Friday, December 2, 2011

One Small Decision

I came across some old photos of my husband Ty and I, the other day. Smiling as I flipped through them, I started thinking. I thought about how strange it is that one decision, one small decision, can effect our entire lives. If I think about it long enough, it tends to make me indecisive in the choices that I make in life. However, I believe that there is a God out there looking over us. I mean, some things are too strange to be coincidence.  For example; my story.

                 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 an on-again, off-again 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 won't go into details on how or what, but I will say that we were on different pages in life. After years of being a wild one myself, I wanted a different life style, and he just wasn't ready to give up the "girls next door" life style. I tried more times than I'd like to admit 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 always anguish in my eyes. For a great while, I continued on my crazy life that I had created for myself, thinking that was what was in store for me. My mother repeatedly told me that I needed to move on and she prayed I'd find a way. 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 dramatic, but hopeless love.  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 elsewhere.  I found solace in hanging out with other friends, some guys. 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 would 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, a switch would go off inside of me. I think the real reason that I would spend time with other male friends, is because they gave me the undivided attention that I, so greatly, wanted from my own boyfriend. But even the company of my male friends didn't seem to appease me completely. 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. We did break up on numerous occasions. The heart isn't rational. I thought it was 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 a couple of guys who were trying to impress me, the new girl around town,  I suppose. These guys who didn't give a damn about me but still felt the need to pursue me. I wasn't listening to a single word. 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 that face I wanted to see more of 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.  Who was he? What was he like? 

    Days and nights passed. 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 somehow, strangely, my home still.
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. It seemed 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 me 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 was content in listening.  In addition to exchanging messages, we began texting each other daily. He would cheer me up when I was feeling down. He would text me happy messages that made me smile. He became a close friend to me, but nothing more. 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. I think it's safe to say I didn't have a clue what I wanted or what I was doing…..I just knew I was unhappy. And my heart sought something more.

     About a month later, I was sitting in my living room when someone walking their dog by my house caught my eye. Normally, this wouldn't have phased me. I went to the window, curiously, to see an very handsome man walking his dog by.  Well, his dog was mostly walking him. I would have guessed he was just out of the military with his shaved head and broad shoulders. In the three years that I had lived there,  I had never seen him on my road before. I ran into him again when I was driving with my boyfriend and friends. We pulled out my driveway as he was passing by. We stopped very abruptly to let him pass, as my boyfriend didn't see him coming. As he passed by, I looked him in the eyes. He stayed steady looking into mine before passing completely. A "slow motion" effect came over me. It was only a few seconds, but it felt like that moment lasted 10 minutes or more. I remember imagining what it would be like to be with him,  How different would my life be if I was his?  What a silly thing to do, right? Imagine yourself with a total stranger? But I did. A thought of desperation? Maybe. There was something in his eyes that made me curious. Something that gave me hope. This stranger gave me the idea to give my boyfriend a final ultimatum. 

     I decided that my boyfriend had to choose. It was me or this lifestyle that he wanted. 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. I also realized that just maybe it wasn't even what I WANTED either. A powerful epiphany! His silence 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. 

     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 and I had nowhere 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 a walk 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 I had been dreaming of ever since I saw him. The dog walker. 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. I felt a little confused and then it happened. 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 welcoming eyes 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 entire life and I was oblivious to it! Surely he knew I was the same girl and yet I had just put the pieces together! I felt like an idiot! 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 tonight?" I quickly typed back "Meet you in an hour".  

......I had dinner with him that evening. 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 we had already talked about them. This guy was already my friend. He didn't 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. 

      My boyfriend at home began to realize what was happening. That I was really done.  I was secretly spending my time with this other guy.  I was gone. And we both knew it. After all the years of trying, he had finally lost me. 

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 every day. 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 little lake beach was our meeting spot.  It was an August summer night and the air was warm and sweet. We were down on the sand lying next to each other, talking. 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 an inch of pressure from him. In fact, I wanted to be pressured by him. We talked for awhile. I was still amazed that this man had not even tried to hold my hand! 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. But 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 trouble." I so clearly remember replying steadily and surely, "You already are." I leaned towards him and kissed his lips.... the best thing I had ever done. He. was. amazing. 

A moment I will never forget for the rest of my life...

 After that, we knew what would happen. It was like pieces of the puzzle started to fall into place. One day, I came home from work and my ex-boyfriend was gone. He had moved everything out in one day. It was quite ironic. In 9 years, the one thing I wanted from him was to be his one and only and for us to marry.  Not more than a few months later, he was married to someone else very close to us. I have no hard feelings for either of them.  I genuinely wish them the kind of love that I have found. From there, I moved forward. It was scary. I won't lie, it was a very difficult time. I was celebrating a new love and mourning a decade of my life at the same time. I had days that I broke down because I was terrified to let go of all I had ever known.  But I knew deep down, it was 1000% what I wanted and I wouldn't look back for anything. On September 11, 2009, one month after our dinner together, Ty officially asked me to be his...girlfriend that is ;)  I said yes. It has been happily ever after, ever since. 

     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 mother's 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? 

 But I do know that, somehow, I ended up with this caring, thoughtful, selfless, 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 children. Now you tell me, that small decision to go jogging, coincidence? 

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.


  1. This story gave me goosebumps. I, too, am amazed at the small decisions that make big impacts on our lives. I dated a jerk while I was in college and while it would be easy to hate him, he's the reason I decided to major in engineering. (His friend was an engineer) Being in engineering school led me to studying with MrC which led to our (later) relationship.

  2. WOW your story is truly amazing! It had me hanging on to every line! You and your fiance make such a beautiful couple and I wish you both the best

  3. Awww! This is sooo sweet!!! Me and my hubby kinda met like this.. kinda... LOL

  4. I LOVE your story and can identify on SO MANY levels! You are brave for sharing....Thank you

  5. i'm holding my breath while i read your love story. it's so beautiful.thank you for sharing this

  6. It is nice to once read in public what a woman really did, and the other man, in little details, such that all can see, how one's woman can decide to find someone else whilst still offically yours, and how other men will not respect that boundry and try to worm their way in to steal her.

    Hopefully she has found what she really wants, and he has found what he really wants, so neither of them look for someone else in the future.

    But don't be suprised if that indeed happens, so enjoy each day as if it is your last, because it could well be.

    Signed, 10 year relationship ended when girlfriend ran off with a pretend millionaire.

  7. Okay, this love story rocks!! I'm such a believer in things working out like they're supposed to, even when we don't quite understand it at the time.

  8. literally gave me chills.

  9. This is such an amazing story Lauren!

    I can totally relate, especially when you said "It seemed the guys out there were looking for something that I didn't want to be. I might as well just stay where I was, right? So I did." That's exactly the way I feel at times.

  10. This is the kind of love story I, until now, believed was possible only in Hollywood movies.
    Such a wonderful story!
    I wish you, Lauren and Ty, all the best of luck!

    Greetings from Estonia :).

  11. Lauren, this is beautiful. So much like my story. I am so glad I read this. Thank you.

  12. Love this story:) My husband was, like your Ty, so SO respectful never trying anything -the perfect gentleman, and like you said, it was just the sexiest thing! especially after only having attention given for all the wrong reasons- to have someone just want to be with you because they enjoy your company is just-well... we're going on 12 years now:) I just love love-thanks for sharing your story!

  13. great story. you are a good writer.

  14. Lovin' your love story. I wish you guys all the best. You have a beautiful family.


  15. ran across your blog from Life Lately link up

    I am so glad I did. I love this story so much, and I can relate to it in everyway.
    The crappy boyfriend
    the loved one up in heaven pulling you to the one you belong with
    and the one love that we all are so lucky to find!

    I wish you ALLL the best in your wedding planning, I am right behind you getting married in March.
    I cannot wait to follow along.

  16. I love your blog and came across it a few weeks ago. You are an amazing writer. Your writing has a way of making me visualize your journey as if I was there. Can't wait to read daily!

  17. Just stumbled across your blog from Love your love story :) You have the love story every girl dreams of, so happy for you!

  18. This is such a fantastic story! You are a very lucky girl. :)

  19. Even knowing that you'd find the love of your life at the the end, that was a wonderful and heartfelt story. It was so great to hear that Ty was exactly what you needed in your life and you didn't even know it yet. Who knew those small moments would lead to such big moments? Maybe I should start jogging haha :)


  20. This story was so amazing that I had to stop and just lay back! It's amazing how things work out! This story is so incredible and I am glad you found your love and that your love gave you your sweet little one that you have together.

  21. You have done really a good job. I like your story.

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Thank you for all your comments & kind words!! I reply in the comments section so check back if you have a question :) xo