It is such a strange occurrence, to walk through days on the calendar that used to hold meaning, that used to mark milestones.
I have been wondering what to say about today, how to process the day.
Twenty years ago today, I stood as a young, naïve, doe-eyed girl of 19 and said some words that I had no idea what exactly they meant. The boy looking back at me (yes, boy, neither of us could be considered a REAL adult at that time) had no idea either.
It is a strange thing when you get married that young when you don’t really know who you are supposed to be. Sometimes those marriages of our youth are able to survive the test of time. It is possible, and it takes a constant commitment from both parties. As the couple grows, changes, and becomes who they are meant to be, it takes both sides choosing over and over again to support their partner through the transformation.
That is harder for some couples, and over time, the differences become too large to navigate.
We have not been a couple for almost 7 years, and the 6-year mark for the divorce is just around the corner.
That does not change the decade and a half that came before that. There was laughter, there were road trips, there were ups and downs. There were moves, there were holidays, there are memories made, both good and bad. There were babies. So, so many babies. At times it seemed the babies were never-ending, and we laughed and cried when we realized they were going to outnumber us.
It is because of those babies, 75% of who are now teenagers, that I would never say “Regret.”
Of course, there are certain aspects that I would change, there are choices that hindsight tells me I would make differently…but for those babies, I would do it all again.
I am grateful for the growth and changes that have come since that time, and for the person I have become. I am immensely grateful for the man who now stands beside me and for his deep understanding of how complex a decade and a half history with someone can be. He looks at baby pictures and listens to old stories with no judgment, no hurt, just an understanding of the passage of time.
Today feels like a benchmark to me, one that at the very least should be commented on. Not due to a desire to go back, but more of a need to acknowledge.
Twenty years sure can change a person, I barely even recognize that young carefree girl in the pictures. The hair is a bit greyer, the clothes a slightly larger size, the eyes a tad more tired. The heart though, the heart is fuller, larger, and much more capable of growth and healing than that girl would ever know.