Do you ever sit down and wonder where you would be today, had you not met a certain person, took a new job, or just was in a different place at a different time? Do you ever wonder how one tiny little decision that lasts a fraction of a second could change your whole life?
I wonder about that constantly.
As I accepted my new position last week, as the Executive Secretary to the Vice President at the hospital I work for, I couldn’t help but wonder. Wonder what stage I would be at in my life had I not met Mike a little over 6 years ago. I certainly would not have been training for this new job. And I wouldn’t be on my last week of another semester of college courses either.
Now, I know I can’t give all of the credit to him. The effort and hard work comes from no one but myself. But the influence of the people you surround yourself with can be all the difference in the world. I think it’s important to know that your loved ones sometimes can be your rock, and that’s okay too.
When I met Mike back in 2012, I was headed down a pretty crappy road. I was jumping from job to job, mostly cleaning hotels down the eastern coast. I would work at one for several months, be too hung over to go into work one morning, and just not show up. Later that same day I would go to the next hotel, apply, get the job, and start the same horrible cycle all over again.
After finishing work I was consuming alcohol far too often; Every other night, sometimes even more than that. I wasn’t drinking lightly, either. Most nights I was splitting a cheap bottle of vodka right down the middle with a friend. I was making stupid decisions, acting completely out of character, and I’m still regretting most of my choices to this day. I don’t know if I was finding a way to cope with what I had been through with my ex-boyfriend, or if I had to hit rock bottom before realizing something needed to change. Either way, I did hit rock bottom, and my life did change for the better that year.
I had finally landed a decent job at the beginning of 2012. My at-the-time manager had told me about an online dating website that she had been using. She was in a long-term committed relationship and urged me to give it a try. I didn’t have much faith in the process.. who meets someone online? Was I really in any place to be meeting someone right now? I took her advice anyways and made myself an account. I mostly got wildly inappropriate requests from piggish men, asking me to meet up with them. Firstly: Eww. Secondly: What do you expect?
Then there was Mike. Knowing him now, I can’t believe he even messaged me.. or that he was on an online dating website at all for that matter (I found out a few years ago he also had an account on “cougarsdotcom” and I still tease the shit out of him about it to this day). He’s the least forward person I know, and almost kind of oblivious to everything. Humble, a protector, the “stuck in the friend zone” type. (thank GOD for all you ladies who over looked him… I got one of the last few gentlemen out there!!). Any how, he messaged me about a picture I had with my dog.. he commented on how he also had a Pitbull mix named Rocco, but his was black and mine was tan. How ironic? Also.. if only I had a copy of the picture he had on his profile. SO HANDSOME… HOT DAMN.
Long story short, we talked and talked and TALKED through text and phone calls. One night while sitting on my deck, my roommate and her sister PUSHED me to ask him on a date. They swore if I didn’t do it myself, they would steal my phone and do it for me. So, I did it. He said yes. Any other time, I would have bailed on him. I would have cancelled my plans without a second thought. Or, with the state I was in during this time of my life, maybe not even tell him I wasn’t going to show up and just blow him off. But for some reason, I went. And this is exactly what I mean when I said one tiny decision can change your entire life. My decision to show up that day molded what I didn’t even know what going to be my future.
Mike brings out the best in me. Some days the worst… he can piss me off even more than my Dad (which is hard to believe, should that be considered a skill?). They say you marry someone like your Dad.. I guess I hit the jackpot, because I never thought I would love another man as much as my father.
Mike got my shit together WITH me, and I helped him with his. After three months of talking we moved a couple states away [together] and got our first apartment. I started taking classes at a local community college, and found a job right away. I was one of their top employees. My ethics were quickly making their way back to what they once were. 3 years later, we bought our first house. Our HOME. I began working at a hospital a few towns over and quickly made a name for myself there. I transferred credits and continue to work on my education. We began trying for a family, and in 2016 he asked me to be his wife. We will be married in June.
Mike made me feel valued again. Like I was worth something, and I was important. He reminds me daily that I have an attitude problem, but I’m also beautiful and no one could love someone more. He helped me pay off debt, and never judged me for my past mistakes. He showed me that even after going through hell, there is a way to trust again, and a way to start over. Mostly, he made me love myself again, because I certainly didn’t when he met me.
So to my readers who are going through hell; Take that leap. Go on that date. Sign up for classes. Put down that bottle and find help. Love others. Love yourself.
Every second counts, and any second can be the change that you have been desperately searching for.
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