I guess being from such a small community, it isn't surprising that everyone not only recognizes you now, but remembers who you were "back then."
I am no exception, and for the most part, it doesn't bother me. I like the familiarity despite the fact that it can be smothering at times.
But theres almost this underlying sense that you are not allowed to change, or that changing would be a bad thing. I am forever chained to my bible thumping, cow-napping, Sonshine singing, self-righteous, self-centered, goodie-stinking-two-shoes image for all eternity in this forsaken mud hole for the rest of time as we know it!
And every acquaintance of lore in the line ahead of me at the grocery store reminds me of that when I see that look of familiarity in their eyes that says they think they know me.
But like I said, I don't mind it. In fact, usually I like it. Community and familiarity feels like home to me (theres that old me again).
On days like today, where I find myself reflecting on who I am, what I've become, who I will be and what lies ahead, such a stifling stereotype feels completely inhibiting and downright inaccurate.
Maybe I'm just being over dramatic because today is our 7 year anniversary.
Yep, that's right. 7 years ago today... I was a child bride.
In some ways it doesn't seem that long ago, but when I think about the people that stood there with stars in their eyes and their hearts on their sleeves, it feels like an entire galaxy has passed thru time since.
This year has been tough.
Tyson is dealing with an uncertain future in a job he adores.
I am dealing with 6 screaming children and only the 2 loudest are my own.
The kids are growing.
I am shrinking.
Sanity is fraying.
Hair is greying.
Friends are marrying.
Friends are separating.
The economy is crumbling.
I guess what I'm trying to say is... this year has been rough. Probably the hardest we've faced together in the history of our entire relationship. Neither of us is 'that person' we used to date in high school. We both miss the days... but are painfully aware of the fact that they are increasingly long ago in a far away kingdom.
So, now... in our 'reality-tale' present, can I just say... that after 7 years of marriage, I am thankful to be married to someone who can handle change.
I am thankful to have married a boy... who's actually done his job and grown into a man.
I am thankful to be married to someone who does not falter in the face of change and uncertainty, whether its financial, economical, emotional, physical, or spiritual.
I am thankful to be married to someone who isn't afraid to roll the dice, and then let go.
I am thankful to be married to someone who is humble enough to admit that they don't have all the answers but can still manage to remain optimistic for our future as a family.
And I am SO thankful that I am no longer married to that one boy I used to date in high school, even if that's how most people will always remember me.
Because today... I can tell you undoubtedly, a much better man stands in his place.
And every once in awhile... that one boy from high school makes a rare cameo appearance. This week, he even brought his bandanna with him.