“To Think” (written August 10, 2003 – a month after I turned 20)
Only a short time ago,
does it seem,
I was such a child.
Enjoying the things of younger youth
Not worrying one moment on things of the future.
And now, it’s as if some heavy
Velvet curtain was raised up to reveal –
The show has begun
My age reigns appropriate
For much maturing.
To think that in only a few years I could be
Married to the one man God has for me.
I could be comfortably successful at my job in media,
A young business woman,
Finally free from school-aged brains and lame time-waisters.
I could be considered a true –
To think it-
Forces my eyebrows to rise energetically.
Reading this poem makes me laugh – partly because it’s really quite poorly written, and partly because of what I didn’t know. At the time, I had no idea that I was already pregnant with my first child and would be married within 3 months. Life is full of the kinds of twist and turns that make up award-winning novels, and mine has been filled to the brim with them.
I remember always feeling like I was trapped in my teenage years, and I’m sure many of today’s teens feel the same. How can’t you? You’re stuck in this painful limbo between childhood and full-blown adult responsibility. You do things that “seem” adult-like, but you’re still considered unworthy and incapable in most people’s eyes. I wanted to be an adult – but in my head, I was being held back. By school, by friends, by my own brain, by my selfishness, immaturity, that “guy” – by so many things that I knew at the time but can’t remember now. Some I understood, others I was blind to. Others I thought were holding me back when really, they were only propelling me forward. I always had a plan in place but rarely did that plan ever come to be.
I was positive I’d be a very successful business woman. I mean, c’mon, I was voted “most likely to run a corporation” in my graduating class… ha. But I’m pretty sure I always thought I knew more than I actually did at the time. This was a time when my future was smack in front of my face. I had just graduated from 3 years of Media Communications, was working shifts at Dofasco and dating my (now) husband, Wesley. Our relationship was really rocky due to our inability to “date” the way we thought we should (be committed but not have sex…). I most likely wrote this poem late in the night or wee hours of the morning on a night shift in the steel mill, which is when I usually wrote. I was likely curled up with my legs over my chair, leaned back against a greasy wall, head buried, trying to ignore my burning crush on my ridiculously hunky co-worker who need not be named. *snort* I was intensely preoccupied with my looks, doing at least 5 hard workouts a week… and I spent an hour getting ‘ready’ and wore really, really tight shirts to work on the Pickle Line. The Millwrights and all the other boys and men started – just sayin’. And, unlike now, I actually liked it.
And then enters that twist that spins you in debilitating circles. When I realized I was pregnant, 3 weeks later, Wes and I knew immediately we wanted to get married. Which may or may not sound crazy to you (especially due to my recently above mentioned burning crush on my co-worker… ha). Sure, we were young and unprepared. But we had been dating for over a year and, although we’d both casually ‘dated’ a couple other people in our ‘off’ time, we also both knew that no one measured up to eachother. I think subconsciously we both knew we were supposed to be together. We were just emotionally charged and ridiculous. (Ha – I should post some of my diary entries from this Summer and how many times I wrote things like, “I LOVE WES” and then two days later, “Wes and I aren’t together any more, it’s too painful.” Too funny.)
Point is – we were very in love. We just didn’t realize it until that moment when I shared news of the pregnancy with him and our hearts connected magically. We both had an instant longing to have the baby and commit. It looked like a big “mistake” to everyone around us, but to us – it was the best thing that could have happened.
So, I didn’t become that “successful” business woman in the media industry… haha! Far from it. I have, however, run two of my own successful businesses, one of which I sold for profit a year after starting it. And I do have three beautiful children that I homeschool in our sweet little county home. I write (a lot), I dream, I love God, and I’m NOTHING like the person I thought I’d become when I wrote this poem.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m not promoting getting pregnant with your boyfriend at 20 or any other young age, for that matter. For Wes and I, it worked out very well… we’ve been blessed. But I know many other girls who did not have the same good fortune as I. Also, it has been years of very hard work and determination, and a lot of help from God to get us through. In our first year, many nights were spent sleeping apart, guilt imposed by certain family members nearly took over our life, and we were forced to seek counseling. ‘Not making it’, though, was never an option. We’re in it for life – one spouse, forever. But, we’ve literally had to mature and grow up together, rather than on our own. Both of us had never lived outside our parent’s house and within a year, we had gotten married, had a baby, and bought a house… the ‘three most stressful things people will ever intentionally do’, so they say. Haha!
It’s been intense, but we are all the better for it. Our bond is very deep and likely one of the least selfish ones you’ll find. Especially, on my husband’s side. (The kind of amazing husband who happily invites me to write blogs on my laptop and sip Jasmine Green Tea at 6:30 pm, while he handles dinner and bedtime alone with the kiddies.)
We’ve been married 6 years – and I truly, truly love my life. This poem is among the last I wrote in a series of poems throughout my teen years. They are not all like this – not by a long shot. Most are much more racy and intense (sounds fun, I know), and weird, and – well… really embarrassing. It took a lot of mistakes and a lot of growth to get to the point I was at when writing this poem, and it’s been another 7 years of growth and maturity since then… and more to come, I know.
This is a taste of where I went. Now I want to go back to the beginning, where I started. Age 14. The beginning of a ferocious, crazy, unpredictable teenage journey full of regret and triumph… and I truly hope you’ll check in once in a while and join me as I travel back in time and marvel at what I find.
10 years of daily diaries… here I come.