Strange way to start out my story. However it will make more sense later as my life unfolds. I’m in my forties and I tell you from thirties to forties the transition has been like trying to fly a kite on a day with no wind. Seriously the experience has been awful and if you haven’t reached this time in your life yet. The struggle is real. I’ve seen a lot and I had no idea when I was younger my life was getting shorter by each passing day. Seriously when your in your twenties you think you have all the time and my thirties well they disappeared so quickly I feel like I must have bumped my head.
Fast forward I’m here thinking what the crazy crap am I doing in my forties. I’m not being dramatic. This is my story so again please don’t judge. It’s 2016 only 17 years ago I was singing “I’m gonna party like its 1999. Prince the writer of that song has only just passed away. An Icon of my teenage years gone, poof. I know how my Mother must have felt about Elvis. Stranger yet someone may read this and truly may not know whom I’m speaking of. Which is one more reminder that my time is ticking….. Time is the biggest disappointment of all. I’m super aware I don’t have enough.
I can’t buy or borrow more. I’ve always wanted to be a writer but I’ve never been a journalist. I’m a reader and I’ve been inspired several times in my life to try. I just always thought I’d have more time. Now that I know the wind is at my heels instead above my head where I’m still trying to fly my damn kite. I need to develop my character so you the reader can try to see me as I truly am. I’m not tall, slender to some, dark long hair. I still look in the mirror and think not bad. Not so many years ago I was a little on the hot side. They call women my age Cougars.
I don’t like this reference at all. I don’t know if I’d ever say I was totally carefree. I’m anxious, sometimes too serious, quiet, a nervous talker, liver disliker, coffee addict and cheeseburger lover. I can be opinionated at times. Though my mind can be changed when I remember to not be so certain. I don’t take criticism well if I don’t respect the person who offers it. I’ve found that when a person has a major character flaw that contradicts with major beliefs of my own. I tend to steer clear. I can read people like your reading this. I’m overly aware of everything.
If ever a curse was real this is mine. Malls and large chain stores send me into a utopia of anxiety. I’ve had anxiety in different forms since I was ittle. I will indulge in the subject of anxiety only because it has only been a few years now that I’ve known I have this Anxiety. Layered PTSD is the cause. Simply put I can tell you a story that happened to me without showing feeling. Almost like I’m telling a story about someone else. It’s a defense mechanism that comes with multiple traumatic experiences that may happen without resolve. Anxiety has been a monolithic part of my life.
It explains many of my behaviors throughout the course of both my adolescent and adult life. I need structure and I want to be carefree. My want fights with my needs regularly. If I could live anywhere it would be by a great body of water. However I live in South Dakota in the Glacial Lakes Region. Not quite what I had in mind. If I could live in a warmer climate with some beaches that would be more ideal. The winters here can be frigid and rough. Snow drifts taller than myself. I complain about the long winters and short summers. I frequently ask myself why do I live in this state?
I quickly remember why and tell myself It has beautiful landscapes home to the Black Hills for an artist’s canvas and is a hunters dream. Not much for the beach, sea shell collector, I believe myself to be but, this is where I am. I look back on my life like the way a person who doesn’t read. Wow, so many pages do I have to read them all. In my case did I really live them all? People and places have become extinct like dinosaurs. You wonder were they ever really here? I think about the past more than the future. I’m always afraid I’m going to forget some great memory, a face, a smell, a touch maybe even a kiss.
My many pages which became chapters have now become a book. Possibly this book. Who is she? I don’t know but when she smiles it’s contagious. I call her sunshine. Direct quotes about me by others. I’ve been called sunshine by many people throughout my life. Cotton Candy Clouds Chapter 1 Sweet Bliss I had finally met the one. I was 22 years young. I had a world of choices and was a travel agent in Chicago during the day. Right On the Mag Mile. I was a bartender on the weekends. I had just bought my first new vehicle. I had a roommate that I never saw. I had freedom and my youth.
Wish I could go back and warn my younger self… I met Michael through a friend and then he started coming into my work. He ordered cheese sticks and a beer. That is all and he did this every time he came in. He looked sad in the beginning but, as time went on. I would go out of my way to make him smile. That was my specialty. Making others feel good about themselves. That is my gift. Making others smile. When he smiled his brown eyes lit up like when the sunrises on the water. I knew when we met he was the one. Michael had been divorced a year. I wanted to settle down.
What 22 year old wouldn’t. A lot wouldn’t but I was stubborn and wanted a family life. I wanted security and stability. I was searching for something I hadn’t had. I sped through every caution and stop light like I was on a high speed police chase. We were inseparable and in love. We were engaged in 6 months. We Moved in our new home. A home!… I was above the clouds that smelled of cotton candy and I was eating it by the handfuls. Life couldn’t be sweeter. He said his mom would live with us. I dismissed it like I never heard the sentence. Caution light ignored.
His mother Carol moved in. It was nice for like two weeks. Then the two women in one house turned into a scrabble game. A war of words. Literally one night we were playing scrabble and I won and she threw the game. She was very dramatic and animated. Carol taught me everything I know about Scrabble. It was her favorite board game. She was lonely and didn’t have many friends. She was still very much in love with the husband she’d lost. Kinda sad. We probably would’ve been closer if we hadn’t lived together for so long. Any other wife might have thrown a fit and said it’s her or me.
Nope not me I didn’t take anyones advice and I just pretended and smiled. He wants to take care of her. She is widowed by his very missed father and she has developed diabetes. Michael is a noble man and does so much for so many people. He was no stranger to responsibility by obligation. I began learning that we are no longer a we. I am agreeable I had all that I ever wanted. Still eating my cotton candy but, now I’m sing my hands and they’re becoming sticky. We were to be married a year from our engagement. The first in my family to have a large formal wedding. I was on top of the world.
I planned a wonderful outdoor wedding. Where we’d do our Vows in a beautiful Gazebo. All of our family will be there and planned a Jamaican Tropical resort Honeymoon. The love of my life and walking the beaches for seashells and rum drinks for days. That darn cotton candy cloud returned and I began to lick my fingers clean. My soon to be husband is the father of the year. I am so proud of him. I hadn’t mention that yet. Another caution light that turned red that I just overlooked. Did I mention the ring and that him and Morgan proposed to me together. He is the most sweetest and romantic person.
More about Morgan. He calls her everyday at least twice and always tells her goodnight.. He spends as much time as he is can with her. She is beautiful and she likes me! Morgan is from his previous marriage. His visitation time is never enough. She cries all the way home. Not just sad tears but, full on why would you leave me Daddy tears. Heartbreaking to watch and hear. This became the cycle and the ups and downs of being with man who truly misses his daughter every minute of every day. We make the most of our time together. His previous wife hates me initially. Which again another caution light.
Why slow down I’m on a roll. I am so excited she would be our flower girl and we will become a family and life will be perfect. Now two things are happening the news of our engagement and upcoming wedding isn’t falling well on his previous wife Mary’s ears. The answer is No she will not be in our wedding and she believes we shouldn’t have a big wedding because this is Michael’s second marriage. My glass house began to shatter and thump I fell to the ground I on’t see another cloud that smells of cotton candy. The lines began to cross and boundaries once defined became unclear.
Real Life slapped the youth literally right off my face. Superglue Chapter 2 It’s a day like any other day. Living the dream. I’m married to Michael now and have been now 7 yrs. A lot has changed and so have I. My glass house has been patched up. Super glue fixes everything. You can’t see the cracks unless you’re really close and you know what you’re looking for. I have two wonderful step children whom I consider my own. Yes, I did just say two and before you think it, we didn’t have a baby. That will not happen in this love story. Morgan is my husbands daughter as you already know from his previous marriage.
Benjamin is actually from his previous wife’s second marriage. What can I say the world has changed. Not too uncommon to have mixed families in today’s world. We have been through a lot and decided it’s easier to work as a unit. Simply I have no choice but to accept the circumstances and honor the choices my husband made before our meeting. Okay, so maybe the gravity of my everyday life has brought my feet softly to the ground. My cotton candy hands needed washed. Life seems to be changing rapidly. I’m finding it hard to figure who I am in this now becoming madhouse.
Everyday is a struggle and often my husband and I feel like we are being pushed in many different directions. Somehow we make it work. We always say it’s for the kids sake. Though I wonder sometimes if it’s more. He buries himself in work. He is a workaholic. I became a shopaholic. I am finding myself wishing he’d never been married before because it’s not always easy being the second wife. In fact I find myself in my walk in closet sitting on the floor crying quite often. Wishing I’d picked an easier path. Wishing that the kids were actually my own. I don’t always share well.
I love them like my own. Though deep inside there is always that fear I’ll lose them and we nearly have a few times. We have physical custody of Morgan and have since a month before the wedding. She made a beautiful flower girl. She is a character. Her smile and giggle make me feel whole. She’s in gymnastics and is doing really well. I think it will help her with her confidence and coordination and I truly love the sport. It was my sport when I was younger. It’s funny how we push our will even if we don’t recognize it. Many things have changed. We built a house and have moved n. It’s much bigger.
The problems are even bigger. Building the house was torture for all of us. Moving out of our first house was like losing a friend. It wasn’t very easy we had so many wonderful memories in that house. Life changes so fast. Not sure why we kept pushing and rushing it. We have worked through so many obstacles and challenges. It’s seems like we have had to fight to be happy. We somehow got through it all. We had some really dark days but, together we were pretty solid. Nothing prepared me,us for what was yet to come. You can’t patch shattered glass and super glue won’t hold forever.