Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Our Love Story, Part 1

Today marks seven years of marriage to my awesome husband! As our children grow, and the time between our meeting increases, I have felt the desire to write down our story. The one about how we met and fell madly in love. I want to get it all written down before time erases the small details- the best parts- so that our kids can read it some day. So here begins the first installment of a multi-part series...

Once upon a time, in a vast, magical place called the interwebs, a boy and a girl were destined to meet...

In the Spring of 2006, I was smack in the middle of college in my chosen major: Musical Theatre. I was also smack in the middle of a serious relationship that was quickly approaching the two year mark. But mostly I was just busy. Rehearsals, classes, boyfriend, events, social gatherings, and auditions. I barely gave myself time to sleep.

It should be noted, children, that there are very few "normal" pictures of me from college. Always in costume of some sort. This is a picture of me from the University of Central Oklahoma's 2005 spring musical, The Wild Party. I played a hooker. Be proud of your momma...

And like everyone else in the world at this point in history, I was active on a few social networking sites. These sites were still a relatively new concept, and seemingly safer. In my full-blown college girl angst, I had taken to Xanga and Myspace many a time to unleash my thoughts and feelings about various happenings in my life.

I posted poems and lyrics that I had written- ambiguously coded of course- and I explored and discovered new musical artists. I became a member of a few of these online circles for fans of various artists, and one day, by complete chance, I saw a comment that had been left by a handsome young soldier. I admit, my curiosity got the best of me, and I followed the link to his profile. I wondered what he wrote about- war? Music? Family? Where was he from? What did he do in the military? I didn't find much, honestly. A few updates with lots of time spaced in between and a couple of pictures peppered throughout. I have no idea what prompted me, but for some reason, I felt compelled to leave a comment on one of his posts. A strange show of support, perhaps? I don't know. But I left the comment and moved on with my day.

But by the next day, I had a new follower. It seemed the young soldier was as curious about me as I was him- perhaps even more so, because he had also found me on another social media site- Myspace. One might even say he was stalking me. Ahem. Okay, *I* might have said that. BUT, we struck up a friendship and his were the posts I most looked forward to because they always made me laugh. I found myself habitually waiting for his screen name to flash across my screen so that I could talk to him. I tried to ignore the fact that he was rather handsome, as I was still in my "serious" (although increasingly rocky) relationship.

As my Spring semester at college drew to a close and I prepared to move to Tulsa to work in an outdoor summerstock theatre, tensions grew between my boyfriend and I. There were very apparent issues from the beginning. Aside from our obvious differences regarding beliefs and passions, he had informed me not once, but twice, that he just didn't think he was supposed to marry me. Although I had never fancied myself the marrying type, he certainly was, and hearing that I wasn't "the one" wasn't any less painful. I suppose I had hoped that time could change things, as it sometimes does. Truth be told, he hoped the same thing. No one ever wants to think they've wasted valuable time and energy and love on something that was only meant to dissipate... But by the time I attended his college graduation ceremony and celebration at the end of that semester, it had become very apparent to me that that was exactly what needed to happen.

It's funny how you remember moments like these. I remember what I was wearing and what I ate and how I felt like an intruder attending this celebration for this young man with whom I had shared so much, knowing that in a matter of days, I would be explaining to him that we needed to be apart. I distinctly remember looking down at my white floral pants suit and pearls, not recognizing myself anymore.

A week later, as I made my way to Oklahoma City for my regular weekend visit, I knew I could no longer keep together what wasn't meant to hold. I don't remember the words, but I remember both of us expressing our hearts. A sorrow for the end, and a burden that had been lifted, all at once. I remember the red bag that I filled with things I had left there, and the small box of things from my car that I returned to him. I remember that it took less that thirty minutes before I was back in my car, on my way back to Tulsa. And I remember calling my best friend from the highway and sobbing through a mix of sadness and relief.

She talked me into turning around and drowning my sorrows in a fruit smoothie with her. Then she talked me into going to a party with her that night. It was thrilling to be free... a bonfire burned, and boys looked at me from across the flames and I felt noticed for the first time in a long time. We sang and laughed and talked until late in the evening (or was it early in the morning?) and somehow, for all those faces across the fire, I saw his face in my mind. My friend, the handsome soldier- Ryan was his name.  And my heart beat faster and something in me couldn't wait to speak to him again...

To be continued...

No comments: