This life always leaves a huge gapping hole in my heart. Don't get me wrong. I love and adore my husband. I am his biggest fan. I'd give my life for my two children. I love my life, and I wouldn't have it any other way. But the fact is that I'm away from my family with whom I am very close, and my husband is frequently gone leaving me to lead the lifestyle of a single mother but without the single mother income. Someone we know is always deployed, always hurt, always dying. The people we make friends with are always moving away, and friends who've become like family are scattered all over the world. The harsh reality is that we are a country at war. We have been for 10 years. An anniversary that slipped quietly into the night for pretty much everyone but the military community. I've lived in fear of losing my husband to this war for nearly a decade. A fear that is made worse by the fact that we now have two small children who very well could grow up without knowing their daddy.
Through the years I have constantly been searching for a way to fill the hole. I fill my free time with friends, phone calls, my kids, movies, the internet, or furthering my education. What I've been ignoring, is the ability to fill the hole with something so simplistic I can't believe it took me this long to figure it out. Me. I fill the hole with me. I don't know if it's this place in the world, or this time in my life but it feels as though things are falling into place. I've spent years doing the things I should do. Searching for the things I should be. What I should have done was listened to myself when I was 16. I knew then what I wanted. I just didn't trust myself enough to see it through.
However my husband has taught me a little something about motivation, dedication, and fear. He's taught me that in order to be a fulfilled person, you have to do what makes you happy. He's made his way through his career doing exactly what he's wanted to do. I've always been there supporting him because I love him. He's taught me that you can't hold back from what you really want because you're afraid that it might not work out how you'd planned. And finally I realized that I needed to do the same. I needed to stop doing certain things because I should and start doing things that make me happy. I know I have my husband's love and support to do so.
So I've come full circle. I've discovered that I really did know what I wanted when I was 16. I am living a dream. I am the artist I always wanted to be. I successfully started my own photography business, and it's growing. I love what I do. I spend my days making people happy simply by doing what makes me happy. And I can physically feel the change. I've regained myself. I can't help it that I love pretty pictures, and I won't apologize for wanting to create that utopian moment for the parents of a newborn baby. I won't apologize for the desire to capture the miracle of pregnancy in a romantic and poetic way. I love everything about it.
In every way, I owe this life for the courage and the strength to finally become what I've always wanted. It may have taken me 14 years to find my way, but the point is that my past and my present have finally become one, and I'm back to being me.