It’s 2017, a new year and a new start. I’m 22 years old, looking back over the last few years of my life and it’s funny how nothing is how I imagined it.
Three years ago, I was preparing for my wedding. At only 19 years old, I’d often wondered why I had been one of the ‘lucky ones’ who found their life partner at a young age. To me, it meant we had all the time in the world to figure it out together. It meant there was no rush to do all the things we wanted to do, go to all of the places we wanted to see.
Two years ago I had spent my 21st birthday on holiday with my husband. Whilst sipping cocktails in the sun, I felt incredibly blessed that may life had come together exactly as I’d hoped. We had plans to start a family, buy a house and build a home for us all to grow.
Our plans felt natural. Normal. It had never occurred to me that I would want anything else. After all this was the dream, right? You’d meet the man of your dreams who wanted exactly the same things out of life. You’d get married and celebrate with everyone you loved around you. You’d settle down and start a family, maybe get a dog. Together, you’d watch your children grow, learn to walk, ride a bike, go to school. Eventually they would get married, have children of their own. Then you’d grow old. Together.
One year ago was probably when I realised this ‘fairy tale’ did not exist. At least for me, so I thought. Now that I look back, I had always had that feeling that something was missing; something did not quite feel right. My dream of having a family, buying a home and starting a life together felt so far in the distance. I was questioning everything I had ever believed and had ever wanted. At that point, the thought of bringing another life into the world seemed absolutely terrifying. The idea of forever seemed an awfully long time.
Later that year, I made the decision to walk away from my home and my marriage; a decision I never thought I’d have to make at 22 years old. It devastated me to think that I’d given up on a man I vowed to stand by, a vow I made in the presence of our families and infront of God, however I knew this was something I needed to do.
It took me a long time to come to that decision, close to a year. I tried talking, I gave it another chance, and another one. I just still couldn’t shake the feeling that I was destined for something else. Maybe someone else? Maybe the fairy tale was real, I just hadn’t found it yet. Maybe I would never find my happiness but that was a risk I knew I needed to take. I went searching for a change.
I decided to start over.