together. Running a business is hard, and it’s a million times harder when you work at home and around your children. Things happen, bills come up, customers are needy, etc., etc., but I’ve learned not to sweat the small stuff. If my journey to this point has taught me anything, I’ve learned that GOD HAS GOT ME. I will always be protected because I am His, but I have to remind myself of that and know it in my heart.
When I was younger, I couldn’t see it. I didn’t understand that someone greater loved me and now I do. All the shame I felt during those times has helped make me into a better person. Did I make bad choices when I was younger? YES! Does that make me a fake because of who I am now? NO. Who I was 10, 5, 2 years or even 1 year ago is always going to be different from me in my present state because I am always changing and growing. It is super important for me to look back and see how life was versus how it is now because it helps me appreciate and KNOW God has a plan for me. He loves me no matter what I’ve done or will do in the future, and NO ONE can take that away from me.
This is the same for each and every single one of you that are reading this. God loves you and it doesn’t matter what mistakes you’ve had of your own, asking for forgiveness is all you can do. I think part of trusting God is looking to the future with excitement, not worry and dread. We know that He is going to work out everything for his good, and in that joy is found. We are all perfectly imperfect people loved by a perfect God.