Still, I am not the same person I was when we met. I am a brunette now; I was blonde then. I am a little less tan and a little more plump than I was when we met as well. And my faith has increased by leaps and bounds. Some of these changes are good - like my faith, and others I could do without. But they are there none the less.
There are moments I remember of our last few months as boyfriend and girlfriend. Some of those moments were spent with friends; some were shared between just us two.
We shared a lot of laughs then. We attended a date party with his fraternity in Guthrie, OK. It was dinner at a tea room and then seeing the musical "Peter Pan." One of our favorite things to do is attend plays and musicals. That night we were surrounded by his friends and their dates for the evenings. We were all dressed up and bundled up in coats due to the chill in the Spring air.
Many of the friends we were with that night are still our friends today. We see them less now, but many of us are still in Oklahoma City area, working through life after college and getting by.
We spent at least one weekend together in Fort Worth, TX - a city that holds so much meaning for us both. It's the city where he spent time interning at a youth development center for two summers, and it's the city where he would eventually propose. Spending time in that city, watching him interact with the children from the development center and seeing his bonds with the people there, still makes my heart flutter the tiniest bit. His true self shined through during those moments, a self that is as caring and generous as they come.
We attended birthday parties together and dinners out with friends. We both gave up some of our friendships for one another, and we forged new relationships and friendships together. It's not that we had to give up anything for the other, but it happened as we grew closer together and grew up as well.
We spent my final Spring Break together in Texas. There was a trip to Moody Gardens and the aquarium, eating real Tex-Mex, and enjoying nights on the couch watching movies. It was the second time he met my parents and spent a consistent amount of time with them. Two short months later, he would meet my aunt, my grandparents, and my Nana when I accepted my diploma and bid farewell to the freedom college provided.
I had options when I graduated college. Not necessarily options in the job department but options for where to move to. I chose to remain in Oklahoma and accepted a job as a social worker before I graduated. It was simultaneously the hardest decision I ever made and also the easiest.
That decision was truly a turning point in my life and in my relationship. Without that job, I likely wouldn't be married or living in Oklahoma. Without that job, I would have made a different decision which would have led me on a different path. Sometimes, I wonder where that path would have gone. It could be that it would have led me right back to where I am right now. Or my life could have been completely different. I try not to focus on the "what if's" though I do sometimes struggle with wanting to know how things might have been.
My graduation was a day I both couldn't wait for and wasn't ready for. It was the ending of college, of friendships, of a chapter in my life that I was both ready to be done with and scared to leave. I was lucky enough to graduate from a small college within the university, and following the ceremony, we ate dinner with my family. It was an eventful day, filled with love and good memories and finally being able to share a part of my life in Oklahoma with everyone.
A week later, give or take a few days, I began settling into my new apartment, and a week after that, I was given a very special ring.
(title from "god gave me you" by dave barnes)
This post is part of a series. It is a snapshot of how I met (and married) my husband. To read the entire series, click here.