I am not the girl my husband fell in love with. Not even close. As I sit and look through pictures of us through the 19 years we have been together, I can visibly see the difference. On the outside, there are wrinkles and gray hair. (Just a few of each, but enough to see that I am getting older.) There is weight that I swore would never be there. There is a tiredness that can only come from trying to be everyone’s everything.
Even more than the outside changes, are the changes inside.
At 16, I was better. I was carefree. Today, anxiety takes up about a large amount of my thoughts.
At 16, I wanted to see the world. Today, I love the comfort of my home.
At 16, I was idealistic about the future. I was convinced that I would have no struggles. Money would be abundant, my house would be immaculately clean, my daughter would have my eyes and I wouldn’t have a worry in the world. Here I am at 35, (how did that even happen), and my house looks like a gang of vandals have been here. My daughter doesn’t have my eyes, but she has my attitude. Heaven help us.
At 16, I was bold and confident. Today, I am insecure.
I am not the girl my husband fell in love with. Yet, somehow, he loves me through it all. He loves me in spite of my insecurities. Even when I don’t deserve it, he loves me. He never makes me feel bad about who I am. He never makes me question if I am worthy of him.
At 35, my faith is growing. Instead of complaining to a friend about my life, I pray. I pray for myself, but also for others. I pray for the family who lost a loved one. For the friend who is sick. For the woman who can’t have kids.
At 35, my priorities have changed. My number one concern is my family. Not the amount of money I make, or the laundry that is literally piled in the living room floor. I know I won’t get these days back. That laundry will always be there, indefinitely, but my daughter won’t always want to cuddle and watch TV.
At 35, I don’t have a large tribe. My friends are limited. I like it this way. Because though they are few, I know that they have my best interests at heart.
I may not be the woman my husband fell in love with. In some ways, I am better. The wrinkles and gray hair may tarnish the beauty that he saw at 16, but what has grown in me is something that he values. Sincerity, devotion, compassion, and support.