FYI this is a book. Do you remember that movie from the 80’s where a group of friends reunite after many years and the entire film revolves around one pivotal summer? That’s today’s theme as I revisit my past- except it includes many pivotal seasons, with friends- except you’re my friends, some old and some new.
It feels pretty fitting today being International Women’s Day and me reliving moments that heavily revolve around women literally saving my life in certain moments. This is for them and for you.
Perhaps it’s a defense mechanism we use to protect ourselves from getting too close, but sometimes it’s just easier for us to put others in a box of expectations, like four walls full of assumptions that are usually far from the actual truth. At the end of the day we’re all more alike than we are different and we’re all moving through something. I think the more we share our stories the more we can help one another. Here’s some of mine
15 and pregnant
I was actually 15 when I got pregnant with Corrine and 16 when I had her. I lost all my friends, my HS gently asked me to leave and continue my studies from home, and I disappointed every single person I respected.
What I learned– no one gets to decide YOUR life but you. I fought to keep Corrine when my family wanted me not to have her (ps they LOVED her when she was born. Not the point). I fought to finish my HS education and graduated a year early with the Presidential Award and a scholarship. So when someone tells you that you can’t do something, tell them to watch you, and then strut your ass away like you’re on the brightest most biggest lit runway of life.
Leaving a love.
Whether you’re ending a marriage, breaking up with your significant other, or fleeing in the middle of the night because your life depends on it, you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do. I left a marriage, I left a relationship, and each time it didn’t get easier. What helped is when friends (lookin’ at you Kiki) took us in and let us stay with them when we had no where to go and I didn’t want us to sleep in our car again.
What I learned- leave before it’s too late. Before you hate each other, before it becomes too toxic that you no longer respect one another enough to be decent. Before you throw wrenches or take a fist to the face, before you can’t leave. Ask for help, reach out to a friend or a family member, say something. Don’t stay because it’s comfortable, because you think you need them, because you don’t.
Child custody and being broke af
I fought for years for Corrine to be in my custody. I fought by myself and for myself. He had a lawyer, a really good one. I had no one and nothing but 2 jobs, a mattress on the floor, a broken tv, and a shit ton of debt. Did I mention I was running from the repo company for a year? And I did it because I had this little human looking up at me depending on me for coping skills and I swear you can do it too. When I had no love left for myself I still showed her love. Even when I felt like I had none to give and was worthy of none in return, she made me the woman I am today.
What I learned- I have to love myself for Corrine to ever know what love looks like or feels like. It’s so important the things we say to ourselves when no one is listening. I had to lean on women in my life for them to see the light in me (and show it to me) when I couldn’t find it in myself. Lean on friends, check in on the strong ones- they probably need it most, and I hope you love yourself more than anyone could ever love you.
Life today- meeting Joe and the happily ever after
Joe’s the first relationship I’ve ever been in where I feel safe. Safe to be myself, to feel my crazy, to be insecure, to be outrageous and uncontrollable. You’re worth someone that will only compliment your happiness and never control your life or determine your worth.
What I learned- how to get out of debt, how to set goals as a team, how to BE a team mate, how to stop trying to control everything. How to let go… oh ya, did I tell you I’m a type A control freak? In all seriousness, the worries I had as a single mom don’t hurt me anymore and to be honest I’m still coping with that reality. It’s another life not having to live like someone’s gonna take everything away from me if I don’t hold it tightly. Joe brings that security to our family, the feeling of grounding which is so important. I’m super independent but I can finally let that feeling like we could starve or be homeless go. We haven’t struggled like that in years but it’s still hard for me to realize that I’m not struggling any more, I mean I still struggle, but it’s different. We all struggle.
I know that was a lot but I really wanted to share some things and to also tell you that you’re not alone. Take from this BOOK of a post what you need. And if you need to hear that it’ll be okay I promise it will.
Tell me something pivotal in your life and what you learned.