Jessica's Journey

Little challenges, big changes…

My life in a nutshell.

So here it is, the launch of the big 101 in 1001. It will be an interesting, creative, and challenging journey over the next few years, and I can’t wait to get started. But Jessica, you may ask, how did you get here? Well, in the interest of knowing thyself, I have thought a bit about that, and although the past is in the past, I decided to record it for posterity.

I was destined to be the conservative (and sane) Hilary Clinton of my generation (maybe the Condoleeza of my gen? Eek…) Intelligent, ambitious, ivy-league co-ed academic star bound, that was me. Until my senior year of high school, when real life set in. I was working full time, taking 18 credit hours of college courses, and one class at my high school, in an attempt to get ahead on the state’s dime before trying to figure out how I would live through college. See, scholarships are great and all, but they don’t cover clothing, transport, life, etc, and you’re lucky if they cover room and board. And without some financial help I wasn’t going anywhere.

So I started the next year at the local community college (full ride, hells yeah). Got an efficiency apartment of my own. And met the most dashing, romantic, creative type at the tryouts for a children’s theater production. I was in love. And before I knew it, I was married. It was fun. It was great. In a way, it was the “rebelling” that my perfect self had never participated in — after all, what could be more rebellious than miss potential CEO herself settling for an early marriage and the small time ho-hum? I switched to an art major at school, and generally just enjoyed life for a while.

Two years into the marriage I had my daughter Kayleigh, and life changed. I realized that this is what I wanted. The feeling of being a mother cannot really be described unless you’ve experienced it, but I felt as though my life were complete. Things did settle. I no longer had time for acting, or painting, or any of those things that I used to do. I took a full time job as an admin assistant to pay the bills. And darling husband kept on going as he always had.

After six years of marriage and another child, my son William, I was an accountant, busting my ass to pay the mortgage and live in the “real world”, and I was okay with that. Except for the fact that my husband was still busy jumping from part time job to part time job, dreaming of his next big opportunity, and I felt as though he was not contributing to the life I wanted to lead with our family. We realized that it wasn’t going to work. I had found happiness in my suburban soccer mom future, and he was still seeing stars and looking for the next adventure.

After the divorce I tackled life as a single mom. I was already exhausted from years of unmet expectations, but the ability to make decisions as an individual again was refreshing. Unfortunately, I can’t say thay my decisions were that great, because I immediately jumped in to an unhealthy relationship. Suffice it to say that after two years, I didn’t recognize myself. Every shred of dignity and self-confidence was gone. The dreams that I once had were all but forgotten.

With much heartache, and against my will, I took stock of my life. Slowly but surely, I began to recognize the things that had been missing from every day existence. Friendships. Spontaneity. Trust. Enjoyment. Belonging. Identity. I reached out to some old friends (thank you Frog for everything if you read this, and Lisa too!) and through them was able to reconnect with people who were supportive and could provide the relief that I needed. At this time I was also introduced to my “miracle man”, and for the first time ever realized what it meant to have a true partnership with someone. We shared many interests, some that I had forgotten I had. We could talk easily, even if we were irritated with each other. His laid back nature offset my passionate and outspoken reactionary personality. And yet I was still able to be an individual. It was (and is) amazing.

Now, tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life. By the end of March I will live in my new home, my dream home, even if it kills me (okay so I still get a little stressed). By the end of April, I will be married to the most wonderful man on earth. By the end of May, hopefully he’ll let me try to have a baby! : ) Well, okay, we’ll get to that eventually.

And beyond that…who knows. Except, I have compiled a list of all the things that I’ve always wanted to do, all the things that I said I would do if I could be the person I’ve always wanted to be. And I will get these done. In the next three years, I am going to live my life in such a way that I will never forget who I am, ever, ever again.

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