6 years ago today Jeremy graduated from boot camp at MCRD San Diego and became a Marine.
6 years ago today I was 540 miles away attending my last year of High School.
6 years ago today Jeremy and I didn’t know the other existed; we were in two completely different worlds.
He had just spent the last 3 months with no contact from his family other than letters, getting yelled at daily and enduring the most physically demanding experience of his life to earn the title of U.S. Marine.
I had spent the last 3 months working part time at an Italian Restaurant, enjoying my Senior year, applying to colleges and getting my heart broken by my first boyfriend.
There are times when I wish I would have known Jeremy then, so I could have been there to write him letters and support him at his graduation.
But other times I think that it wasn’t the right time for us. We both needed to find ourselves, experience life on our own and learn what we truly wanted in a partner.
A little over a year passed between Jeremy’s boot camp graduation and our first meeting. And in that time a lot of things changed for us both.
I got to live on my own for a year, over 500 miles away from my family and everyone I grew up with. I became independent and self-confident as I excelled in my first year of college and lived in the dorms. I partied a lot and dated a lot of jerks. I learned to respect myself and my worth and discovered what qualities are important to me in a partner.
Jeremy got his heart broken by his High School girlfriend when he returned from boot camp. He lived on his own for the first time, made new friends and saw more of the country then he ever had before. He lived in new places, with new people and had to become more open minded and accepting as his world expanded beyond small-town Wisconsin farm life. He sowed some “wild oats” and experienced being single for the first time in his teenage and adult life.
Then one night we met, the right place and the right time in our lives, and the rest was history.
I don’t know what would have happened to our relationship if we had met sooner, or later. If being too young would have made us grow apart in the search for independence and experience. Or if being older would have left us bitter and disillusioned about love and “happily ever after”. There is no way to know that.
But what I do know is that I wouldn’t change a thing, because in the end, it lead me to where I am today; married to the love of my life. We both ended up getting to where we needed to be: together
“Lookin’ back at the moments, black and white
I wouldn’t change a thing that changed my life
For the worse, for the better
Man, I was gone, gone forever
The laughs, the smiles, the trials, the tears
It’s hard to hate what got me here