It was never supposed to be like this.
At five years old, if you asked me what I would be doing when I was 30, I’d tell you I was going to be a famous pop star.
If you asked me at 10, the answer would be the same, except I’d be married to Joey McEntire from New Kids on the Block. We’d have lots of babies. Don’t you judge me.
If you asked me at 16, I’d still be a pop star, but Joey would be replaced by Justin Timberlake. We’d still have lots of babies, though.
You shouldn’t bother asking me what my thoughts where when I was 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24…
At 26, I thought I’d move to California and meet me some gorgeous rock star and together we’d tour the world. I’d finally be happy. I’d finally be skinny and gorgeous and rich and famous. Or at least infamous. Either way, there would be no way in hell you could get me out of California.
At 28, there would be no gorgeous rock star in my future, but it would be me and the bestie forever. Thelma and Louise, minus the gruesome cliff ending. We would party until we were 80! Seriously, I figured I’d die in the back of the Viper Room on my 85th birthday, because when you’re 85, you really shouldn’t do flaming shots of booze. Bedtime was sometime before sunrise, paychecks were spent in the fast lane of life, leaving just enough for bills. Leaving California was the last thing I’d ever do.
I was going to get a business degree. I was going to start my own promotions company, I was going to work with artists and turn them into stars!
A year ago I thought I’d party and be single for the rest of my life. My heart and my pride had been passed around and stomped on way too much, and I was okay with being alone. I was done with relationships! And that handsome guy who just walked in the bar? Yeah, totally not for me, but he’s damn cute, and he’d be damn fun to flirt with. And he drives a motorcycle!
In August 2015, everything was going to be perfect. Kentucky was a great move, everything was a sure thing. That guy from the bar had stuck around, had a plan, had a sure thing waiting for us. 2,200 miles away from where I said I’d never leave…
It’s 2016. I’m 30. 31 is fast approaching.
I’m not a pop star. I’m not married to Joey McEntire, Justin Timberlake, some unknown rock star. I’m not married at all.
I left California.
Kentucky was not perfect. It was not a sure thing.
I’m a waitress. A waitress that is in bed by 10pm most nights, and it’s a rare treat if I go to the bar.
That guy from the bar? He’s still cute, and he’s still fun to flirt with. I’m not skinny, but he does tell me I’m gorgeous. All the time. He doesn’t stomp on my heart or my pride. In fact, he’s piecing it back together bit by bit. He’s healing the damage that the others before him did, healing the damage I’ve done to it myself. Turns out, he totally was for me.
And on those nights where he just can’t keep his eyes open past 9pm because he’s up at 5am and out the door to catch his ride to work, then busts his ass for 9 hours a day, I watch him sleep.
I smile when he shifts to find me in bed next to him, because he needs to feel me, needs to be touching me.
At 5am, when he’s rushing out the door for work, he never ever leaves without a kiss goodbye. He never leaves the house without saying “I love you, beautiful”. He calls me beautiful all the time, he calls me sexy, he calls me Pixie. But every once in awhile, he calls me by my real name. And I love it, because it reminds me that he knows all of me. And he still wants me, still loves me. All of me. Even those dusty corners I’ve kept people out of for a long time.
Those sleepy 5am kisses. Curling up with the pillow that smells like him. Messages telling me to come home from work, from errands, from anywhere because he misses me. He needs me.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this. But it is.
And I’m happy.