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My Story of Long Ago New Beginnings

The start of a new year brings the chance for new beginnings. We’re starting fresh. This is the time to reflect on our lives and see where we can improve.

Today I’d like to share a story about a year that was full of new beginnings for me. That was the year of my metamorphosis, the year I chose a different path than the one I was traveling.

Twenty-one years ago, I attended a New Year’s Eve party at my best friend’s house. We all wished each other Happy New Year at midnight. Then my friend handed each of us a tiny spoonful of black-eyed peas and insisted we all eat them for good luck. Peas eaten, we all stood in a circle in her kitchen and announced some problem or vice we were letting go and something we hoped to achieve in the coming year.

I’d had an emotionally bumpy year. Many things had happened. I’d accepted a promotion and transferred from the city where I was living to one close to my home town. I’d had a horrible roommate experience, which resulted in moving a couple of times. Moving and transferring between cities turned my life upside down enough, but the most traumatic thing that happened involved my love life.

The boyfriend I’d had off and on for two years and I finally permanently parted ways that preceding summer. I’d gone out on a few dates in the following months. They were all perfectly wonderful men, but I didn’t feel that special zing with any of them.

I wanted to move on and be happy. My life was a mess, and I was determined to fix it. Standing in that circle with my friends, I told them I was letting go of unrealistic expectations and societal pressures. I was going to do what was best for me, no matter what anyone else had to say about it.

I also vowed to let go of the last few lingering feelings I had for my ex-boyfriend. We were finished. I wasn’t looking to the past, anymore. My eyes were trained straight ahead to the future.

I told my friends in that circle that I hoped to achieve true happiness in the coming year. I was taking charge of my life again. It had been off track long enough. I was prepared to embrace joy with or without a significant other. I explained that I’d just met someone, but whether or not things worked out, I’d be just fine.

The tall red-headed man I’d met earlier that day was different from anyone I’d ever dated. I was trying something new. He liked to play video games in his spare time, listened to heavy metal music, and watched South Park. He was also divorced with two kids who lived with him.

While I’d given him my phone number, I really didn’t expect a long-term relationship with him. I figured we’d go out and have some fun. Perhaps we’d get together once in a while for dinner and a movie. I certainly couldn’t have predicted what happened.

We had our first date on January 2, 1999. By the time our second date was finished, I knew I was going to marry the man. As I mentioned in an earlier post, we were engaged on Valentine’s Day and married in October. As of today, I’ve been with my husband for twenty-one years. It doesn’t seem possible that so much time as passed.

1999 was full of new beginnings for me. I became a wife and step-mom. I changed jobs, leaving an industry in which I’d worked for nearly ten years. I put my old life behind me and concentrated on my new one.

In case you’re wondering about that old boyfriend, he did call me and try to rekindle our romance a couple of weeks after I started dating Jim. He even mentioned marriage, which he’d refused to consider while we were dating. While Jim and I hadn’t made a commitment to each other at that point, I knew I had to keep moving forward. I explained that I’d moved on with my life and told the man from my past that I wished him well.

Look to the future, not the past. Embrace happiness where you find it. Be open to new beginnings. Sometimes your joy is just waiting for you to open your eyes and choose a new path.

Thank you for reading Ozarks Maven! If you’ve enjoyed my little seeds of wisdom and joy, please subscribe to Ozarks Maven, Like Ozarks Maven on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter @OzarksMaven.

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