I’ve been scrolling through my old online journals from between the ages of fourteen and twenty (Ember and I started dating when I was about twenty and a half, and he was the first person I fell in love with and actually had a relationship with). I don’t mean to belittle my younger self (and it’s okay because I would have used these words and this tone back then too), but I was so painfully emo. The angst! The loneliness! The defensive walls I tried to put up!
It’s not that my life is easier now. In many ways, it’s harder, because the decisions I’m making have more serious and longer reaching impacts (and complications). But I’ve got so much love and support now that I actually appreciate, love and support that is a wonderful mix of “we love you no matter what” but “stop being silly and go do that thing you were supposed to do yesterday.”
I know that a lot of what has changed is simply time and experience, but I’m not going to minimize the impact of both my relationships. Ember has been the relentless cheerleader at my side, and has helped me stay afloat even when I didn’t realize that my stress and anxiety was starting to drown him too. Catalyst has been another source of morale, and also a taskmaster, helping me go the extra mile and aim for something more than “good enough.”
I get the pride of being good for them too, and helping others has more healing power than being helped. Yes this setup brings its own stresses, but there’s far more good than bad, or we wouldn’t still be together.
So yes, my life really is getting better. =) I hope yours is too!