What if?

We’ve all wished we could turn back time at some point in our life, right? Not date the bad boy. Not quit that job.  Not move in with that roommate.  Not marry the guy or girl.  But we can’t turn back time and we can’t undo the decisions we’ve made.

I was 24 when I met my ex-husband George. He was 20.  I was already engaged to another man that I was not in love with.  I knew deep down he didn’t want to marry me either and felt pressured when I asked him where our relationship was going.  George was a janitor – yes a janitor – in the building that I worked at and used to stock my desk with tissue and dump my trash.  I always pick the winners.  Funny enough I barely noticed him but he had a crush on me for months before I knew it.  I thought he was sweet and quickly I was no longer engaged and moving into a house with George after a month.  I paid for everything – rent, utilities, household items and entertainment.  George was responsible for his car, insurance and his child support.  We were definitely inseparable and enjoyed our first couple months living together having lots and lots of sex.  Unfortunately, I was pregnant almost immediately.  I was shortly thereafter called by Martin-Harris Construction for an interview.  I took a job with them as a Project Manager at the age of 25.  I had my baby and got married that same year when she was almost 6 months old.

I got offer after offer from other firms while I was at Martin-Harris. I loved that job and that company.  I regret leaving that company but then I wouldn’t have had all the other experiences I gained at other firms.  I left for more money and that job ended up being a joke.  I ended up moving my family to Los Angeles, where I grew up for a job at BCBG the clothing Company as a Sr. Project Manager in their Store Concepts Division.  I was there a mere 4 months before George left me alone in LA with our 2 year old.  I told you – a real winner that one. The job was 70% travel and I had no choice but to quit the position.  Again, I wish I never quit that job and worked out some sort of nanny or family help.

So here I am headed back to Vegas after lots of fighting and crying with George. My dad was clearly pissed but I left anyway.  We separated not too long after we moved back because he was cheating on me again.  In November 2006, I went home for a few months and had received an offer from the Venetian Hotel’s Retail division.  I was scheduled to start February 2007.  I was working for my Dad’s CM firm to keep busy until I went back to Vegas in January.  I found a daycare and a townhouse to rent.  Everything was set.  Then my dad throws me a curveball and asked me to stay and work for him.  I declined the position at the Venetian which I also regret.  I moved my stuff from Vegas and rented a duplex in Playa del Rey.  I lived there for 9 months before George came out there for us and wanted to be a family again.  He never left.  He just came to see Maliya one weekend and never left.  What the hell?  So, we decided to go at it again and lived in LA for a few months but ultimately returned to Vegas.

Through my Dad’s connections I got rehired at Turner Construction, where I started my career at the young age of 16, and was a Project Engineer on a condo tower in downtown Las Vegas. I found us a house to rent in a week and we moved in March 1, 2008.  We were starting over.  Putting the past behind us.  I spent 2 weeks setting up our new house and started my new job on March 17th.  I remember because it was St, Patrick’s day.  In April, George was caught cheating on me again.  This wasn’t the first time or the last.  I then started cheating on him.  It was a mess.  The rest of the marriage was a roller coaster of fighting, starting over, him cheating again.  I even filed for divorce the first time in 2009.  I can’t remember how we got through that except that we moved in with his parents because we both got laid off within 4 months of each other when the economy shifted.  It was then that I got pregnant with our second daughter.  We eventually moved into a house in Green Valley and remained there until the final separation and then divorce.

All that pain and suffering and fighting lasted almost a decade. I often wished I never met him or married him.  Then I think of the beautiful daughters that are the light of my life and I wouldn’t trade it if it was the price I paid to have them in my life.  I wish we could have both behaved differently, but you can’t change it.  Since then I have had a rough couple of years, getting laid off again from 3 jobs and consulting for my dad in between.  I am currently still consulting part time.  I got diagnosed with bi-polar disorder in 2015 and spent way too much time drowning my sorrows or partying to not feel like a failure after the divorce.  The dissolution of my family was a hard thing for me to deal with.  I have finally – after many bad decisions, a handful of 5 month relationships and a lot of therapy found peace.  I have found a love for writing and realized that you can’t dwell on the what ifs in life.  Nor can you worry too much about the future.  You must live in the present and enjoy each moment because you can never get it back.  The struggles and turbulence in life has given me the inspiration to write and follow my dreams.  Every decision has molded you into the person you are today.  Embrace it and love yourself.  Try not to live with regret.  I myself am still working on that.  What if I had never met George?  What if I had never left Martin Harris or BCBG?  What if I had taken the job at the Ventian?  What if I had never gotten divorced?  One can never know.  What I do know is that I might not be sitting here writing this blog.