You might think that I would be completely gun shy about relationships and love after that horrific marriage. You would be wrong, unfortunately. Because I was married with children at such a young age (16) I never really got to experience the things that other people my age had done. It was in school, when finally surrounded by people my own age and similar interests that I met one of my best friends. M and I got along right from the start. She was 2 years older than me, had children almost the same age as mine and she was married. My mother was a young mom, she had me at 19 and was a grandmother at 37. She was single and she loved to dance, she invited me to go with her to a club on Thursday nights where they did ballroom dancing. I agreed to go, it was the first club or bar I had ever been to and I was 22 years old. I fell in love with the lights, the music, the people.They played “oldies” music and most of the people there were even much older than my mother, but they danced. Ballroom danced, swing, cha cha, hustle, meringue. I loved to dance too, I had inherited that from my mother. I was in heaven. I could be around adults and have an outlet. I asked M to join me on Thursday nights (at the time I was still married to Bruce) because like me, she had married early, had kids and was working and going to school full time. We needed a break. It became a routine, Thursday nights at the club for oldies night with a bunch of older men for company and laughs. As both of our marriages dissolved we got braver and braver, going out on Friday nights instead, with a younger crowd. We would take the kids to Chuck E Cheese, wear them out with ball pits and games, stuff them full of pizza and take them back to her house. She lived a mile from the club. We would split the cost of the babysitter who lived next door, put them down with a movie and wait for them to fall asleep. Then as soon as they were out, we would call the babysitter to come over and head out to be adults. The next morning we would take them to the beach and let them run wild all the while tanning ourselves and talking about the nights adventures. I miss those days on the beach, watching the kids play so carefree. I miss thinking that I had the world in front of me and that the possibilities were endless. I didn’t care about anything then, just the ocean, my children and my friend. I remember in those moments thinking the ocean had the power to change everything, including my perspective of things. Those days are long gone. It takes a lot more than the ocean these days to get out of my own head.