Friday, March 21, 2014

How I Met My Husband

As promised: The Story of Us 

We were neighbors. Literally. We shared a wall but somehow we didn't run into each other often. Sometime in the spring/summer of 2007 J (my husband) and his best friend starting hanging outside on the stoop; running their mouths and smoking. I would stop and chit-chat with them but I didn't linger. 

 That changed when I was asked to watch my sisters dog. Originally I was going to keep her for 8 months--I had her for 3 years. I started hanging out outside walking the dogs and chatting with the guys. They were entertaining and fun to talk to. I was incredibly lonely and they kept me company. I can't count how many times we stayed out late talking and debating. We had epic debates until 2 and 3 in the morning. I'm surprised our neighbors didn't call security on us. 

Slowly I realized that J had a crush on me. Unfortunately for him I was in "me mode." I just got out of a horrible relationship and I wasn't interested in dating. I wanted to focus on healing myself.  We became good friends.

I'm not sure when things started to change between J and I. I think when it started to get cold we stopped hanging out on the stoop and started chatting on Instant Messenger. We started to move from good friends to flirting. I was still very wary for a bunch of reasons. I didn't want a relationship because I didn't trust myself to make a good decision about men. Also, J wasn't the typical guy I dated. We were neighbors and friends, if it all went to hell how could I face him? 

Yet, I found myself starting to like him, in that way. We shared our first kiss on Christmas Day. We went on an official first date soon after. 

J was not like anyone I have dated before. In a good way. He was kind and considerate. He was a God Fearing Man. He opened doors. He was emotionally available. I was so comfortable with him. He saw me happy, sad, goofy, drunk, hungover, with glasses, with contacts, bitchy and everything. I could talk to him about anything and everything. The relationship felt different. It was different. It still is different! It's like wearing your favorite pair of jeans that fit comfortable, flatter you and make you feel sexy as hell. 

Pretty quickly I fell for him (and him for me) as in- by Valentines Day I had a feeling we would be getting married. It was scary. I never thought about getting married. I was not one of those girls who planned their wedding day when they were six. I thought I would meet a guy and we would cohabitate long term. Again, J different. He was old-fashioned. He believe in marriage and honest-to-goodness commitment. 

Speaking of old-fashioned we were not having relations. Yes, you read that correctly. J wanted the next person he was with to be special so he made me wait. It was very different for me. Frustrating at times. In the end I'm glad we didn't rush into that part of our relationship. 

By June, a little over six months after we officially starting dating, I had a promise ring (and him in that way, finally). The next month we were engaged. We got married two years and one week after that Christmas Day kiss. It has been the best decision I have ever made. He makes me a better person. He makes me want to be a better person. Corny I know but completely true. 

I thank God for him. I was happy that I didn't let my fears get in the way of love. It was completely unexpected and right on time. 

My single friends ask me how did I do it or what did I do different to meet a great guy and get married. The answer is I don't know. I wasn't looking for love. I was actually running from it. People always tell you to stop searching and it will come to you but that is really hard especially when you're lonely. unfortunately it is kinda true. When you stop searching and focus on being happy with yourself- love finds you. I will also add that women need to give men a chance (you know that friend that has been hanging around but you only see him as a friend). Date people outside your box. 

Our Wedding Song: Love is You by Chrisette Michelle

PS: I told J I don't date smokers. He quit cold turkey.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Seven Years of Blogging

My first post on this blog was seven years ago today (March 7). I crack up reading that first post because it is soooo me. I started this blog with no direction in mind (probably a terrible idea). I wanted to write what I wanted to write, when I wanted to write, with no inhibitions. As a journalist I never got that opportunity to tell stories the way I wanted.

I had blog before this one but I felt trapped with what could write. I had boxed myself in which made writing a pain. Therefore I started this blog to free myself of any parameters. It felt like a reboot.

Seven years ago was a huge turning point in my life. I was going through a quarter-life crisis. (Fun Fact: that was going to be the name of the blog).  I was unhappy living in DC, stuck career-wise, single and in general-failing at life. I didn't detail it very well in that (linked) blog post but I let that job decided my fate. I was packing up to return to California as a failure until I got my awesome job at a museum.

That year I also decided to start counseling.

As I said I was failing at life. My thought process was off.  I was always a anxious person but it seemed to blossom into something worse. I didn't like the person I was. I don't know if I was depressed but things were fucked up. I have briefly touched on my anxiety in this blog but I'm afraid I glossed over it as no big deal. But it was a big deal. Actually I would not be who I am today without going. I went for 2.5 years straight then after a year break I went back for six months. Yes, it was that serious. It still is.

I have learned how to handle my anxiety better. Of course there are options like medicine and medical marijuana both of which are tempting but neither are a "good look" for a teacher. So I try holistic options and coping mechanisms. I still have battles. My recent car accident was tough. On the outside I told everyone I was fine. I played it cool but on the inside I was completely freaking out. I mentally struggled for what I thought was a couple of days (my husband tells me it was more like a week). Truth be told some days I still struggle.

Speaking of my husband. December 2007 was when we went from being friends to dating. One day soon I'll post our love story but the very short version is, we were neighbors. We bonded over dogs and late night discussions. He had a huge crush on me but I was obviously going through a huge transition. He was extremely patient with me and it just blossomed. Seven years later and I'm so thankful.

I'm thankful that 2006 was the worse year of my life because I needed it. I needed to learn my lessons the hard way. I needed to change the direction of my life. The payoff was almost well worth it. It wasn't easy.

I'm glad I have this blog to see the changes and (of course) to entertain you. I hope you all learn something as well and maybe laugh a little. Thank you for your comments public and private.

PS. Sorry this was so link heavy. If you're a newer reader you might have missed the early stories.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Everything Happens For A Reason

The other day I received a text from a former coworker directing me to a Washington Post article about our former school. The school, that did not renew my contract, is closing due to incompetence, poor test scores, horrible attendance and fiscal mismanagement. 

I knew the school was having problems but I didn't know it was that serious. I was shocked to receive the news. When I explained what happened to my closest confidants, their reaction was pretty similar: 

Husband: So they did you a favor. See you can't do one of Gods people wrong and expect to prosper.
Mom: God is in the details. HE knows what we think we know.
BFF: Blessing in disguise. Your move was for the best. God removed you before this notice. 

During the last couple of months of school many of the teachers expressed their plan to look for another job but of course I was loyal-to a fault.  I just knew the school would see all my hard work and dedication and retain me for another year. 

I had it all planned out but God knew better. I wanted to work with my students for at least another school year (possibly two) before I moved to California. My husband and I were going to have a baby to be born late May or June so I can combine my maternity leave and summer vacation. I would return to school in the fall, apply for my California teaching license and slowly look for job.  By June my child would be a year old and I'd have a job offer in California. We would move in July. 

Of course absolutely nothing turned out the way I expected but I am thankful for it. I truly believe everything happens for a reason. Sometimes we don't know why things happen and sometimes those things are horrible but there is always a reason. I do feel better about not having my teaching contract renewed. I also feel better about my walk with God. 

Most people who know me know that I'm not the most religious person but I do have faith. Last year one of my New Years resolutions was to improve my relationship with God. I made sure I prayed more, fasted and gave thanks. I noticed a huge improvement in my life in all areas. 

Stepping out on faith is indeed life changing.