If you are just joining me now for the first time…welcome! Before you continue on, refer to my first blog post The Beginning Pt.1 and start my story from “The Beginning”.
I remember I was so nervous to meet up with Chad after all of these years. The last time he saw me I was barely 17 and now I was 20 with a baby. Things had dramatically changed. Even more so, his last “warning” of not making bad choices when he was gone was running through my head before we met up.
I was with one of my girlfriends and we were dressed up like basketball players. Basketball players? Probably a costume I never would have repped before, but we didn’t have costumes and I didn’t want anything tight around my post-baby body. My friend, her fiance and I showed up at some random house party where Chad was supposed to meet us.
We waited a few minutes and then from the shadows I saw his silhouette in the dark- I could already tell it was him by the way he walked. We
We ended up leaving the party because it was super lame and we went to Walmart to get a Redbull before heading to another party. We hung out in the car, talked, and we pretty much connected on the same level as we once had before I had Hudson. I was stoked about that. While at Walmart, my other two friends bailed on going to the other party… but Chad still wanted me to go with him.
I immediately got super nervous. Mostly because I felt insecure about my post-baby body. Keep in mind Chad has a skinnier build, he is naturally slender. I got all nervous thinking about going to a big dance party and him somehow noticing that my body wasn’t up to par. I was a freaking mom for crying out loud and my baby was only 4 weeks old and there was no way I was going to let him see that I had an extra 10 or so pounds on me. I was also worried about physical intimacy. Not that he would try anything but still, I wasn’t ready for anything like that and you never know what will happen at a dance party on Halloween. So I asked him to take me home and we called it a night.
Post Baby Body Grind
Now it was the end of November and it was finally time for me to get back in shape. I had to try to eat better which was a struggle for me. I tried to cut my massive amounts of Dr. Pepper out of my diet and that was a struggle as well.
I still ate at all the same places, but I was just more conscious about what I was eating. If we went to our favorite Mexican place, then I would get a chicken burrito… but open it up and eat all of the chicken and pico out. I mainly focused on more protein and fewer carbs. It was definitely not easy considering you still have cravings after you have your baby and it was very hard to refuse them.
To really be ready for the tennis season coming up, my dad hired a personal trainer. I have never had a one-on-one trainer before so this was a whole new experience. The trainer I worked with specialized in athlete-training so a lot of what we did focused on speed and strength.
The first day I went, the trainer had me do the “warm up”. His warm-up took me over an hour haha. It was clear I was out of shape, but in my defense his warm-up was INSANE. It was a lot harder than anything I had ever done with our workouts at BYU.
The warm-up consisted of many push-ups, side planks, bear crawls, and much much more. I saw him twice a week and every time I left, I could hardly walk out of the building. Most of our workouts consisted of sled pushes, battle ropes, and body weight exercises. It was hard, but so much fun. I love things that challenge me, especially when it comes to working out!
Besides the workouts, I finally started playing tennis again. I was definitely rusty my first few practices, and then it came back like clockwork. Like I said, this was also a huge challenge. I felt like I was breathing through a straw most of the time because it was so difficult. Getting rhythm back was probably the biggest challenge.
I met up with Chad in California and we went to Disneyland, it was fun… and everything seemed so normal and relaxed between us. My mind wasn’t on dating at all though. My big focus was Hudson and tennis.
Now it was December and the time to return to BYU was approaching. I was so excited, but also very nervous. I often worried what people would think of me.
I definitely had some setbacks before I went back to BYU. I got horribly sick two times to the point where I had to take about a week and a half off tennis and workouts. So, in reality, I had about 20 days of actual working out and practice after taking 10 months off.
Another set back- after Christmas 2015 my grandfather passed away. I was super sad, and death by now was no stranger to me. Two people I loved died in 2015, and it was not easy. I gained comfort knowing that he was reuniting with my grandmother who passed away 10 years prior.
I definitely had flashes of depression flutter back into my life again. NYE I went to bed before midnight which was probably the first time I had done that since I was 5 years old. I remember Chad was trying to get me to go to a NYE party with him, and I told him I couldn’t. Mentally, I wasn’t feeling well.
Luckily my grandfathers funeral allowed me to gain closure. It turned into more of a celebration and left me feeling well and ready to go back to BYU.
Finally, I was back in Provo, Utah ready to start college as a single mom. I was excited but so nervous. I was worried about being judged. Looking back I understand why, but I don’t know why it gave me so much anxiety.
I was always so scared of people finding out that I had a baby. Mostly guys. I wanted people to get to know me and my personality before they judged me for having a baby out of wedlock. People who aren’t of the LDS faith probably won’t understand this as much as those who are. Let me just explain this a little… some people in our church can be very judgmental at times.
We have certain standards, we grow up with these standards and learn about them starting at a young age. Such things as chastity and the “word of wisdom” which means no drinking, smoking, caffeinated teas, and coffee. We also learn about modesty and overall keeping our minds and words clean as well.
I do think these are great standards to have, especially growing up. But the problem we face a lot is judgment. I used to get judged a lot in high school (like I mentioned before) because I wore bikinis, and I wore the tube top dresses to high school dances. Other girls would sometimes talk behind my back for this because they thought that made me promiscuous.
So when it comes to drinking or sex etc. you are labeled as “BAD” if you do any of it… or some others like to say “jack mormon”. I think what bothers me the most about this is that there is a double standard here. If a LDS guy has sex once it’s normal or it’s ok, but if a girl has sex once… she will be labeled as a “slut”. WOW. This drives me absolutely insane.
When it comes to sexuality, why are girls labeled as a slut if they are not a virgin? And why should we even care about someone else’s sexuality or choices if they don’t directly affect us?
This is an issue not just in the LDS community, but in society as well. A guy can have sex with 20+ girls and they may be seen as a “bad boy” or “player”… but a girl who has sex with 10+ guys is labeled as a “slut” or a “whore”. Like I said, double standard.
Sorry for that rant, but it is something that has always bothered me. Please leave a comment at the end of the blog and share your thoughts. I would LOVE to know what you think about this as well!
Back to BYU
Being back on the team felt so good, at first. I lost three of my best friends that tennis season due to some petty drama. I won’t get into the specifics of my 2016 tennis year because it still leaves me with feeling sick inside and it’s too complex to explain without opening up an old wound. I have also re-kindled my relationships with 2 of the 3 girls and don’t want to jeopardize that… but I do think it needs to be mentioned a little because it was a big part of my life in 2016.
I came back to BYU playing super well, I played against some people on the team and earned my #1 spot back. It felt incredible. I also had lost all of my baby weight which made me feel a lot better. Here I was, at my first match back playing #1 singles with my 3.5-month-old son watching in the stands. Looking back this was quite an accomplishment.
I didn’t have it easy in the #1 position though. My first match back after having Hudson was against Danielle Collins who is currently in the quarter finals of the Australian Open. She’s pro now. I laugh because that was my first match back! Playing #1 is NOT easy because you’re always going against the best at every college you play.
I started out playing well but quickly lost all confidence in myself as my teammates who were my friends, started talking poorly behind my back. They didn’t think I should be playing #1. They didn’t think I should even be playing tennis at all because I was a mom and they didn’t think I should go out on the weekends to meet new people
To be honest I rarely went out when I first got back to BYU. My mom had to practically force me to go out on the weekend and just feel like a normal 20-year-old. I started feeling really depressed again. Three of my best friends now regularly talked behind my back, I lost confidence in myself as a tennis player, and I felt so insecure about being a single mom.
On top of that, I thought about Arik all the time. Living in Utah again was hard for me. Everything that I saw reminded me of him. The bowling alley we went to every week, my old apartment complex where we had so many memories together, and even BYU where we first met. I found myself crying every night again looking through all of my old photos and videos of us together.
I regularly hid this from everyone. I didn’t want anyone to know that I was struggling again. I think even more so it was hard because I was so excited to come back and play tennis with my friends and now those friends didn’t like me.
Luckily in 2016 I became friends with one of the new freshman girls on the team from Australia named
Taylah and I started doing everything together. We practiced together, studied together, and spent the weekends together. We quickly became best friends. She also started to get more outgoing and feisty as well… she came out of her shell and I think I rubbed off on her a little. Although my tennis season was absolutely horrible because of all the drama, having
Oh, I Almost Forgot About Chad
Chad and I saw each other pretty frequently when I came back to BYU. It wasn’t long before we started flirting again. Through all of this hanging out and flirting there were times where he was kind of sketch or unresponsive. I really didn’t care too much, but part of me thought he would be easy to date since we already had history together.
Then, I found out he had a girlfriend. NICE. We had been seeing each other off and on for about two months and he had a girlfriend…now it all made sense. We never kissed during that time we were hanging out even though we were flirting a lot. He apologized but said that he was going to break up with her soon because he wasn’t “feeling” it. That act kind of went on for another few weeks until they did break up.
He told me that over the past few years, he never truly got over me. It was flattering to hear, but also interesting because I didn’t feel the same. I got over him probably six months after he left. I was in relationships the whole time he was gone on his mission.
“Every girl I have dated since I got off my mission, I have compared to you, and they never truly compare”. He also said that his sisters told him he needed to get over me and move on, but he couldn’t. I was flattered, and to be honest it gave me confidence again. I went from feeling like “the other girl” to “THE girl”.
We kissed sometime in April. It was my first kiss in over a year. I remember I was super nervous to kiss someone else again. I was still not over Arik, but this definitely helped the process a little. Sometimes my mind wandered to thinking about Arik when I was with him and I would compare. Looking back I think I was trying to force myself to feel something with Chad that truly wasn’t all there for me, mainly because we already had that history together.
After we kissed we hung out a few more times but it wasn’t all there for me. He had met Hudson, and I think it was weird for him considering I now had a child… that wasn’t his. He didn’t respond negatively towards Hudson, but he didn’t seem like he was good with kids at all and it was a MAJOR turn off for me.
Taylah Meets My Future Husband
Things kind of dwindled down for us and I started seeing other guys before the semester ended. During all this time Taylah and I were still hanging out all the time. We started going to social events and parties. Then one night we were at a party, had a good time and got in the car to leave.
I was in the car with Taylah, and a couple other friends. Taylah and one of the other girls in my car ran back over to the party to see if there were any after parties going on… and that’s when she met my Jacob.
Next week: “My Story” is turning into “OUR STORY”
You guys, I really wish I would have taken my mental health more serious back when I suffered from depression. Our mental health is SO important and it shouldn’t be brushed off as “normal” or “ok”. Sometimes the hardest part is taking the first step!
I’ll be honest, I delayed therapy for so long because I didn’t want to physically go in to see someone to receive the help! Recently I found a solution for that. It’s a company called “Better Help” and they offer online private professional counseling. You’re able to get matched with a licensed therapist without having to go into an office!
If you’re like me and you’re scared to take the first step then Click Here!
I am constantly looking for ways to help you guys and I really hope this new resource I found can make an impact in any way!