I got to thinking, dear reader… dangerous, I know, but there’s a very common question that gets asked whenever someone is interviewing for a job, “Where do you see yourself in five (sometimes ten) years?” And I normally do not have an answer for that because I don’t worry too much about the future, nor do I concern myself with the past. But if someone had asked me that ten years ago, I would not have told them, “Married with four pets, sitting at home in front of a computer all day because I can’t work.” That’s totally not where I saw myself ten years ago. So in May of 2011, I was in college, finishing my Master’s degree. If I remember correctly, I was studying for my comprehensive exam, which was in June, I think? I graduated in December of 2011, and moved out to New Mexico in Jan of 2012. I had plans, dear reader, plans that didn’t exactly work out, and not for lack of trying. My life turned around when I went to my first psychiatrist here in New Mexico. You see, the medications I take for my bipolar require me to get blood work for my liver regularly, so the first psychiatrist did a full panel in me. She is the one who informed me that there was something amiss with my thyroid. Being a pdoc and not a medical doctor, she told me to find a doctor who could deal with the thyroid issues. So I did. And that doctor put me on the most popular medication for thyroid, levothyroxine. Turns out that I have a pretty bad reaction to levothyroxine. Like, not good at all. And my plans of putting my Master’s degree to use and becoming a teacher kind of went down the drain from there. I also developed COPD around that time because New Mexico hates me, and it very quickly devolved into me not being able to work at all. See, becoming a teacher was kind of my last ditch dream of working, dear reader. It was something I was almost passionate about. Like, I’m not a passionate person, but I enjoyed teaching. I had a very specific goal in mind — teaching adult English. I think I’da been good at it. I think I’d still be good at it. But with health as bad as mine, it’s just not in the cards.
See, ten years ago, I was, for all intents and purposes, kind of healthy. Ironically, I was considered disabled ten years ago too. I haven’t been able to hold a full-time job since my car accident in 2007, but I thought that I might could teach. I’ve had an ever growing laundry list of ailments before I ever set foot in NM — sans the thyroid and COPD — but I was more or less a functioning adult. I mean even though getting a Master’s degree (at 45, mind you) seemed like a cake-walk to me, it still wasn’t anything to sneeze at. When I first moved here in 2012, I walked, albeit slowly, pretty much everywhere, and my weight was around 175 pounds. A little overweight, but not too much. I didn’t even own a car, and the idea of walking a mile to the store didn’t phase me at all. I did it all of the time without even thinking about it. Now, ten years later, I’m hovering around 265 pounds and the idea of taking the dogs two blocks down the road to the dog park is overwhelming to me. I’ve done it once. Once in the entire year we’ve lived here, dear reader. And I cannot just blame the thyroid and COPD for it. I think that adding these two on top of everything else just broke something in my brain, and I haven’t recovered from it. I know I’ve tried. Believe me, I’ve tried. I’ve even gone to a couple of therapists to figure it out, and I’m not a therapy kind of person. I’ll probably try therapy again because I honestly do not like the fragile person I’ve become over this past decade. I can’t even blame the chronic pain for my downward spiraling health, because I was in pain 24/7 a decade ago too (hell, since my last kid was born, and that was in 1989), and that didn’t stop me from walking then. My motto most of my adult life has been, “If I stopped moving because it hurts, I would never move again.” It’s as true now as it was then. I haven’t stopped moving, dear reader, I’ve just stopped moving as much. If that makes sense.
But all is not bad, dear reader because another life-changing event happened in 2012 when I came to New Mexico, and that was the date I went on the second day after I moved into my new home. Yep, that’s when I met Doug. And we clicked right away. It was pretty scary, actually, how quickly we got along. I mean, as I said before, I had plans when I moved to NM. I’d paid six months in advance for my little apartment and was working as a substitute teacher, even without a car. It was an adventure. That’s fersure. I was looking into jobs teaching adult English, and Doug and I, of course, just started out dating. But things move fast sometimes, dear reader. I think I moved in with Doug within three months, and my health was basically shot within six months because of the levothyroxine. It was a weird six months. Doug and I got engaged in March of 2012, but agreed to wait a year just because of how fast things were moving. Neither of us wanted to make a mistake — me because of the previous two marriages, and him because, well he had his reasons. But we waited a year and it all worked out, because here we are almost ten years later and still going strong. I have often said, and will continue to say, dear reader, that Doug is the best thing that’s happened to me. My health may have started to decline, but without him, things could have gone much worse for me. He’s been my rock in this way turbulent time. Things may not have worked out as I had vaguely planned, but in the end, I can’t complain, because my life is pretty good.
It’s so weird when I think about it though… ten years seems like such a long time, and yet it’s also like the blink of an eye. Sometimes I’m like, has it really been ten years? because it seems like I just moved to New Mexico yesterday. But, like, so much has happened in those ten years. Ten years ago I was living in Mississippi and I was such a different person. I hadn’t even met or heard of my husband at that time. I was studying for my comprehensive exam and had such a different life planned out for myself. Being married and living in a house wasn’t even in the cards for me. Like, I never wanted to be married again — ever. Now I do live in a house — the third house in a decade. Like, what heck, y’all? I’ve lived in apartments most of my adult life. Apartments, hotels, rented rooms, and even a motorhome, but now I co-own a house, and I’m dealing with things like plumbers and landscapers. This was not the life I planned, but I’m totally not complaining. I adore my husband and my life. It’s just mind-boggling sometimes when I think of everything that happened in this tiny span of ten years. Especially when I consider that I haven’t really done anything because of being disabled. Like, I’ve spent most of these years trying to figure out how to not be useless, and getting frustrated about the whole mess. But, as I said, I’m not complaining, I like my life for the most part. And that is enough of ruminating about the past. It’s not something that I’m wont to do, but hey, it’s okay once in a while, right?