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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Life Saving Fork in the Road

This week I have a lot to be grateful for. That is true, but it is also true that I ALWAYS have a lot to be grateful for.

One thing that has particularly stood out to me this week is the way my life IS and the way my life COULD have been. There are several things that have taken place over the course of the last few weeks that have really made an impact on my perspective, and so I thought I would share them with you.

The events were mostly personal. A death in the family, a busy week, the possible purchase of a new car, financial planning around the wedding, and the decision to possibly make a big move in a few months. ALL of these subjects are tough ones when in a relationship because there is the conversation that has to transpire and then the collaboration therein which must occur for the relationship to be a successful one.

In the past, as you might know, I was in a less than swell relationship. Based on who you are, and how close you are to me/were to me at the time, you know anything from the facts which is that I was married for 9 months and then wasn't, or you know all the intimate details about the torment and abuse I experienced during the 6 years I was with my ex. The details really are not important anymore, they seem more like a distant nightmare-which is what this post is all about.

Four short years ago my life was going in a COMPLETELY different direction than it is now. I was failing my classes in college (at a college I actually enjoyed with a major I LOVED). I was terrified to talk to anyone other than my boyfriend at the time. I had a lack of confidence that was smeared across my face. I was working at the same time as going to school to come home to a messy house and an ungrateful partner (if you could call it that). I dreaded waking up every day. I dreaded going home every night. I looked in the future and it seemed bleak and as time went on it started to change into something even worse: Living in a double wide in Arkansas with a baby on my hip, dirt on my clothes, no money in the bank, and living off of the government, overweight, with diabetes.

Basically, I was lost.

I thank God, the Universe, the Gods, and everything imaginable DAILY for the 2nd life I was given. There was ONE MOMENT in my life which lead me to realizing that I had other options. I could leave at any moment. Thank goodness I was with my mom at that time, she was able to hold me up when my legs were unable to do so, she was able to support me when no one else would, and she reserved judgement. Even though she and my brother both expressed their concerns about the relationship, they both loved me all the same when I was a mess coming out of it. I left with my items in tow (that had been purchased with MY name and MY credit) and a bit of dignity and a TON of hope. I was broken. I WAS BROKE. I had 300 dollars to my name and 25,000 in credit card debt all to myself.

I took that time to reassess my life. I was able to pick up the pieces at school. My professor and peers were all so very understanding of my situation at the time. I was able to start seeing a counselor for the depression and the abuse issues I was facing, and she really helped me work through the core of the problems. I lived with some family paying them for food/rent. I had a job and prayed to keep it as long as I could until my internship started.

Back to the point of this blog post. I got a second option. I got to choose another option.

With the help of the Universe and tons and tons of unconditional love, I was able to create an entirely new life for myself. I could clearly see the horrid places I was going, and now I am not going there anymore.

Not only did I work my butt off to get out of some of that debt (any way possible) before my thousands upon thousands of student loans started coming in asking for money, but I also worked at being healthier and happier and learned to love myself for who I am.

I made a list, asking the Universe for the perfect partner. A person who would understand me, collaborate with me, love me unconditionally, hold me when I needed being held, and bring out the best in me. The list had 32 things on it, Ben meets all 32 with flying colors, not to mention the millions of other minute details I never thought I could have in a partner.

The idea of getting a new(er) car is TERRIFYING for me but at the same time with only one working vehicle in the 140,000 miles range, things could be scarier... The timing and price and situation all seem perfect. I have worked SO HARD to bring my credit up (even the little bit it has gone up) and I am working constantly to pay things down and pay things off even when we are living on only one income. I am really proud of the work I have done on my own, and really thrilled that Ben has all the same beliefs and motivations as I do when it comes to things like financial health.

Also, Ben and I got a taste of what it could be like witnessing some couples having arguments in the last few weeks and we both feel so blessed and grateful that that is not what we are dealing with on a daily basis. As my mom told me once "Life is hard enough, you don't need your relationship to make it even harder!" (she said that to me when I was thinking of breaking up with Ben because he is "too nice" thank god I got wise!)

Generally, I am just very grateful. I am really thrilled to know that we have each other and that this will probably the toughest times in our lives, there is no where but up from here. Thanks for being along for this ride. I really appreciate it!

Love you all,


  1. this post is absolutely beautiful, manda. your amazing spirit and outlook on life will get you far.

    1. Thank you so much Batty!

      You are so sweet and incredibly inspirational to me! I am so grateful that I have met you and all of our other wonderful friends, people who love me for me. <3

      <3 Love ya!

  2. <3 you!!
    I am so glad you took the road less traveled & that I get to walk it with you as your friend. You deserve all the happy things. <3

    1. Awww Mims! I love you too! :) <3 I am so grateful to have you as a part of my journey as well and I can only hope that that continues for eons. As I said ^^ to batty, I am SO GRATEFUL the stars alligned just right for me to have all of you in my life. Thank you for being one of the best friends I have ever had <3

  3. To start: You are an amazing woman. You were before Ben and you will continue to be one with him. I knew that about you even before I met you and Why I PUSHED your brother to go to KC so I could meet these people he talked about and loved so fondly.
    We had similar starts and similar points in a relations ship. I dind't have the abusive marriage, you & Jay did and he also had to leave to follow his dreams and be reborn from the ashes of that life.
    Before we even met each other we made a seprerate promise to god that the next person that he put in our path, we would be better to, we would be patient and honest. We both had our lists and passed each others. But more importantly we stuck to our end of the bargain.
    I changed a bit too. I met Jay when I was 19 and he was 27. I didn't know that I was supposed to die and that he would be the man that saved me. I feel like I could cry even typing this... My wisdom and actions made me worth saving to him.
    God gives you choices everyday and in my own weird way those choices spurn the "other universe" of what could have been. But I get to live in this one this sequence of choices and lessons.
    I guess what I'm trying to say is that don't ever forget how you felt on that first date. don't ever forget how he looked at you that first time and you knew YOU KNEW he was the man god sent you to better yourself further and to become someone even more amazing.
    Don't lose the "firsts" keep having them. The first time you got lost together the first time you snorted while laughing, the first time he told you a secret and the first time you said I love you.
    So to end this: Keep it up Manda! I love you and so does your brother. We are very proud of the things you have accomplished so far. Don't stress over your credit score it's just a number for now. Make sure you enjoy this moment because it's all you get!

    1. WOW TRISHA! thank you so much! Thank you for sharing your experience, as well as understanding where I am coming from.

      I am so grateful Jay met you. I can tell, even from here, that he is a million times happier having you in his life. He totally adores you, as do I. Thank you for loving me so much even though we technically "hardly" Know eachother... Silly how that works. Thank god for Facebook! <3

      Love you tons Sister! So glad to have you in our lives!

  4. Amanda, you are one of those beautiful souls I will always cherish.

    1. Wow. What a compliment. I really value you so much as a friend Amber, you are just so loving and caring and kind. Sometimes it shocks me that we weren't friends from the get go-then I remember we were teenagers filled with angst and other stupid teenager stuff. I am so grateful that you are in my life, and I am so blessed to have you as a friend. take care and please be safe as you spread your spirit and music across the globe! <3 <3 <3 MUCH LOVE