Very few people know the full story but I believe it’s time to vaguely reflect on the past year. One year ago today I loaded everything I owned into my little Jeep and headed across the country to Florham Park, New Jersey. There was something deep down that knew it was a bad idea but I let my pride take over. How was I supposed to tell everyone I wasn’t leaving? I told everyone how excited I was and everyone thought my relationship was perfect. I was keeping so many secrets that I just didn’t speak. I had always prided myself on being the positive and mature friend. The one that had created a picture perfect life. My boyfriend had a great job & I was going to be taken care of. The job offer I had accepted was just going to be play money because he was going to take care of me! AWESOME!!! I quit my job, broke my lease, let my best friend keep my dog and I was ready to live wild and free…. only to realize less than a month later that I was making the worst mistake of my young life.
The idea of a fresh start & being financially cared for put a huge cloud over my better judgment. I knew that moving wasn’t smart. I knew there was so many red flags but since no one else knew about the red flags I was able to pretend that they didn’t exist.
People would ask me “what are you going to do if things go south and you’re all the way across the county?”. My response was always “I will pack up my car and head back the same way I got there”. I was 21 years old, in love, and thought I was the smartest person around. At least that is the pretty picture I painted for everyone to see. Deep down I was 21 years old, scared, lost, confused, and unsure of most aspects of my life. Had I not learned my lesson during my break up less than a year before that I can’t invest everything in a guy that I wasn’t married to? Apparently not.
I knew before heading to New Jersey that my boyfriend was very sick but I was convinced I could heal him. He loved me, so he was going to turn his life around once we were alone in a different state and away from all the people he claimed brought him down…right?
Within about a week of me getting there I knew I had made a horrible decision. I was determined to stick it out though. We fought all the time, I cried almost every single day, I hated my job, I missed my family, I had maxed out all of my credit cards and my promised financial stability…wasn’t stable anymore. I had a gorgeous apartment and lived in a gorgeous part of the country. At least my Instagram could hide all my fears and rocky life.
About two weeks after I was there he came home to tell me that the job site he was working on had been shut down by the union. I was told that his company wanted to send us back to Arkansas. I was so excited but remained calm because I knew he was disappointed. He then told me that he wanted to get a new job and for us to stay in New Jersey. He was enjoying the alone time and us being away from everyone we knew. (It turns out that none of it was true. He was fired from him job due to other decisions) I continued to ride it out and do what he asked but after a little over 3 weeks of being in New Jersey I broke. We got in a huge fight one night and the next morning on my way to work I decided that it was time to go back to Arkansas. I turned around, went back to the apartment, and began packing my things. He was furious to say the least. How could I be abandoning him when he was so sick? I made this commitment so how was running away my solution?
I called my dad while I was sobbing and said I was coming home. He knew not to ask any questions other than if I was okay. My response was “no, but I will be”. Little did I know that would be my response to many things for the next year. I loaded my car and by about 3 pm I was loaded and headed home. I wasn’t sure how I was going to afford the gas or a hotel room but I trusted that God would get me home. I made it home with two dollars in my bank account and my dad, best friend, and dog waiting on me with open arms.
The next 11 months have been just as eventful and trying but that is for a different post. I could be angry and sad today but instead I will be thankful. Thankful for the experiences & lessons learned.