In the past year, I have lived in 3 houses, worked 2 different jobs, had 6 different roommates, frequented many favorite bars, and set several goals (some I met, some I did not). Most of my time was spent with the same people I have known and loved for years. However, what I didn’t realize this time last year, when I was preparing to start my current job, was how much I would learn from the journey I was about to embark on.
Not long after I started my new job, I moved back toward the town I grew up in. I felt as if I was taking a step back, in some ways- away from Seattle, where I had started my post-college life. Seattle, where all my friends were and where night life awaited. Each weekend, I would make the trek from North Bend to Seattle, and spend the weekend hanging out, going out, and nursing hangovers with friends. I will be the first to say it was a very fun period in my life. I had no concerns, but more importantly, I had no real plan. My job was requiring more effort and thought process than before, which was a good challenge for me. However, I had no real image of what my life was going to look like in the future…and I was okay with that. I was comfortable within the confines of my relatively simple life.
Not long after my move, my relationship with one of my closest friends began to change. She was in a serious relationship, and had decided that she wanted to settle down and start a family with him. I couldn’t understand it. I was so baffled by someone our age wanting to throw their life away (how I saw it at the time) and give up their freedom and identity. We drifted over the next few months, because of my inability to understand her newly realized priorities.
In January, I was out with a friend, on what had started out as a typical Saturday night. We moved from bar to bar, having a drink here and a drink there, not finding anything all that thrilling waiting for us. At the end of the night, we decided to go to Ozzie’s- a spot where UW students and drunk Seattlites alike come to end their boozy adventures on weekend nights, with shots, karaoke, and dancing. What we came looking for was so different from what I ended up finding that night. At about 12:45 that night, my world got toppled on its head- I met someone who changed everything for me.
Now, I sit here, thinking about what I could say about this man. I could describe our first conversation, and how he had no game plan or real tactics. I could go into detail about the way he looked at me like I had never been seen before. I could describe the way I felt when he wiped rain drops from my face- but none of that would really express what he means to me. To me, he is home. Whether he knows it or not (I would certainly hope he does, as I have told him in every other way possible), he is my compass , leading me toward the life that I am meant to live. Now that I know what that feels like, I have a much better understanding of who I am, what my motivation is, and why it is perfectly okay to have completely different priorities from everyone else in my life. Because in the end, all that matters is that we all end up on the path that is meant for us, and us alone. One can’t get bogged down by all of the other distractions, and messages that are floating around intended for others.
In the past 3 months, my life has changed tenfold. Some of my friendships have faded, while others have strengthened in the fire. People I never understood the impact of in my life are now teaching me lessons on a daily basis. All of these relationships swirl around me, and what I consider the most relationship of all- the relationshipI have with the person I hope to and plan on spending the rest of my life with. I have never been happier, despite all the changes. I have never been more sure of how I feel, who I am, or what I want- and what I want is staring back at me, and he seems to want it too. How lucky I am to have found my “driving force”, as he has called it.
I don’t do it enough, perhaps, but today, on a day spent sick at home from work, I took a quiet moment alone, and thanked God, (or a couple of angels who almost missed it due to an ill-timed coffee break) for the chance meeting that changed my life for good. I thought about the person that I want to be, and what my life is going to look like over the next few years, and began to feel a sense of excitement and wonder that I have never felt before- ever. I realized: This is just the beginning.