I don’t talk about how I found true love in my husband much because although I am The Queen of Authenticity, some things I hold sacred.
But the way I met my husband was pretty incredible, and I’ll share the story from my perspective.
One of the reasons it’s so incredible is because I spent much of my teens and early 20s thinking I wasn’t the marrying kind, that true love wasn’t for me.
I drank a lot in college. In fact, I probably had a problem although my friends and I always used to joke that wasn’t possible because we knew we drank too much.
Like many college kids operating under the stress of uncertainty and rush of unfettered freedom, we partied away.
My situation was a little different than most.
The loneliness and isolation of my younger years after my dad and sister died was a fresh memory, and in college, I continued this painful trend.
I felt a crippling sense of unworthiness and endured a social anxiety so extreme that alcohol was the only thing that made me feel confident.
When drunk, I turned into the saucy, confident, funny, life of the party I wanted to be, but deep down, even underneath the pain, just wasn’t.
I was always introverted, always loved to read and preferred spending time alone, but somewhere along the way, picked up the idea that I was weird for cherishing solitude, that my preference for books over people was wrong, and that using big words made me boring.
I turned against myself. Not only my inner feelings, but who I was. I thought I needed to be someone different.
There was this weird thing I called The Silence.
I’m not sure what it was. It wasn’t a Zen kind of silence, but more like that silence you hear when underwater.
When in social situations, I judged myself so critically, always trying to say the right thing and feeling like everything that came out was wrong. My brain shut down.
I couldn’t think of anything to say, let alone the right thing.
There were times of great loneliness, the opposite of true love, but eventually, thankfully, I gave up on convincing others to like me and retreated inward.
I began to choose myself.
I stopped chasing people and just allowed myself to be me. Alone.
I lived in Philadelphia at the time and would stroll the city for hours, often walking from Temple in North Philly where I went to school back to West Philly, where I lived, instead of taking the subway.
I wasn’t happy, but at least I was no longer felt rejected.
And even though I pretty much gave up on female friendships after a series of painful friend breakups, I still longed for romantic love.
I dreamed of meeting my partner in crime.
Someone who would wreak havoc with me, travel with me, love me.
I looked in all the wrong places for this true love. Bars, mostly. Beer-goggles and party clothes on, everyone I met was nothing more than a fast distraction.
By this time, I’d moved to Portland, Oregon, where I worked as a file girl in the state medical marijuana office. It was beyond boring, but paid for my life. I had nice roommates, and was having fun checking out the city.
New Years Day, 2007 came.
I woke up, hungover from the night before. A night where I had envisioned meeting The One. Because every night out was a new opportunity to meet my soul mate.
And it was actually a disappointing New Years. Sure, I wore a cute outfit. Sure I got suitably wasted. Sure I had the memorable shenanigans that I actually still talk about today because I was a wild one.
But I felt lonely. True love felt so far away.
I was almost 25, and suddenly realized this life wasn’t getting me anywhere. I had boyfriends, sure, but I wasn’t any closer to finding the true love I longed for. My career as a writer was going nowhere.
I decided to give up on finding true love. I decided to choose myself.
Later that day, I emailed the newspaper publisher I’d been speaking with about an opportunity in small Montana town. I knew I’d never find true love there, but I had the feeling I’d find myself.
A few weeks later, I drove the 8 hours from Portland, Oregon, over icy mountain passes and through thick snow storms, to Plains, Montana, in my brand-new-to-me rickety white Jetta which, I didn’t realize until hitting the highway, had only one working windshield wiper.
I hated Plains and cried every day, so it was a welcome relief just four months later when the company’s — daily, not weekly! — newspaper a few towns over in slightly larger Kellogg, Idaho, had an opening, one that I’d actually interviewed for.
The editor there later told me she thought I was dumb because I said, “you know,” a lot, and so hired some girl with no newspaper experience instead.
I was not dumb, and despite my alcohol-fueled misadventures in Plains that involved lying, cheating cowboys and beer bottles busted on lips (not by me), I was really good at my job.
I got promoted.
And soon after arriving in Kellogg, my editor, who turned out to be a nice girl around my age, invited me to her wedding.
With my social anxiety, I debated going for a really long time. But I had a really pretty, purple sparkly skirt I’d never worn and decided I should really get out and try to meet people.
And don’t you know.
After giving up all hope, choosing myself, and moving to a tiny town of around 2,000 people to become a newspaper reporter, I met the man who would become my husband at a wedding.
We’ve been married 6 years now.
He’s not like anything I imagined. We don’t agree on politics, have many shared hobbies, or even like the same music.
But his love for me is so pure and his support so vast, it blows my heart open every day.
Because sometimes when you stop chasing after what you want, you allow it to catch up to you.
And that’s the story of how I found true love.
I hope this resonated with you!
If it did, please comment below and share!
Lots of love,
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