Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I Knew

I remember when I was a teenager and a young adult, I didn't date very much at all. I would go out on a first date with someone, and just KNOW that this wasn't the one that I wanted to spend my time with. Friends would ask me what exactly it was I was looking for, and my response was "I will know him when I find him".

I was 28 when I met Mike. I left La Zona Rosa that night unaware of how much my life has changed, and how much more change was coming. I returned to my apartment in Dallas, where I stayed for the next couple months. Later that summer, severe financial difficulties led me to accept my brother's offer to stay with him and his family in Maryland for a few months while I got back on my feet. So I packed my bags, loaded up my car, and headed across the country.

Life in Maryland was not a happy time for me. The living situation was miserable, I was working two jobs to try to get the bills paid off, and I was unsure of where I was going next in life. In addition to that, all my friends lived far away, and I felt cut off and alone. One day, in late September or early October, I was at my day job, and looking for someone to talk to. I booted up AOL Instant Messenger, and Mike was the only person online on my friends list. Now this brings up a mystery I don't have an answer for. I don't remember ever EVER adding Mike to my friends list. I don't remember talking to him again after that Austin show. I am not sure how his name ended up on that list, but I am sure glad it was.

So I sent Mike a message. We began to talk. I remembered him. He remembered me.

During the time since the concert in June, Mike's relationship with the girlfriend had gone south, and was in it's death throes when we started chatting online. I was drawn to his sense of humor, his compassion, his sensitivity, but I cautioned myself not to get involved too deeply, because he was still tied up in the final stages of a bad relationship. But somehow, I knew.

Mike and I got closer, my feelings grew stronger. I made plans to fly to Nebraska for another Blue October show that October, and Mike made plans to drive up from Texas with a couple friends to see the same show. We were still just friends, but my heart went all pitter patter when I thought of seeing him at that show. Of seeing him in person again. You see, I knew.

I saw him again at the show in Nebraska, and oddly, we didn't hang out at the show at all. That was still in my "I HAVE to stand right in front of the stage days", so silly me traipsed off across the bar with a friend to go watch a band when the man that I was to spend the rest of my life with was standing back at the bar with another group of friends. After the show, we headed back to their hotel room (with a HUGE group of friends) to hang out, have some drinks, and just do what friends do after concerts, talk. Mike and I talked for a little while that night. I remember him making fun of how little I ate, I remember being drawn in by the sound of his voice. All too soon, I had to go with a friend to drop someone off at their house. Before I left, I wandered out to the balcony walkway outside the hotel room, and I told Mike I was leaving. He gave me a hug before I left. When he hugged me, I knew.

The months between that night and Christmas are a blur of drama, rough times, misunderstandings, and struggles. There came a point where I had to decide if I wanted to fight for Mike. Was this guy, that I had only seen twice in person, that I didn't really know all that well, was he worth it? He was, because I knew.

Making my decision to be with Mike was at the same time the easiest and the toughest choice of my life. He was the one I was giving my heart to. He was (and still is!) the man that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. But being with him would mean losing some relationships. It would mean facing a decision that I had been putting off for a long time. The decision of whether I really believed the rhetoric and doctrine that I had been fed in church and by my family. The decision of whether it was okay to stand up for myself and do something that would make ME happy, but would not make my family happy. The decision to put myself first for probably the first time in my life. The decision to do what was right for me. And still, in every moment that I weighed this decision, I knew.

I made my decision, I cut the ties that needed to be cut, I fought for the man I loved, and I won. At the end of 2003, I moved back to Texas, and moved in with Mike. Walking in the door for the first time with him at my side, I knew.

As you can imagine, as happens with any life changing decisions, more turmoil came along. But more than that, happiness. I was truly happy for the first time in a very long time. I had someone who loved ME, someone who didn't measure my worth by how "good" I was. Someone who didn't frown in disapproval when I made a choice that didn't go along with what they wanted. Someone who not only gave me strength, but encouraged me to use that strength, to stand on my own two feet, to make my own choices, to decide for myself. Someone who wanted me to be happy, no matter what path that took me down (although I am absolutely sure he wanted to be going down that same path with me!). Living with Mike, I knew.

March 11, 2005. I came home from a rough day at work, and Mike was already home. I was tired, and Mike sat me down on the couch. I don't remember what we talked about, but we chatted for a while. Then he mentioned that he had lost the remote to the TV. As is my nature, I jumped up from the couch and said that I would find it, but he insisted I sit down and rest. He said that he knew I was tired, and that it had probably fallen under the couch, and he would get it. So I sat back down, and was watching TV. He got down, and reached under the couch to find the remote. He said that he loved me. I said I loved him too. He said he wanted to marry me someday, and I said I felt the same (this was a conversation we had been having for some months). He asked me if I was sure I wanted to marry him, and I said yes, I was sure. Then he pulled out a ring box from under the couch and asked me if I wanted to make that official. I sat there stunned for a moment, I grinned, and maybe cried, and said YES! I said yes, because I knew.

I knew I had found the one I was looking for.

I knew that this was the man I wanted to share my life with.

I knew that he was the one.

I knew he loved me.

I knew that I loved him.

I knew.

(Tomorrow: The wedding that almost wasn't, but the marriage that was never in doubt)


  1. SWOON! I literally got chills reading this. *tear

    It is so amazing how life works out. :)

  2. Isn't it funny how when we find our significant other, we just know it? Your story is so very cute and sweet. I am glad you fought to be with him, and even moreso that it was worth it. They always are. :)