Where I’ve Been: A Life Update

Hey guys!  I can’t believe it’s been MONTHS since I’ve last posted something.  (Ok…maybe I can, if you knew what I’ve been doing.)

First of all, I just want to say that I think I’ve lost my spark for blogging.  It used to be so much fun for me, but my taste in books has changed over the past year or so.  While I still enjoy YA, I’ve become a major historical nonfiction buff.  Stories of real life for me have suddenly become more fascinating than fiction.

If you want me to review the nonfiction I’ve been reading, I’ll gladly do that.  But since this has been primarily a YA blog, I didn’t want to just switch on everyone.

But another reason why I haven’t been blogging is quite simple: I fell in love again.

If you’ve stuck with me over the past seven (!!!) years, you may be rolling your eyes because I tend to fall in love a lot, right?  I’m a hopeless romantic and I know it.  But I’m also quite picky when it comes to guys, so it takes me a while to find the right guy but them I’m a goner.

ANYWAY, this one is different.  It feels different, not just to me.  He’s told me on multiple occasions that he’s never felt anything like this, and both of us have been in (failed) relationships that almost brought about engagements.  So I think we have at least some idea of what we’re talking about.

I really want to tell you about this guy because I just like to gush about him.  And I think this story is awesome.  ❤

I met him when I was a freshman in high school.  (Oh yeah, we’re going back in time.  2006, baby.)  We were in show choir together, which meant we spent quite a bit of time in the same place.  Rehearsals, competitions, etc.  I was an uber dork and he was tall and handsome.  He made me laugh and he was one of the few people I felt really listened to me when I spoke.  So naturally, I developed a pretty big crush on him.

(You see why I like this story so much?)

He was two years older than me, so when he graduated in 2008, I saw him 1-2 more times after graduation and then he was gone.  He served 8 years in the Air Force and traveled all over the US and was stationed abroad for a time.  He returned to our hometown about a year and a half ago and got a job at a local restaurant with my cousin.

In all of that time, we never reconnected.

Part of it was because I was afraid he wouldn’t be the person I remembered.  I’ve reconnected with old high school friends before and they were completely different.  It just ruined my memories of them and cast a different light on what I thought of them.  He was my one unsullied high school crush that I could look back on with fondness, and I didn’t want that ruined.

In November after a date cut me off cold turkey, I reluctantly headed back to the dating apps try to find someone new.  That’s when I found him.  (I’d found him before on the app, but I’d been avoiding him for reasons stated above.)  With a little bit of reluctance, I accepted his attempt to contact me.  We talked over text for almost two weeks.

At first, I wasn’t sure he remembered me.  Everything was vague, getting-to-know-you style questions.  But he let slip the name of our show choir director, and I said, “Oh, you do remember me.”  His sweet reply was, “Of course.  Why wouldn’t I?”

(You have to remember, I was so quiet in school that people didn’t really notice me then and they certainly don’t remember me 10 years later with that kind of ease.)

Because of his work schedule at a nearby gym, it was hard for us to find a time to meet up again for the first time.  To keep things casual, I went to visit him at work one night, just to see if we were compatible.  I was so nervous I put on extra deodorant before I left the house so I wouldn’t sweat through my clothes and stink.

The sparks, you guys.  Oh my God.  I was there for about 3 hours while he told me all kinds of stories from the service, about what he’d been up to, and telling me jokes.  He’s a bit of a talker, so I was content to just be listening and sharing a few of my stories here and there.  When I left, my face legitimately hurt from all the smiling I had done.  When I got home, I had a text waiting from him where he told me he hadn’t smiled that much in a long time.

The funniest thing is that he’s not my type.  Since college, I’ve fallen into a (terrible) routine when it comes to picking guys.  I like them to be taller than me, well-educated and dorky, funny, not a trouble-maker, and settled when it comes to what they’re doing with their life.

He is 6’4″ (tall: check!), but he only has a high school diploma at this point.  (He wants to go to culinary school, which is fantastic for me.  I don’t cook.)  He’s funny (check!), but he’s been caught by the law on more than one occasion in his past and mixed up in some pretty bad situations.  However, since his last brush with the law, he’s cleaned up his act.  He wants to be a different person and even in such a short time with him, I’ve seen evidence of that.  And he’s definitely not settled in his life yet.  Before I walked back into his life, he was planning to move halfway across the country to Denver.  He told me one week into dating that he wasn’t leaving unless I was coming with him.

Ironically enough, it’s these imperfections that make him perfect for me.  What I was finding with a lot of my well-educated boys was that they were very analytical and left-brained.  There was no room for emotion, so when I would get upset they would shut down.  I struggled so hard to get them to give me the emotional support I needed.  I struggled to talk to them, knowing that I could say the wrong thing and they would get offended.  I was a master at bottling up emotions until I exploded.

This one is different.  He picks up on the smallest changes in my demeanor.  If I need to cry, he holds me while I do.  When my anxiety spikes, he knows how to help because he has anxiety himself.  He’s not afraid to tell me what he’s feeling.  (I hear every day how beautiful I am, how smart and amazing I am, how much he loves me…I could really get used to this.)  It’s so different from what I’m used to that it’s become something of a whirlwind.  I certainly didn’t believe him at first that I was beautiful, amazing, etc.  He told me he was going to keep telling me until I believed him because it was the truth.

Like many of us, I always wanted to be like a Disney princess when it comes to finding her Prince Charming all the while laughing at how they fell in love in only a few days.  Now, I get it.  Maybe because I knew and trusted him so long ago, we just click.  Since we’ve been together, my anxiety has only gotten the better of me twice rather than at least once a week.  I feel more calm and more confident.  I can make my corny jokes and he thinks they’re funny even as he rolls his eyes.  We’re both just as happy to spend the day in our pajamas watching Netflix as we are dressing up and going out on a date.  And he pushes me to try new foods and he loves planning surprise dates where I don’t find out what we’re doing until we’re on the way there.  (I hate surprises, but so far he’s done a fabulous job of knowing what I’d like to do.  So…I trust him.)

And he feels comfortable around me.  He tells me things he’s never told anyone else, in halting stories that aren’t practiced and polished from constant retellings.  He fits in with my family far better than any of my past boyfriends.  But the biggest selling point for him was the fact that his notoriously stranger-hating cat let me pet him the first time I met him.  That was apparently a sign that I was perfect for him.

I know I’ve said this before, but for anyone looking for love out there, don’t settle.  If something’s not right, get out.  In many of my previous relationships, I start having anxiety about the future, if I can love this person, what being married to them will be like, etc. in the first month of dating that person.  It’s disturbingly detailed, the thoughts that run through my mind.  But with this one, I haven’t worried about those things.  He has made loving him so easy that I don’t have to worry about what the future will bring because if he’s next to me, it’ll be ok.

…That was a terrible cliche.  My apologies.