I never thought I would be the girl to have fallen into relationships where I allowed myself to be lost. I never thought that I’d be the girl to continue to date the wrong guy, despite friends warning me he was bad news. I never thought I would be the girl to fall madly and hopelessly in love with a boy who would end up dropping me like yesterday’s news.
I always thought I’d meet the man of my dreams and be married by 23. I certainly never planned on going to 3 different colleges, setting me back from graduation an entire year. I was convinced I would graduate in 4 years with a double major and a minor, and go on to get two doctorates.
Everyone believed I could do it, I believed I could do it. Even if I had lost my entire identity, I knew that I could count on being good in school. But, I did not count on absolutely hating my first college, or transferring to a community college. I will be honest, I looked down on community colleges, that was where people who had no ambition went. Where people who were not good at school went, where people who were happy with an associates degree went. Those things were not descriptors for me. Yet, that is where I ended up for my second year of college. I definitely never thought I would move across the entire country to attend a school in a state I absolutely hated. I never thought any of these would be elements in my life, this is not what I thought my life would be. Yet here I stand, and I am ok with it, here’s why.
Even though I have lost myself to relationships, been cheated on, emotionally abused, been told “You’re not good enough,” and given my all into something that was not reciprocated, I also learned a lot about myself. When something like that happens, when you are broken down, completely crushed and shattered, you are given two choices. The first, you can remain battered and broken, and play the victim, constantly blaming everyone else for everything that is going wrong in your life. Or, you can pick up those tiny shards of yourself, and slowly piece yourself back together.
I’ve never been one to play the victim, my parents taught me to take responsibility for myself, so I had no choice but to do the latter. In losing myself, I found myself. I came back stronger. I am not the same person I was in those relationships, I am not soft, I refuse to play games, I will confront a significant other when something feels wrong. I know who I am, and I refuse to let a man redefine that, I do not need someone else to define who I am. Will that scare off potential boyfriends? I have no doubt, but I am not interested in a man who cannot handle my strength.
I have always wanted to get married. I have always wanted to skip over the whole dating scene, and just meet that one guy that made me believe in that true old-time, life-long lasting, love. Yet, here I am, 22 and still single. Which, I understand, is still incredibly young when it comes to the grand scheme of everything. However, I always thought I’d be the girl to have that incredible love story they write books about. But, because of those broken pieces I have forced back together into an improved me, I refuse to rush into anything. Which is why I do not see myself getting married by my deadline of being married by age 23. I have been single now for almost three years, I have gotten used to it, I like my space, and not having to let someone know what I am doing and when or why I am doing it. I answer only to myself, which is an amazing and liberating thing. Do I love being single? No, not necessarily. However, I do LOVE the aspects of being single.
It is a funny thing, the dreams people have for themselves, before they get to know the pressures of the world. Before they know what it will actually take to reach those dreams. Before I knew anything about how much money it would take to finish my schooling with multiple degrees. I knew it would take time, a lot of time, but I was fine with that. Like I said, I was good with school. School was that one thing that I could count on having the answers for. But then I grew to be somewhat financially responsible for myself, I found out the approximate amount it would take to get all of those fancy degrees. I do not come from a wealthy family by any means, but because of what we do have, I do not qualify for much aid from the government. Unless I won the lottery, there is no reasonable way for me to pay for that much schooling. Which is why I whittled down to just 1 degree. But, I am 100 percent passionate about that degree, I love everything about it, and I am completely and totally happy with my decision to focus myself to one thing to excel at.
This decision regarding school was also aided in the fact that I have attended three schools in the past five years. I had a professor tell me last semester, “You are truly amazing. Usually students just drop out after transferring one time, yet here you are, doing very well after transferring twice.” I did not know what to say to her, not finishing school was never an option for me. After my first year of college, I was pretty discouraged, so I went to a community college.
At first I was not enthralled with the idea, however it was probably the best thing to happen to me in my college career. The professors I had there were better than the ones I’d had at my fancy university, they knew my name, they took the time to actually teach, and it re-energized me. So, after a year, I moved across the entire country. I transferred to a very small university with a very large agriculture department, with professors that could rival any bigger university. Even though I absolutely abhor the state I am currently in, I know it is only temporary, and this school is really what is best for me. I am graduating in about 6 months, with my one degree, in the one area of study that I am completely enthralled with.
So, this is not the life I saw for myself, at all. I have not met my prince charming, I have had prince pretenders completely strip me of who I thought I was, I have moved away from everything I know to start over in a place where I knew no one, my dreams have changed drastically; my life is nothing like what I thought it would be. But, along my journey, I have rebuilt a better me, discovered what my real dreams were, and learned that all that has happened to me has made me who I am. Even though this is not what I thought my life would be, I have so many doors opening up, and am excited to see where the twists and turns that is life takes me.