Sometimes Being a Hot Mess Turns Out Okay


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When I was 19-years-old, I was a hot mess… But I don’t know that I would change anything because it all turned out okay — for the most part…

Me at age 18 or 19
Me at age 18 or 19

My mother had passed two years prior, during my senior year of high school… I was trying to find my own way & somehow prove to myself that I could be independent & not a burden to my extended family…

I was working at our local mall at a Sam Goody store as a management trainee & sometime along the way, moved & changed jobs & wound up as an assistant manager at an Anchor Blue clothing store, selling clothing to young adults.

I was living with my boyfriend, who started out as one of my roommates — along with his fiance. Yeah. Imagine that.

I also got pregnant by said boyfriend that year… I thought I was in love.

He proposed. Totally the right thing for him to do. I wanted to marry him at the time. I truly did. BUT, I could sense the obligation in his eyes & in his voice.

I just couldn’t say yes. I wanted him to ask me because he wanted me, not because he felt like he had to in order to be a “decent” man… It wasn’t just a want; it was a need. What kind of life would that have been for any of us?

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I will never forget the look on his face… It was a mixture of disgust & hurt from the perceived rejection.

“Should I just go fish on a boat in Alaska & send you my paychecks? Is that all I am to you?”

His hurt was understandable, but so were my reasons. I tried to explain, but I felt like my words fell on deaf ears.

I feel like that scenario was the entire theme of our relationship… We both had good intentions, I think… & we had fun together… But, when real life started up — pregnancy & new baby & my depression rearing its ugly head for the first REAL time in my life — we just didn’t know each other well enough (or care to know each other well enough) to make it work…

In my opinion, it was never meant to be anyway… We split up when our son was a little more than a year old, but, arguably, we should have split up much sooner.

The deciding point was when we were arguing with each other & actually raised our voices in front of our son… We had never done that before.

I will never forget the look on our son’s baby face, with his big brown eyes filled with tears, just beginning to spill over his lashes… His bottom lip was sticking out… He crawled up in my lap & gave me a big ol’ hug, then immediately got down & did the same with his dad. I felt horrible. It was my wake-up call that we couldn’t go on as we were. That was it.

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I am a firm believer that the main purpose for that entire relationship was to bring our son into the world. He will be 14-years-old in February. I might not get to see him as much as I would like, but there are some things a mother just knows…

He will do great things. I just know it.

So, yeah. Sometimes, being a hot mess turns out okay…

This post was written in participation of this week’s Finish the Sentence Friday prompt, “When I was 19…” Check out other entries here.

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Reta Jayne


By Reta Jayne

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I am Reta Jayne. I help women learn to love themselves again (or more!) through no-bull discussions about mental health, self-care, & more. Click the email icon to subscribe to & communicate with me via email.

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Bible Verse of the Day

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.