You never know where it will lead you. You can plan things out, and some people plan for their retirement before they hit 18, but life has a funny habit of throwing the odd curve ball that can change everything.
When I was 15 my plan was to go to art college and eventually become an interior designer. But at 16 I got pregnant and that was that. No one told me at the time about all the help I could have received that would have let me go to college, so instead I spent the last days of my young adulthood changing nappies and raising my daughter on my own as best I could.
As she grew up and started school I started doing volunteer work in a couple of local thrift shops. It passed the time and got me out of the house. During this time I met my now ex husband. For various reasons I had lost confidence in skills I may have once had, so art college was long gone from my thoughts. But I did occasionally mention the possibility of going to college during my 9 year marriage, each time to be met with excuses about how we couldn’t afford it, or questions about who would take care of the house and my daughter if I went to college, and told that it wasn’t a good idea because of my depression. All in all it was considered a bad idea … by him.
So I played house and pretended that I was happy with that. I went along with all sorts of crap thinking I was doing the right thing by keeping my husband happy and providing a secure home for my daughter, even though the pair of them didn’t get along all after a couple of years.
But all the years of emotional abuse, threats of physical abuse and playing piggy in the middle between my child and my husband turned out to be a waste of time. In the UK council (local authority) tenants have the right to buy their home, and the longer you are in that home the more discount you get when you buy it. I had been in my council house for 11 years when he talked me into buying it on a joint mortgage. Less than a year after we bought it he threw me and my daughter (who was just about to turn 16) out after New Year in 2005.
For months I was in what I can only describe as a state of shock. I was numb to everything. I didn’t take things in properly and was conned out of my home and pretty much all the contents. I think I was one of the few women to come out of a separation/divorce worse off!
When I eventually got my head together, got a cleaning job, and was now settled in a small 2 bedroom flat I decided that I was going to do something for myself (after a bit of prompting from my daughter). I was going to college! Since I spent hours each day in front of my computer (mainly playing The Sims 2) I opted for a simple NC in Office Technology, which as far as I could gather from the prospectus was just a glorified “How to Use Miscrosft Office” type of course. That way I could learn to do something else with the computer, and learn to type properly … yes I was a one handed typist back then, but not the naughty sort lol.
Time went one, and the one year NC (National Certificate) course led to a three year HND (Higher National Diploma). When college ended I changed my cleaning job to a retail job, moved into a 2 bedroom house with front and back garden, and although my love life has never been stable since my divorce I haven’t been bored!
Looking back on it I can honestly say that getting divorced, despite it not being my decision, was the best thing my hubby ever did for me. I went to college, got a beautiful house, went back to work, accepted that I am big and will always be big to varying degrees, realised that although I’m big there are plenty of men out there who like big women and I am sexy in my own way, gained my confidence back and discovered who I really am and what I am capable of.
So although life threw me on a curve at times I think I have managed to turn it around and worked it to my advantage in the end. However, at 42 I’m hoping it eases up on those curves a little!
Apologies if this post meanders a bit, I’ve been up from 2am this morning and the brain is a little foggy just now 🙂