I felt like I screwed up.
I felt like I did things wrong.
I was 16 and pregnant and scared.
I was in such a hurry to be an adult, to live an adult life and do adult things.
I was in love.
I knew everything I wanted except I had no clue really.
I loved him and wanted to be with him except I wasn’t sure how.
I thought I knew.
I thought lots of things.
All the wrong things.
I had it all planned out in my mind; my very immature, very impressionable, easily persuaded mind.
I was made of steel.
I didn’t need help, I had what I needed and we would be just fine.
Until the day we weren’t.
Until the day that everything I had planned out in my mind and everything I thought I would have, was questioned.
It was my fault.
It was reasonable to question me.
I understand the reasoning behind all of it.
My 33 year old self understands the questioning of my 16 year old self.
At 16 though, panic.
No sense of understanding.
Pain and heartache and regret and sadness and panic.
I admitted defeat and decided to do what I was told.
I felt like my decisions and my actions proved I couldn’t handle this adult life.
At 16 I felt like I needed help, I needed someone to tell me what to do and even if I didn’t agree with it, I had to do it.
I didn’t know how to fix it on my own.
I wasn’t made of steel anymore.
I was only made of steel when I had him beside me.
Now that I was standing alone, I was mush.
The fight started.
Then started again.
You get to a point where you just don’t want to fight anymore.
I started to realize that I never wanted the fight in the first place.
I got wrapped up in the panic and the chaos that was never even really, truly mine.
It was never really ours.
The battle was a battle of control.
I didn’t realize what the control was of, until it was much to late.
That battle made me crave normalcy.
She had won.
In my immature mind, I felt like she had won something that wasn’t even a prize.
I had let it go.
I had made the decision to follow the guidance of things that took me away from what I had wanted.
I didn’t lose to her, I lost to my fear.
I lost to myself.
Except there’s one small issue, when you’re 17 with a baby, you can’t be normal.
There’s nothing normal about that at all.
Trying to be something you’re not can look so many different ways.
My life was never designed to be normal.
I was never the girl to color inside the lines, never the one to follow every rule.
My whole life was about finding normal when the truth is that I have always felt whole when I’m not doing the expected.
When I’m with the guy no one approves of, when I held my baby as a teenage single mom, when I took the job that bothered everyone around me, when I finally said enough was enough.
When I follow my heart.
Those choices are not popular at all.
Those decisions cause arguments and snickers from people that I seek approval.
Those decisions make me feel complete.
That’s when I feel whole.
At 33 I finally realize what I wished I had realized at 16; I don’t need anyone’s approval.
I get one life.
Maybe you don’t think I’m living it like I should.
That has nothing to do with me.
If I had followed my heart and not let the fear and the panic take over me 17 years ago, that desire for normalcy may have never taken over me.
Maybe I would have kept my free will and my wild spirit.
I was crazy.
I was wild and I was unpredictable.
I was steel.
Strong as strong can be.
Having a baby humbled me, scared me and set me straight.
If I had listened the first 16 years of my life the way I did that 9 months I probably wouldn’t have my beautiful daughter.
I listened well but I listened wrong.
I kept on listening and striving for normal.
Married, 2.5 kids in a 3 bedroom home in a nice neighborhood, stay at home mom, everyone rocking the same last name.
Completely wrong priorities.
At 33, I get that.
I thought I had screwed up.
Maybe to some people I did.
When I look at my life now though, pregnant at 16 was not a screw up.
It was a blessing.
It brought me to my knees and caused me to stand up stronger.
I had to learn really fast how to stop being so self absorbed and oblivious to the real world.
My mistake was in doing what I was told to the point of losing myself.
Losing my voice, my opinion.
I lost what I loved because I was more concerned with what was right.
And whose right are we worried about anyway?
Sometimes what’s right for the majority or what looks good to the people you think are watching is not good for you at all.