A military relationship is different than an average relationship.
Your identity is mainly mirrored through your husband's.
You give his last name to enter the base, his social when you want to make a doctor's appointment and even though they may not seem like major problems, for me, I felt like I was losing all traces of who I was individually.
I think the military aspect only exacerbated that.
When I got involved in that relationship, there were signs right off the bat that we didn't belong together.
At that certain point in my life, though, it became easy to ignore them, even when those red flags were waving 200 feet in front of my face.
When I was a senior in high school, I also ignored those red flags.
It wasn't that he was particularly a terrible person; it was more rooted in the fact that I knew that I wasn't ready to give up on the life I was living and was planning to continue with.
I wasn't ready to close the book without reading the final sentences of my chapters, but because this was a military relationship, our love was stronger and more important than any accomplishment either of us could have had.
But, it wasn't.
We didn't gel together. Our differences, which were once attractive to one another, became the biggest obstacle between us. I felt like a lost myself.
I had dreams of going to college, and I spent my days sitting on the couch Peg Bundy style, downing packs of Oreos instead of bonbons.
I had always wanted to write a novel, yet I stared hopelessly at a blinking screen.
I had lost touch with who I was and what I needed out of life.
Yet, the minute we ended our marriage, I felt destroyed. I was hollowed because suddenly, I didn't have something — or someone — to hide behind anymore.
I remained hollowed for a couple of years. I still dreamed big and talked a big game, but I was so riddled with insecurities that even the idea of getting out of bed in the morning was enough to make me turn back around and hoist the covers over my cheeks.
While there was a significant part of myself that thought I had a basic understanding of what I wanted in life prior to marriage, that definition had been turned upside down after marriage.
Did I still want to write? Did I want to continue with school? If so, what did I want to major in? What would give me passion?
It took me a while to figure this stuff out, but I am so happy I left a relationship that was stifling my growth and stopping me from discovering who I truly am.
Had I stayed in that dull marriage, I would have never found the confidence to become the woman I am today.
When you're living a life that is black-and-white, you miss out on all the moments that exist in shades of grey — the confusion, the fear and ultimately, the moment you overcome all of it.
I never would have become a published author of two books, landed a writing internship in New York or graduated from college with a 4.0.
Most importunately, I never would've had the courage or the inspiration to even do those things.
And making the impossible possible isn't just done by believing in yourself.
It's also done by being backed by loving people who support you and who remind you of how badass you actually are in those moments when you doubt yourself.