Five years ago, this month, I started dating this guy. We had been talking for a few weeks, had met the previous July, and I had finally found a babysitter for a night. Although I can't remember the exact date (bc come on, it was 5 years ago!), I do remember that we met at The Rusty Bucket at Rookwood because it was about half way between our homes. I know, meeting at the restaurant for a first date....not so romantic but I barely knew the guy, I wasn't going to let him pick me up and know where I lived! Safety first! Ha.
I called my mom and sisters while I was driving over there. I hadn't been on an "out to dinner date" like....ever before. I had actually, not really by definition, dated anyone since I had left RP's dad.....this was so foreign to me! I was unbelievably nervous. They both told me, because they know how much food I can throw down, to order a salad and a pop....the pop would help fill me up so that I wouldn't over eat. And.....I didn't listen. I remember getting a big ass hamburger (this was back in my gluten-eating days) and it was delicious. I probably should have been a little embarrassed by how much of it I crammed into my big mouth for my first bite, but if you are going to get to know me, it may as well be from the get go right?!
It was a fun date. We shared stories and laughed. I could't imagine it going better. It was comfortable. Probably because we had known each other for like 6 months by that point, but ya know....it was still nice. We didn't do anything afterwards because I only had a babysitter for so long, and from my memory, I only got a hug goodbye. If you ask this gentleman, he will tell you I got a kiss......and we could argue all day as to who is right (I have a better memory in general.....just sayin). This one date was the beginning of a relationship that I thought ended three months later.
It was a short amount of time, dating this man. I wasn't ready and I don't think he was either. He was good to me and he was good to RP. He cared about us and I believed that I loved him then. I believed it enough to tell him that at one point. He was the first person I called my boyfriend since RP's dad, which at the time, was a really big deal for me to be able to do. I don't think he understood how hard that was for me. But our relationship ended. I was really sad when it ended and I was sad that he didn't try to stop me from ending it. And the worse part about the whole break up was that I still saw him. Regularly. Week after week. Consistently until June 2010.
After that, I didn't see him anymore. I had pushed our relationship away and got over it some time before June 2010. I had moved on, and I assumed that he had too. A good looking 22 (at the time) year old wouldn't have a hard time moving on. He was just a guy that I had dated. Because of the initial connection that we had, we still would talk occasionally, maybe like once a month he would see what was going on with the store I had run downtown. We would catch up on our lives and he would ask about RP. Eventually though, there was no common connection between us anymore. Still....he would check in. He began to change from a former boyfriend to an old friend.
So now, 5 years later, I find my self completely in love with this same guy. The level of comfort I have around him and how much I feel like he knows me, is astonishing. He is one of my people. He is one of those people in my life that I feel connected to no matter the amount of time. Our conversations over the years were brief. They were just a "Hey, how are you doing, what's new" kind of thing. As simple and brief as they were, it was also nice to hear from him and to know how he was doing. To know that he was happy. And to hear about his good times and bad. Without thinking, we were building a foundation of friendship. That foundation got stronger at the end of last summer. He was a good friend who knew me enough but was far away enough from my life, that his external opinions were good to hear. He was supportive when my grandfather passed. It wasn't until I saw him face to face again that I realized that I wanted to be more than just his friend. And it concerned me. Fresh out of relationship is not really the best time to get involved. But there isn't anything I can't talk to him about. He understood. And waited. I began to realize that I loved him. I realized it before we even were physically involved with each other. I wondered if I ever stopped having feelings for him or if I pushed them so far down that I didn't recognize they were there. For me, now, being analytically about that doesn't matter. (I heard that gasp....me not over analyze! Say whaaaaaat?!)
I don't over think everything (I know! Half this blog has been me over thinking everything!). I say what I am feeling and thinking to him without fear of overstepping or saying too much or making my self too vulnerable. I look at him and can't believe that it is him again in my life like this. That he is the one that I would feel this way towards. That he would be the one who I discovered how deeply I can love someone. I can't believe it is him - but I am so happy it is. There is that saying, let love go and if it is meant to be it will return to you. I never really understood that it meant the second time would be so overwhelmingly powerful. I never understood when people would tell me that the "work" you do in a relationship can be hard but it that brings joy and fulfillment to your life; it doesn't feel like the work I have done in other relationships.....it feels easier....more natural. (Yeah, I know...pretty mushy and gushy for this one right here....it gets worse if you keep reading)
I am sitting here so happy about he and I. So excited for the future in front of us. I am excited for the future in front of him and RP. I don't remember being excited about my future......that is so sad to actually say out loud, but my future was always just there. There was nothing foreseeable beyond what I was doing everyday already. Being excited about everything that is coming up in life makes me feel like I am living. Like it isn't just passing me by and I'm only holding on to the parenting experience to bring me joy. The past year, I feel like I have transformed. I feel like I came out of a cloud. I have mentioned before that I was just waiting for my life to happen. I know that I took steps since the beginning of 2013 to regain that "control" over my life. But this is like 50,000 times stronger than I the excitement I felt when I bought my house. Yay life! (hahah, I am totally laughing at myself for that one, you can too, please feel free)