It’s amazing to recognize a moment when your life changes forever...to be fully aware that things will never be the same again.
I’ve had two of these moments over the past couple of months. The first happened after I was accepted to the grad program I’d been waiting all summer to hear from. My reaction was a combination of emotions: shock, joy, fear. This was followed by a three day trip to pro-con list hell. It was a seemingly impossible decision - there were so many factors, so many complications. Then, I decided to move to Chicago. The second I made my decision, I knew I’d reached a point of no return. My life was about to move forward…rapidly.
The second moment requires a bit more detail.
“It always happens when you least expect it.” Gag. This is one of those cliché phrases that make single people want to rip their eyes out. For me, it’s up there with, “you’ll meet someone when you’re ready” and “don’t worry, someday you’ll find someone who is perfect for you.” Although I've earned my distate for these particular phrases in the past few years, I won't suggest that they’re devoid of at least a little bit of truth and wisdom.
When I met Michigan on the Fourth of July, a relationship was the furthest thing from my mind. I was looking toward the future, and planning to have a little fun before beginning my new adventure in New York (or so I thought). But, as I explained in my last post, barely a month later my plan to “have a little fun” while I waited for my departure date, started going horribly awry. The more time I spent with Michigan, the harder I fell. I fell a little harder…
…every time we discovered something else we have in common - from cheesy music and even cheesier old movies, to religion and family values.
…the first time he cooked me dinner…along with about five back up options, just in case I didn’t like something.
…each time he offered to drive down to my parent’s house to take me on a date…even if it meant he had to sit in two and a half hours of traffic and meet my entire family.
…because he took the time to ask around for restaurant suggestions in my area, and showed up at my parent’s house with a plan…and several sets of printed directions.
…when, after showing up early for another date down in my neck of the woods, he chatted politely and attentively (and with just enough nervousness to be incredibly endearing) with my parents for ten minutes while I finished drying my hair, but was rendered completely speechless by the sight of me walking down the hall. This won my mom over as well.
…when he got uncharacteristically nervous while asking if he could take me to San Francisco for Labor Day weekend. I fell even more when I saw the look on his face after I said “yes.”
…during every second of our trip to San Francisco, which ended up being one of the best weekends of my life.
…during my last night in California, when he spent four hours in the hospital waiting room, while I took care of Girl Roommate, who ended up in the emergency room after falling and cutting her wrist on some broken glass.
But most importantly, I fell because he did all of this in a way that let me know it gives him genuine pleasure to make me happy. Maybe it was because I wasn’t looking. Maybe it was because I was ready. Maybe it was because he’s perfect for me. I have no idea.
What I do know, is that the moment he looked at me and said, “It’s only been two months, but I’m crazy in love with you,” is a moment I'll remember for the rest of my life. No matter what happens next, that moment changed everything. For the very first time, it was the easiest, most natural thing in the world for me to say, “I’m in love with you too.”