With all the love I have had in my life, I always wandered what it would be like to find "true love." Not the kind in romantic comedies (I'm not that naive), but the kind that lasts a lifetime, the kind that endures hardship, loss, triumph, and the unexpected. Not that I didn't think I'd find it, but I may just be the most independent person I know. In my eyes, such independence wouldn't result in finding companionship. The love police may shun me for saying this, but I never want to feel like I need someone to complete me. Life is too unpredictable, and it may be the realist, not to be confused with the pessimist, in me, but I think when you dedicate or give all of yourself to another, you're going to lose an important part of yourself, one that may never return.
With all of that being said, God blessed me in finding the person who put all these feelings to rest.
Here's how it started:
It was October of 2012 when my brother brought is friend to SRU homecoming. We spent the day doing Homecoming-ish things like tailgating, going to house parties, the works! Anyway, my brother's friend and I who were acquaintances in high school had lots of fun together, and I would say that's how it all started.
I'm not one for cliches, but I knew something was different about this evolving relationship. Maybe the whole "when you know, you know" idea isn't so far off.
Anyway, we went out a couple of times after this hangout, but I was about to leave for Ireland to student teach for about 4 weeks. I was under a very clear assumption that things would be post-poned or even put to an end because of this trip, but I was wrong.
It's weird, because Gerald and I didn't know each other much, but Ireland was honestly a blessing for our relationship. We talked every day, and the distance forced us to really get to know one another. It was all so real, honest, and I felt myself falling in love. Of course, I would tell myself it was nothing, but deep down, I knew it was something. Getting to know each other so well while living a world away is what I think resulted in making our relationship move so quickly. I was living in a dream- teaching in the beautiful Dublin, exploring the city with friends, and having the time of my life, but it was like a part of me was missing, a part of me was in Pittsburgh with this near stranger. How bizarre.
Once I got back, things moved pretty quickly! We road tripped to Philly the day that I graduated from college (three days after my return from Ireland). Felt crazy to spend 4.5 hours in a car with someone who on the outside looked to be a stranger, but it couldn't have felt more right. Because Gerald and Ryan were so close, there was the pressing question of, "do we tell him?"
We told him…and that made things progress quickly
We made several Philly trips after the one that started it all.
I don't necessarily believe it takes x amount of time to fall in love with someone, but I think we fell in love quicker than most. Although we were and are pretty different, that may be what brought us together. He has views that challenge mine, and vice versa. We would make jokes early on about what are "happily ever after" would be like, and I'm so excited that it's becoming a reality.
We lived in a utopia living approximately 7 minutes from one another, but that all quickly and scarily changed when I got accepted into Teach For America. I would be spending my summer in Tulsa, OK for six weeks followed by a move to Indianapolis for two years. YIKES. When I heard the news, I was scared, but Gerald assured me we wouldn't lose each other through it all, and he was right. Whether it be irony or just another test from God, our relationship sort of started being long distance, which ensured us we would be up for round 2. Distance has challenged me so much as a person, and it's true what they say (whoever "they" is) that distance isn't for everyone. He was right though; we made it work. We continued to learn and grow together, and were challenged every step of the way….especially when we learned the news of a BABY. I guess we just felt the need to spice this distance thing up even more.
It made me realize that I wasn't in this journey alone, and this guy was also my best friend. Being 350 miles away didn't matter, because I never felt alone. Despite how reluctant I may be to accept help, Gerald gave me strength, an undying confidence in us, and an unbreakable love.
I'm thankful, excited, and shocked. God really does have a way of looking out for us and what we need.
I'm so excited for my life with my best friend and lover. Dare I say he completes me?
I hope this post has you feeling sappy about the one you love :)