Yesterday was a hard day. I was overwhelmed. My three year-old is struggling right now, and he’s showing it by not listening, acting out, and normal three-year old things.
But…I also have a newborn that’s working on sleep habits and spitting up fairly regularly still…sooo….I’m out of patience, and while my medication has helped take the edge off, I’m not 100%, honestly, I’m probably hovering at around the 50% mark on a good day.
And yesterday wasn’t good.
As I was trying to comfort my baby, while getting after my toddler for not picking up–and then throwing his toys across the room–my thoughts kept circling back to one thing, “This isn’t how my life was supposed to look.”
I think we all have moments where we picture our future. And realistically, I think very few of us actually have the exact life we picture. And yeah, sometimes that fucking sucks. But…who really needs a massive, perfect house? (And a maid to clean it because, I would need one.)
If I could tell high school me–who thought she had it all planned out-anything, everything, I don’t think she would believe me.
First: About that boy you’re convinced you’ll marry.
You won’t. And trust me, sweetie, that is so okay. Why you would want to marry someone who can’t even commit in high school is beyond me, but we were an idiot when it comes to him. Just because you hafve history-6 years of on and off history-with someone doesn’t mean you’ll marry him. Or that you should.
This one takes some time to reconcile with, and yeah…you’re gonna get trashed on the night you find out he got engaged. Which was a school night, and the hangover the next day probably wasn’t really worth it, but it’s okay, because it was a major chapter of your life closing.
But…the guy you marry. He’s worth the wait. He makes it apparent why every asshole, and to be honest, most of them prior to him were, wasn’t the right guy. The guy you marry…one, he’s hot. (And has aged much better than the guy you thought you were gonna marry.) But more importantly, he’s patient, understanding, loves you in a way that honestly takes your breath away. And it takes a while for you to accept that, because of a lot of things, but man…this guy, let me tell you…
Second: About those babies…
When you’re picturing your perfect life with aforementioned Guy You Think You’ll Marry, you picture life close to your hometown with three babies: two sons and a girl. And of course, they’re sweet, blue-eyed, dark-haired, babies. Well-behaved, because apparently you forgot about your own personality. Kids that you’ve bonded with, and you want to be around enough to consider staying home with them. You know labor will hurt, but you think you can do pregnancy and labor three times.
You can’t. Labor and delivery are hard as fuck on you, in part because your pelvis apparently is a sharp turn, and tight. But also because of early labor. And…pregnancy and the hormonal onslaught that comes with it aren’t kind to you. Additionally, postpartum depression is your reality, whether you wanted it to be or not.
And those babies you pictured. Well…two boys, yes. But that’s all you’re getting. (I’m still struggling to reconcile myself with the fact I won’t have a daughter, but I’m sure we’ll get there.) And…the big one at least, is a toe-headed blonde, with huge blue eyes, and your personality all over again. The stubbornness, while frustrating, is a strength for him. But more importantly, he’s the best parts of you and your husband: he’s kind, friendly, strong-willed, and smart. He’s nothing I pictured, but everything I should have wanted.
And the little one, well, his personality is still developing. But…he looks like you: for now. Dark hair, round cheeks, and grey-blue eyes. And a sweet smile that comes when you least expected it, and gave you a respite from the dark thoughts that have plagued you since before he was born. I have no doubt that, like his big brother, he’ll be more than you ever could have imagined.
As for staying home with them: sorry honey, that’s not in our personality, and our job is a defining part of ourself. And that’s okay.
Third: Your Friends…
The high school group I ran with…I thought for sure we’d be in each others’ weddings and each others’ babies lives. Even though our friendship had it’s toxic moments, I expected that we would continue it to adulthood because we were so close and we did help each other through some shit.
Life changes. And friendship in adulthood looks vastly different. Remember to always give people a chance, but that you don’t have to allow yourself to be treated like shit just because it’s someone you consider a friend.
Which brings me to…
Man. We have a looooong history of underselling ourself. And this is something I’m still working on. A great counselor, man, and support system are helping me get there.
The biggest things I’ve learned are: it’s okay to ask for help. You’re better than you think you are. The negative voice in your head? Yeah…it’s generally full of shit.
This is a hard battle and it doesn’t miraculously just get better. Self-esteem has been a battle, and it doesn’t get better just because you turn 20, or 25, or…I’m sure even when we turn 30.
And finally, Fifth: Life in General
My dearest high school self, you think everything will fall into place and everything will magically be easy and good and happy.
I wish I could tell you it’s like that. It’s not.
But things do work out how they’re supposed to. Not without rough patches, or hard times, or “why the fuck does this always happen to me?!” moments. There will be seasons of your life that it feels like nothing is ever going to work out, but it leads you to where I really, earnestly believe we are supposed to be.
So no, it’s not what it was “supposed to be” or “supposed to look like.” It’s so much more. It’s better. It’s harder. It’s beautiful and chaotic, and fulfilling and exhausting; it’s stressful and overwhelming, but it’s also more than you ever could have dreamed up.
And even on the very worst of your worst days–and yeah, those are fucking doozies–you have moments where you’re so fucking thankful for where you are and what you have.
On the days where life doesn’t seem to make sense or be working out for you, know that somewhere a future version of yourself is writing about why it really fucking did.