This is me in February of 2005. I would have been 22 at the time. Physically I haven't really changed that much over the years. I have a few more wrinkles and some grey hairs but overall photos of me don't look that different.
This photo brings back strong memories, memories that at times I'd perhaps like to forget.
It was taken by my boyfriend at the time. I was "dropping by" to see him at work. He worked security at a dealership at the time and this is a picture of me in the security car with him.
I look happy, but I wasn't really.
I probably was at that very moment but sometimes pictures don't tell the whole story, just pieces and long story short, he wasn't a very nice person.
Luckily, things change. I left him in early 2006 and found my own way. I think the only good thing that came out of the relationship was that I got my ears pierced. The one time being yelled at and called names and then being tricked into doing something led to something I had actually wanted to do for a long time.
I had to basically hit the bottom to get back to the top. You could think of it as falling down an old, abandoned, dark well. You aren't expecting it because you didn't see the well in the beginning because the well was boarded up and covered in beautiful thick grass but now you're trapped and cold, scared and probably a bit sad.
To begin with I was happy, he was wonderful and I was shown off as his princess. Other girls were jealous of me and people would tell me how lucky I was to have him. I wanted it to work and he seemed great. . .until he wasn't, but I didn't blame him. By then "I" was the problem. Clearly I needed to develop a sense of humour/ try harder/ dress differently or stop talking to those people (my friends) and everything would be fine.
Eventually I'd lost every part of who "I" was. I was depressed. Night after night I cried myself to sleep worrying about what I'd done to displease him, begging him "please please don't leave me", promising to try harder.
Luckily there was light in the darkness. I decided that my relationship wasn't the problem in my life but that I must be unhappy because I had a college diploma but was working at a Subway. So I moved back in with my parents to look for a "real job".
Our original plan was that I would move down, find work, then rent us an apartment and he'd join me. It became clear though eventually that that was never his plan. He expected me to fail but I didn't. First, I found work and then I re-established connections with old high school friends. Soon I was out with the girls, going out for drinks after work with friends, etc. My confidence was coming back and his increasingly angry, jealous phone calls were showing me who he really was. Except this time I didn't blame myself for his actions.
In February 2006 I dumped him and in November 2006, after a few months of being free to be me again, I met my now husband. We dated from November 11, 2006 to November 11, 2007 before he pooped the question. We were married on May 3, 2008.
Luckily he's nothing like the guy who took that first picture.
So who is the woman in the second photo? Well, I've changed a lot. Now that I'm 32, I'm not the timid mouse I used to be in 2005. Instead of pretending to have confidence I actually do have a lot more than I did, though I'm sure we could all use a bit more some days. I have an opinion about a lot of things and I generally only share those opinions with my husband unless asked as by nature I'm a peacemaker. I follow my heart, and at times I am sometimes probably too caring, I'm a mom and I'm currently a foster parent and sometimes I'm even a blogger. . .sometimes.
Hoping that this coming year I'll actually get around to sharing more here than last. . .