I wasn't really sure what I should title this post. But then I'm not really sure what I'll end up saying either... though I do hope to keep it on the nice side...
You see, approximately 6 and a half years ago I told my family that I was engaged. I was thrilled. They were not. No one said a word, just stood by while they waited for what I'm sure they all expected to be a failure on my part. At the time, I was 17, about to turn 18. I was about to graduate from one of the top ten schools in the nation. I had been accepted to every university I had applied to and was already talking of moving a few hours away to school. I was the good girl, the "smart one", the one with the big future.
But I did this crazy thing. I fell in love. Like, head over heels, without a doubt, this is it kind of crazy in love. And I never even questioned giving it all up for him. I knew I would still go to school eventually, and I knew I would still have big dreams. But for me, he was a part of those big dreams, and I couldn't walk away from that.
We were married a month after I graduated and turned 18. We moved to South Carolina with the Navy and I spent the next year being a step-mom and a wife, and loving it. Our little girl was born two months after I turned 20. I started school before she was even a month old. I found myself in school, with a newborn, and working as a retail manager... and still madly in love and loving my life. And still, (almost) everyone doubted me.
Through five moves, two babies, days of complete chaos and others of simplicity, I've never lost site of my own goals. And I am proud to say that today was my last day of my last class before completing my credit hours for my bachelors degree.
And so, to every person who looked down on me, questioned me, belittled me. To every family member who told me I would do nothing with my life, or looked at me with sadness in their eyes. To every in-law (not that I'm calling anyone out here) who told me I was using my husband and would never amount to anything on my own. To every person out there that doubted me, I have only one thing to say.
No, I didn't graduate from college when some of my high school friends did. No, I didn't do things in the order that you expected. But I wouldn't change that for the world.