This is one of those posts that just kinda came to me. Today is my last day at my job and I was thinking about how far I’ve come since I started. When I accepted the position of a content marketer at a measly wage of $10 an hour, I was desperate to make my move to St. Louis to be with Mike.
I can’t describe how downtrodden I felt during that time. Our relationship was struggling. Mike was suffering with mild PTSD from his time in Afghanistan, and no one had a clue except me. I took the brunt of his stress and rage and leaned on God and my best friend for support. Until you’ve been in a relationship with someone with PTSD, you can never truly know what it is like. It didn’t help that I was living an hour outside of St. Louis at the time too. I don’t think I have ever felt so lost. I had been living on my friend’s couch for six months, searching for any kind of work that would allow me to move out. It felt pretty hopeless.
After scoring that job and working for about three months *and feeling miserable commuting an hour each way every day*, Mike and I knew it was time to look for a place together. We admit, it was not the Godly thing to do, but financially, it felt like our only option. We were broke and we needed each other. It was a hard time for both of us. Still, even with our tiny incomes, we found a reasonable apartment with great amenities in a safe neighborhood, and our little family began.
So much has been recorded on this blog since then. I started Rose Colored Water about 2 months after we got our apartment, and life has been moving at the speed of light ever since.
Those first months were problematic. Mike made more money than I did and splitting everything halfsies was not working out. Now, I don’t know your feelings on this, but I believe all married/committed couples should combine their finances. It’s a subject for another day, but those are my thoughts. I was able to convince Mike that we would have much more money together, if he would only let us combine our money. We had our minds set on marriage and it seemed foolish to continue living with separate accounts. While Mike was wary, it was clear that I had better financial habits, so he agreed. He and I will both tell you it was the best decision we made and the beginning of clear motives as to where we were taking our relationship and our lives.
It’s crazy to see how we’ve evolved as individuals and a couple since then. Mike has given me the strength to do things I never thought possible, like joining the military. We’ve both helped each other grow and mature. It’s hard to describe, but maybe that’s just how getting old feels. The last year has drudged by, but so much has happened. It has been the fastest, longest 1 and 1/2 years I’ve ever had.
Even though we had a strong relationship before we were married, now that we have made a commitment (to God and the government), it feels as though nothing can stop us. Making big changes like joining the Air Force feel less frightening and the thought of being moved around to who knows where is exhilarating. Even the worst location *cough*North Dakota*cough* is an exciting thought. We’ll support one another through frigid temperatures and new beginnings – new friends and new experiences.
Mike and I have tackled many issues in the past two years. They’ve strengthened our relationship and I know we can handle anything that comes our way, as cliche as that sounds.
What We’re Leaving Behind
Of course, we’ll miss what we’re leaving behind. Despite my disdain for St. Louis, we’ve built relationships here. I have a book club full of amazing women. I’ll be leaving co-workers who have become awesome friends. Our families are close by and it won’t be easy saying goodbye. We will miss many things about St. Louis, but this chapter in our life needs to close. A bigger world awaits.
Everyone must forge their own path and we’re ready to do that. The trials have prepared us for whatever the coming years will bring. I’ve made no secret that Mike and I could be apart for nearly a year, depending on what AFSC I am assigned. The Biomedical Equipment technical school is about 8 months long and would put me about 9 hours from St. Louis. Mike will be staying here until I graduate, so that’s a long time to be away from one another, even if there are some visits in between. Still, I know Mike and I will be fine. It may even be good for us!
So yes… The next year has much in store for us. Life is full of big changes and it won’t be easy. I do believe it will be worth the sacrifices.
But these are my reflections. What more will my 25th year hold for me? I cannot wait to see how it all goes, and I hope whoever is reading this will come with me on this adventure. This blog will continue to be a vital part of documenting our journey and a way for me to tell the story.
Over and out friends.