Thursday, June 6, 2013
Remember the 30 things post? Lets talk about number one, as promised.
1. One boyfriend you can imagine going back to* and one who reminds you of how far you've come. (*If there was no Spencer.)
So, let's call the boyfriend I can imagine going back to* Hank. Hank and I met in Junior High. He was the new kid and I had Algebra II with him. I'll never forget the first time I saw him. There's a quote from Hamlet that describes it perfectly, “When I saw you I fell in love, and you smiled because you knew.” -Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2. It wasn't even his looks. I just knew that he'd change me somehow. For years we were best friends who waited for the other to make the first move and we played this awful jealousy game which included "boyfriend who reminds me of how far I've come," but more on him later.
I was finally ready to dive all in and let go of boyfriend to be named later my senior year when Hank and I decided to go to college together. He took me to visit the campus at USU and I knew that it was the one for me, Hank being there was the icing on the cake. Also during our senior year, he met this evil villain while working at Taco Bell and she introduced him to weed and probably other things I don't want to think about. I was sure though, that away from her, the old Hank, my BFF and the one I loved, the brilliant future anesthesiologist, would resurface. The games died down while we were in college, but he still never made a move and broke my heart a million more times. And let me make this perfectly clear: I knew he loved me and he knew I loved him. We'd frequently talk about our future marriage together, yet, our favorite movie was My Best Friend's Wedding. I always told him that would happen to him if he didn't think fast. I wanted him to be a gentleman and make the move, and he...well I don't know what he was waiting for. He digressed slowly deeper into drugs and one day I found him not home, but in rehab in Colorado. I was devastated that I hadn't been a part of the rehab and hadn't even gotten to say goodbye.
Eight months later, in 2005, I was visiting my cousin as she got married in Colorado. I called Hank beforehand and we arranged a date. Finally I was there and finally I would see him and get to wrap him in my arms and tell him how proud I was of him and how much I missed him, and, that I loved him. I felt like it didn't matter who said it first anymore and the timing was right. It felt like a bajillion hours till our date and I was sitting on pins and needles. I could not WAIT to see him. Grandma and mom dropped me off at the restaurant and I told them Hank would bring me back to the hotel because he'd want to see everyone, but not for a long time. We had to cry, catch up, eat, declare our love and make out for hours; not necessarily in that order.
Instead, I got a phone call from Hank, telling me that he couldn't find a ride. I offered to come and pick him up and he declined. I offered to pay for a cab and he declined just saying, "It wasn't going to work." I was absolutely devastated. De.va.stated. That was a very pivotal moment in my life. I decided that I was finished waiting for Hank. I was done.
I believe in free agency, but I also believe in fate. How can those two co-exist, you ask? Well, being that Heavenly Father is our actual father, he gives us choices, but he knows which we'll make. I believe in that moment I turned at a fork in the road, right onto Spencer lane. If Hank had showed up, I might be in California right now helping him through medical school. But he didn't. He made his choice and set himself on a different road too. When he found out I was getting married, he called and begged me to marry him instead. We both cried. I cried because it was really difficult to realize that we probably would never see or talk to each other ever again, after 8 years of being best friends. And I never wanted to cause him pain. Ever. But I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I was making the right choice. It wasn't even a choice. I knew I could probably be happy with Hank. But I didn't want happy; I wanted out-of-this-world-crazy-insanely happy. That's what I was with Spencer. Now, I can't even think of a word to explain us. It's still out-of-this-world-crazy-insanely happy, but there's so much depth there now too. It's perfect.
Every time I say to Spencer, "Hey, watch your tone!" or, "Listen, buddy, I know that picture is giving you hell to hang, but it's not my fault. Chill out!" ;) (He hates hanging pictures.) I get really proud of myself for how far I've come. The summer after I met Hank I met this boy....ohhh the boy. What ensued was the most dramatic heart-wrenching, soul-crushing, beautiful, tragic romance in human history. It was on and off for 8 years. It. Was. Ridiculous. It was higher than heaven's skies or lower than the depths of hell. There was no in between. Very Noah and Ally, Romeo and Juliet, very Heathcliff and Catherine, if you can imagine. He saved me from myself time and time again. He was a welcome distraction from my horrible life at school and finally, I had something worth living for, so I did. He was always there to literally talk me off a ledge, and make me see the worth in myself that he saw. I loved that boy with every fiber of my being, but it was a sad kind of love. He loved me the same way, but due to his Heathcliff-like tendencies, he would frequently break up with me because he wasn't good enough for me. I knew he could be, he had the potential, and I wanted nothing more for him to reach it. He was born into bad circumstances, but as I pulled him out of them, I saw more good in him. He never did. Something propelled him to randomly freak out on me and go on long tirades about how awful of a person he was. When I'd try to convince him otherwise, he'd yell at me, and two or three occasions, call me names. I would grovel at his feet, begging for forgiveness for something I was completely unaware of. It was definitely "light" emotional abuse. We just loved each other so much and I couldn't ever see myself with anyone else. Two broken people shouldn't love each other.
When I was a sophomore in college, and not that broken anymore, we'd been apart for three years. He gave me a ring, a purple (everything he ever gave me was purple-- it used to be my favorite color) gem from a gem show that he'd bought at a gem show when we were 14, encased in diamonds. I wasn't sure what the ring meant as he gave me an ultimatum: start working towards getting back together or never speak again. I was devastated. I knew if I started working towards a relationship with him, he would become my ENTIRE focus and I would miss any alternatives. I might miss the one I was supposed to be with, if it wasn't him. I guess I'd gained some perspective then. I prayed my guts out and went to my bishop. He gave me a blessing and told me by Heavenly Father's word, "Never lower yourself to raise someone else up." I went home and went to bed. The next morning I woke up and when I looked in my bathroom mirror, it hit me. Hard. He wasn't the one. It hurt but it was a relief after eight long and painful years. I gave the ring back.
Several years later he called me and told me how good he was doing, he'd gotten a job tiling and that worked itself into a job tiling and painting murals in people's houses. I was so happy. About a year after, he called and asked if we could spare any money. He was living on the streets in Colorado and was hungry. We sent him coupons for free milk and cheese and a gift card to Smith's. He called, very offended that we thought he might use the money for drugs. When I told my sweet husband, he said that he was just a lost man, and whenever he needed us, he could count on it. No other husband on the planet would say that.
Colby reminds me of how far I've come in several ways. I always thought if we didn't end up together that it would always hurt to think of him. It doesn't. I keep tabs on him. Sometimes he's doing well and sometimes he's not, but I always pray that someday he'll be happy and can look back on us the way I do. I can look back on us with joy because it was such a special time in my life and because now I see in myself what he did, but I got there on my own. I can look back and see how much stronger and wiser I am. I have the strength and confidence of a woman. I don't put up with anyone's shit. Especially from people who love me. But the thing that reminds me how far I've come and makes me the happiest is that I'm happy...and I have the best husband in the universe. Bonus.