You remember back when you were a kid and you thought about the year "2000?" I think I was probably in about 3rd or 4th grade when it entered my consciousness, and I realized I would be 24 in the magical year 2000. Considering that my biggest worries at the time were how to fend off my enemies and getting out of doing homework, I could not fathom what sort of worries could possibly beleaguer someone that old.
As it turns out, the year I was 24 was probably one of my most difficult. Shortly before my birthday I began dating someone I had been interested in about a year previous during one of the many "breaks" in a relationship with someone else (hereafter known as Guitar Guy). For some reason, we thought it would be a good idea to get married immediately. I was not pregnant and neither of us were in need of a green card, but we planned and executed a wedding in three months - complete with nine attendants each, two candlelighters, a ring bearer, a Bible boy and ten "snowflake chuckers" (it was a December wedding).
My husband thought it would be a good idea to move away from the community I had lived in the majority of my life, so we moved to Moyie Springs, Idaho. In January. With one vehicle. And no TV.
Our home was a beautiful little chalet that was open on the bottom floor with the exception of a bathroom. It had a door to the outside on all four sides of the house and a circular wrought iron staircase in the middle. The two upstairs bedrooms were mostly unusable because A) it is hard to carry furniture up a spiral staircase and B) it is hard to heat an upper floor with just a wood stove downstairs.
We placed our four-poster bed in the corner (see diagram) nearest the wood stove and lived miserably there for about two and a half months.
My then-husband had obtained a job before we moved and the place that was employing him had promised me one as well. They lied. I had nothing to do and no way to get there in any case, as he took the truck every morning.
I was alone from about 7 am to 7pm Monday through Friday. I read every book I owned within about the first three weeks. I was also on the internet a lot, as our cell phones only worked in one corner of the house, on a clear day.
I managed to disguise my despair to everyone but my mother, who flew to see us and told my then-husband that he had better move me immediately or there would be a dire situation. She was right. If not for adopting a cat that I spent all my time with daily, I don't know if I would have survived.
We moved to a trailer in Hermiston, Oregon in mid-March for about three weeks while we looked for a place to live in College Place, Washington. By this time we both realized that our marriage had problems beyond removing me from my environment, but he took a job that required him to be gone 4 to 6 nights a week and when he did come home I felt like he was invading my space.
I moved out and we decided to divorce right about the middle of April. I got a job back in my familiar neck of the woods and rented my first apartment of my own. I learned to deal with budgeting my finances and having full responsibility for myself.
I adopted a second cat (I got the first one when we split) and got back together with Guitar Guy (if the truth be told, I was not over him to begin with, one of MANY nails in our marriage coffin).
Our divorce was filed just before I turned 25, and was final in November. We were leading very separate lives by the time the first anniversary of our wedding rolled around.
It took me a long time to be able to tell many of my friends and family that I was getting/had gotten a divorce. I was so embarrassed to admit to so many of them that this thing I had attempted was a failure.
Now seven years later, I am glad for the experiences of that year, but would not want to re-live them for anything.
I am not afraid to get married again, and am anxiously waiting for April 12, 2008 to come!