Well. It's been quite a while since I've posted here, and a lot has changed in the time between.
Back in November Adam and I split up. The reasons were many and the circumstances were complicated. I could go on and on about what happened and why, but I won't, at least not today. Not really because it makes me sad or because I'm not ready to talk about it (though those things are true), but because it just isn't important right now. I changed. He changed. We both made choices we can't take back. We are going our separate ways.
What is important right now is this.
See that? That's my whole world. That is the reason I get out of bed every morning, the reason for every breath in my lungs. That is the most beautiful pair of brown eyes, the most contagious giggle, the silliest grin, the sweetest hugs. That is my Tiny Small. That is my girl, boarding a plane to California.
I have never lived on my own. When I turned 18 I went from my family's home to Adam, and I was dependent on him for just about everything for over three years. I've never had to rely on myself. I've never had to really grow up. Now due to the situation I've found myself in, I needed to get out on my own before I was fully prepared. In October I started my first "real" job in years. It's a good job, but I have to work full time to make ends meet for Autumn and me, and if I do that I won't have time to actually raise her. What it comes down to is that I simply cannot take care of her by myself at this point, so my mother has generously offered to take her in until I can get on my feet. This way I will know that she is being taken care of by people who love her, and I won't have to worry that she's going without the things she needs. In the meantime, I'm moving into a small apartment with a roommate. The rent is cheap and it's within walking distance of my job, which will allow me to save up plenty of extra money for when she comes back.
I know that there are people out there who will judge me harshly for my choice, but all I can say to them is that unless you have been in my position, you haven't the slightest idea what this has been like for me. This is the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my adult life. It was a choice that I mulled over for weeks, weighing my options and always, always putting Autumn first. I am not trying to escape responsibility. I am not abandoning my child. I am doing what I truly believe is best for her right now. And I guarantee that there is not a soul on the planet who knows what is best for her better than I do.
My heart breaks a thousand times over to see her go. I'm going to miss so much. First grade, her seventh birthday, all the lost teeth and trips to the beach and new friends. I will call her every day and send her packages and look at photographs, but I can't hug her when she skins her knee on the playground. I can't pack her lunch every day. I can't kiss her good night. When she left, she took a part of me with her.
But I can't change that. I can do one of two things now. I can sit around feeling sorry for myself, or I can fight to bring my girl back home. This is about a new beginning for both of us. I want to build a life for us here. My will is strong and my goals are clear, and I'll be damned if I let anything or anyone stand in my way.