A little more than a year ago I was living with my boyfriend in his parents' pool house. We were both 26 and had moved in for the summer in lieu of figuring out what to do next with our lives (i.e. classic millennial quarter-life crisis.) He had a car but we both worked 20 minutes away with opposite schedules. I had recently admitted (to myself) that I was in $6,000 worth of credit card debt and currently way past the interest-free first year.
No apartment. No car. No money. NO GOOD.
My relationship of three years was starting to show cracks. Issues were starting to erupt into the open and nothing felt right. We didn't want the same things but we didn't know how to be without each other. After two months in the pool house we agreed that some time apart might be the right next move. Spoiler alert: we broke up two months after I moved out.
In the months leading up to this time, my parents' 30-year marriage imploded. My mom suddenly moved three hours away without a goodbye to my sister and I. Meanwhile my father made us painfully aware of the personal hell this put him into. This is when I signed myself up for therapy...
A year ago I moved into an apartment with my best friend and left my boyfriend back in our home town. I was car-less so we picked a place less than a mile from my job and I walked. Sometimes I biked. I worked 40 hours a week and picked up a second job - I saw no possible way to pay down my debt otherwise. I took the bus to that job 3 days a week and relied on friends to get home.
Written out so plainly - this could almost be the setting for this year's new *best seller*. A chick-lit beach read, for sure. But alas, truth is stranger than fiction.
The aforementioned summary is just a snapshot of "before." In the past year I got out of a relationship that wasn't working. I created a home in a new apartment and became closer with my best friend than ever before. I paid off all my credit card debt. I bought a car. I tried to make peace with my parents and encouraged my sister to do the same. And very recently I got a new job that relates to my field of study... probably the biggest miracle of all.
A year ago everything was bad. I knew I was making choices to work toward something better- but it seemed so far away. The past year has been scary and painful and exciting and fulfilling. There were so many times I felt like I was doing it all wrong and that it would never be right. But today marks a year that I've been in my new apartment and I can see that I am new now, too.
This is a place where I can write about how I got to this point - and where I'm going next.
DISCLAIMER: This is my interpretation of said events. This is how these experiences felt in my mind and body. In some of these situations (like my parents' divorce) I wasn't a key player - and the other players may take issue with how I write about that time. But this story is from my point of view. This is a space to write down all the overflowing heaps of thoughts inside my brain - however they present themselves. This is how I make sense of the world. This is my story. All this shit really happened...so why pretend it didn't?
And while I may write about the difficult times I went through, that doesn't mean I'm unaware of the millions of other struggles that happen around me every day. The struggle is part of the story. I know I'm #blessed in so many ways.