NOTE: This story is a little long, but if I left anything out, the story just wouldn't be the same...
A few years ago, I was in a completely different place than I am today. 2009 to be exact. I was in a long term relationship that was sinking, to say the least. I had met him when I was very young and fell head over heels in love. He was my whole world. But as time would tell, it was a love-hate relationship that was down more than up. I couldn't live with him and I couldn't bare the thought of being without him. Out of respect for my ex, I will not go into details on how or what, but I will say that we were on different pages in life. I wanted a family and one-on-one life style, and he wanted the "girls next door" life style. I tried many times to make it work for us. It always seemed to fail. I began to drown in many ways. I held a smile on my face, but underneath my oversized shades, there was anguish in my eyes. For a great while, I continued on my crazy lifestyle thinking that was what was in store for me. My mother repeatedly told me that I needed to get out of the situation and she prayed for me every day. She wanted better for me. Don't get me wrong, my ex had a good heart. We simply had a way of bringing out the worst in each other. It was a passionate, dramatic, but hopeless love. (A story for another day) I never was much of a cryer. To release my emotions that seemed to keep bottling up, I would do two things; write and jog. I wrote fiercely and I jogged intensely.
I started to escape from my world by looking else where. When my boyfriend was notoriously not paying attention, I would hang out with other guy friends. I don't know exactly what I was looking for. It wasn't like I had a plan in my head to find someone else. In fact, when guys hit on me, all I thought about was how my boyfriend at the time, had probably flirted with another girl just as the guy in front of me was doing to me. Immediately, I would be turned off and a switch would go off inside of me. They all seemed to be looking for something that I knew I wasn't. And I was not interested in a fling of any sort...at all. I think the real reason that I would seek male company or spend time with male friends, is because they gave me the undivided attention that I, so greatly, wanted from my boyfriend. But even the company of my male friends didn't seem to satisfy me. Some might ask, "If you were unhappy in your relationship, why didn't you just leave him?" Looking back, I ask myself that. The truth is, I don't think I knew what I was doing. I did break up with him on numerous occasions. The heart isn't rational. He was my first love. I just wanted him to love me as passionately & as solely as I did him. I guess you would have to know the entire story to understand. Once again, out of respect and privacy of others, I am keeping that part to myself.
I remember one night at a random party I had gone to, I was talking to 3 different guys who were trying immensely to impress me. Three guys who didn't give a damn about me but still felt the need to pursue me. I wasn't listening to them one bit. I was standing there smiling and nodding my head thinking, What am I doing here? As I glanced up, I saw a face in the distance. He was...different than the rest of the people that crowded around him. I don't know exactly what it was….it was as if he didn't belong there. A half-smile crossed his face and his dark eyes left me curious. My friend that I had arrived with pulled me along and he was gone from the crowd, just as quickly as my eyes met his. I had not spoken to this man but yet he left me with an overwhelming intrigue. Why couldn't I meet someone like him?
Nights of random parties and useless interaction with guys continued. A waste of a summer. It seemed to me that the majority of men out there were looking for something that I didn't want to be and I didn't even know what my intentions were. Confused, unhappy, but too afraid to leave. I might as well just stay where I was, right? So I did. After all, I was still in a relationship, if that is what you wanted to call it. Even if I was sleeping on the couch night after night, he was my home.
The one thing that gave me some morsel of relief was talking through a social network to this one particular friend. He was friend's with just about everyone on my friend's list and yet I had never met him. Very pleasant and I always felt as though I could talk to him about almost anything. It was a strange notion to trust someone who I hadn't met in person. He was interested in truly knowing who I was. We wrote to each other most nights. It was completely platonic. Unfortunately, the profile picture of him didn't show his face. He wore a motorcycle helmet on his head. I had no idea what he looked like but it didn't seem to matter to me. I kept chatting with this kind soul who listened to my story of pity and replied with advice and care. It was kind of nice to not know who he was. It was truly nice to meet a stranger that wasn't eager to make things more than what they were...and what they were was mere friendship. In addition to exchanging messages, we began texting each other daily. He would cheer me up when I was in tears. He would text me happy messages that made me smile. He became a close friend to me. I found myself gravitating towards him when things seemed to get dark at home. But even that ended when he finally asked me to go to my favorite Mexican restaurant, (a place I had raved about in earlier conversations). I didn't want to lead him on, especially since I had never even met him face to face. I stopped writing and I ended most of the texts. I think it's safe to say I didn't have a clue what I wanted or what I was doing. I didn't want to make the wrong choice or be unfaithful…..I just knew I was unhappy.
I decided that my boyfriend had to choose. It was me or this "life-style". As much as it pained me to hurt others, I had to put myself first for once in my life. I made it clear that this wasn't like the times before. If he didn't choose, than I would walk away. It was the FINAL ultimatum. I really wasn't surprised that he didn't choose. But inside, it was a painful blow because I knew that by not taking my words seriously, that he never would. I think that was the moment when I knew things were never going to be how I envisioned them. That was my answer, I had to leave. I had to find a way to uproot my life that I had lived for nearly half of my life and do something different. But how?
It was this question that I pondered one afternoon. I made a small decision to think it over while I went for a jog. How was I going to get out? I had no savings, I had no one to share a place with me, and I had no where to go. I felt trapped. As I rounded the corner I realized that my stressful thoughts had pushed me to run harder and I was fatigued by it all. I slowed down to give my lungs a break. I looked up to see two guys jogging on the opposite side of the road towards me. As they got closer, I realized one of them was the attractive guy who walked his dog by my house. He was jogging with a friend. I felt my cheeks redden more than they already were and my breath faltered. Nervous. That was unlike me. He slowed down. Was he going to talk to me?!
"How are you?" he asked as if he knew me. I was courteous but a bit shy. Why would he stop and talk to me??? Then, he spoke words that made my face turn pale. He said, "Sometime, we'll have to go to that Mexican Restaurant you like so much." I may have stood there staring at him for a moment. Everything hit me like a gigantic memory surge. I had to process it before I could comprehend what was happening. He was the attractive guy walking by my house, the guy that I was texting for months, the caring guy that I had been talking to on social network (with a helmet) and the mysterious guy, smiling at the party. I nodded and agreed, "Yeah, we should do that sometime."
After saying bye, we jogged our separate ways. I jogged the entire way home flabbergasted. I couldn't believe that this guy had been surrounding my life and I was oblivious to it! Surely he knew I was the same girl and yet I had just put the pieces together! The same sentence kept repeating over and over in my head, Please text me again, please text me again! The moment that I reached my front door, I felt my phone vibrate. I had a text. It took my phone out of my pocket to read, "Want to go to that restaurant now?" I quickly typed back "Meet you in an hour".
......I had dinner with him that evening in my favorite restaurant. He was quiet and listened to all of my chatter. A very memorable night. It was the best time I had had in a very long time. He knew my whole story. He knew about my tumultuous relationship and all my dreams and passions because I had wrote to him in messages online. He didn't feel like a stranger, nor did he judge me. He was genuine and I could see that clearly. I explained to him that I was technically still in a relationship, as he knew, so we could only be friends. He obliged and never once tried to ever so much as touch me. The same gentlemen from the social network. He was content in just being with me and talking to me. I knew it from the moment I met him, I was falling in love with him. It was something I couldn't stop if I had tried.
This other man was showing me all of the things that I had so passionately wanted. All the things I had only dreamt of. We would see each other everyday. It had to be discreet as my ex knew many people in our small town. It didn't matter that we were not physically involved. The mere thought that I was spending time with another man would surely send my ex into a frenzy.
The most memorable night of all, was the night at the beach. The beach was our local meeting spot. The place where we secretly met, where no one knew us. It was an August summer night and the air was warm and sweet. We were down on the sand lying next to each other. At this point, we were still only friends. The chemistry between us was so hot it was burning yet, we laid there on the sand inches away, not touching each other. He always kept his word. I never felt pressured by him. In fact, I wanted more from him. We talked for awhile. I was still amazed that this man had not even tried to hold my hand! It was the biggest turn on of my life. He respected that I had told him we were just friends. Love is not always easy to understand. The heart does not rationalize like the brain. I had had enough. I couldn't stop the way I felt anymore. I took his hand with mine. He said to me as he willingly entwined his hand in mine, "You are gonna get me in a lot of trouble." I so clearly remember replying, "You already are." My eyes were deep in his. He leaned towards me and kissed my lips.... the best thing I had ever tasted. He. was. amazing.
A moment I will never forget for the rest of my life...
The unique part of this story is, Ty tells me he knew from the moment he met me that I was the one for him. He says, maybe it was his mother in heaven, (RIP Cindy 2005) looking out for him. He says maybe his mother answered my mothers prayers by bringing us together. That melts my heart every time I think of it. What a strange world it is. Every little decision can change or alter your life dramatically. If I hadn't gone jogging that day, would I be with him now? I will never know.
But I do know that, somehow, I ended up with this caring, thoughtful, romantic, easy-going, loving and amazing man that I love so deeply. He has shown me true love in ways that I didn't think were possible. If I could make a list of everything that I want in a man, he is every single one of those things and more. He has given me everything I have ever wanted. He also led me to our beautiful daughter Scarlett, and now our son Maxwell. How lucky I am? Now you tell me, that small decision to go jogging, coincidence? I doubt it…
My only offering to those of you reading this that may be in a relationship that is hurting you, or those of you who want to walk away but are scared to let go of all you have ever known, be brave & let go. Relationships are hard but love should be easy. Don't waste time on someone that won't give you what you deserve. There is someone out there for you. I promise you that.
I love you Ty.
Read more of my writing & my real life Diary Excerpts Here.
Our Engagement Story HERE.