HAWMC Day #17: Learned the Hard Way. What’s a lesson you learned the hard way? Write about it for 15 today.
One thing that folks may or may not know about me is that I am on my second marriage, and so I learned, the hard way, that the word “forever” only has the real meaning of “as long as something can last” as opposed to “for all of time.”
I was very young — 19 — when I accepted my first husband’s proposal. I had no idea who I was as a person yet, or what marriage meant, but I couldn’t yet say, “No.” to anyone either, and especially not to someone I had feelings for.
Without getting into the good, the bad, and the deeply personal of the marriage, I will say that it lasted for 2 years… and 2 years was not the rest of my life, which was what we had promised each other.
I was crushed and broken when he left. I remember sardonically joking with friends that, “Apparently, forever is exactly 2 years.”
But as I began rebuilding my self-respect and building a sense of who I was without him, I realized that “forever” is kind of a throwaway word that means “as long as it goes” and the only person you’re going to be with for the rest of your life for certain is yourself. Time with others is a privilege they give you and that you simultaneously give them.
“Forever” carries with it the hope that an activity will continue, uninterrupted, in perpetuity — but one never knows how much time you have with someone. Life is precious and tenuous. Any of us could be taken from existence in the blink of an eye, and “forever” is done. So too is the way it works with break-ups.
That’s why I’m really looking forward to my second anniversary with Adam in October of this year. I think getting past that milestone will mean more to me than I can possibly express verbally. I believe our forever is the longer-lasting kind, especially now that I’m a longer-lasting kind of person.
I mean, we deal with MS and seizure disorder on the regs. We’ve defeated my PTSD together, and I’m kicking my depression in the ass. Adam is my partner in life. We’ve gone through making the choice to move in with family rather than be homeless. We’ve pulled together and been stronger as a team rather than scream at each other and place blame for our troubles. We find strength in one another and support. We choose to be together to weather the storm of life.
And we raise foster kittens together who are awesome and cuddly and sweet, who won’t be kittens forever either, but who I will always love.