When I was 17 I made a list in the back of my journal of all of the things I wanted the love of my life to be. Things I hoped he would like and want me to do with him. I jotted down characteristics, hoping that if he had them he would push me out of my comfort zone and make me into a better and stronger person.
Now that I am nearing my mid-twenties (jee-wiz!) I know how much I have changed and who I have become but the list is still the same. When I first started dating, I thought you would be easy to find. You were not. I was quick to settle with people who had some of the characteristics but not all that I was looking for. That led me down a dark path of being with people that made me a strange version of myself. I was either way too clingy, was angry all the time, ready to pick a fight, and honestly sometimes I didn’t even care I was dating them. I’d make excuses and hurt the ones I loved because I was settling.
I didn’t like me then. I was so angry at myself for picking these people who made me so upset and I didn’t understand why my life was this way. I didn’t understand and it’s so funny to look back now because I KNOW WHY!! I didn’t have to settle and I didn’t have to think or feel less of myself to make some other person happy.
I remember the change. The day that everything made sense….that all the years of hurt and blaming myself for ruined relationship wasn’t just because I was angry, or upset, or just didn’t care but because I hadn’t found YOU.
It was summer and I had my first job out of college. It was not a good experience at all. I remember feeling trapped and that I was stuck in this job that didn’t make me feel fulfilled. I was in a relationship (if I could even call it that) where I was constantly strung along. I thought this person cared for me and when I got the hint to stay away or try to move on, he would call and it would start all over again. I went to the bay with my parents one weekend and it became clear, it wasn’t me. This isn’t where God wanted me. I had that feeling that change was about to happen and BOY, did it.
I went home and quit my job and officially broke things off. I prayed…and not a cute little prayer for something selfish like “Dear God, please let me live a happy life and get everything I ever wanted”. No…a prayer. My thoughts were to God and I asked ” God, I feel so broken and alone. I need you guidance.”…I have to admit I can’t remember word for word what I said…but God knows!
I had this feeling to rejoin Match.com…and I met you. Within 5 days! Haha, that is my idea of patience. I let go of all the things I was holding onto and scared I wouldn’t have a net to catch me. God knew you would be my safety net because BOY, I remember the first time I really met you. BUTTERFLIES!
We have now been dating for a year and a half. We live together with a crazy dog, Penny Pasta. I still can’t believe that you are willing to be my second shooter at weddings, just so we can spend time together. You have always had my back…especially in traffic circles. You make me feel safe and I trust you more than anyone I know.
How is it, that within a year and a half I am now the person I have dreamed of being? I am the person I have always been but YOU have set me free. There is no such thing as boring or “settled down” with you. Quite the contrary, you raise me up! You make me motivated and stronger. You are patient, kind, and you help me through things that I have struggled with for years.
I love you, Ben. I thought you should know. I will share a FEW things from my “Perfect Man list” that I wrote almost 7 years ago.
It’s been an adventure so far, babe. Maybe one day I will show you the entire list. 🙂
Mmm. Look at that butt!
Sometimes, Ben is more detail-oriented than I am 🙂
Cutting loose on the dance floor! A Heather & Ben tradition 🙂
I really don’t know what you were trying to do but the lighting is cool!