To the man that has shown me how to be happy

Subject: To the man that has shown me how to be happy
From: Kay
Date: 8 Nov 2017

I’ve never been that girl who has dreamed of slow kisses or the ideal romantic dates. I’ve never went out of my way to talk to a guy at a bar or even smiled at a guy from across the room. Sure, I have been on a date. I’ve been stood up more times than I’d like to admit. I’ve been disrespected and mistreated by a guy. I’m a little too familiar with the experience of a guy ignoring the word “no,” instead favoring his own ideas of a “good time.” I’m in my early twenties and I had never been in a real relationship. By all means, I’d given up hope that I could qualify for any kind of normalcy in my life. I’d figured that since I (really) love cats, I would end up as your stereotypical crazy cat lady. Single my whole life, spending eternity in pajamas with curlers in my hair, a house that resembles a kitty cat toy box more than a home. That was my destiny. Until… now.
Someone has finally taught me that I don’t have to be alone. That doesn’t have to be who I am. I’m not saying I’ve found “forever”, but I have definitely found hope. An opportunity. Someone who has shown me that it feels good to have someone to rely on. Something I will always remember because in just the few months I have been in this situation, this relationship, I have learned so very much.
Well, I met a guy and in only nine months, he has managed to change my life in a million tiny ways. Believe me, there have been a few bumps along the way, but that’s a part of life. You move on. You make that choice you need to make. Would you rather let that bump destroy all the progress you’ve made or do you choose to keep progressing and moving forward and trying. So far, we’ve chosen to keep trying because overall, I have yet to find a day or a fight or a disagreement or a letdown that has taken away that “butterflies” feeling. The fuzzy feeling in your stomach that signifies so much. The need to know he is going to be there for me in the way that I will be there for him, even at the worst of times. That feeling that I’m happy. That feeling that his happiness means so much to me. That feeling that I want to keep fighting for him, even when I might be fighting with him. That’s the best feeling in the world. I don’t know if this is much of a mutual feeling, but I like knowing that I will choose to be his side even on his worse days. He’s earned that much respect from me. He’s earned that respect from me by being who he is. What can I say? He has the kindest eyes, the biggest smile, and the most caring heart.
Have you ever been surprised with plans for a date? Been told a time and a place to be and to be there? I have. One of my favorite restaurants is a franchise Italian place, nothing too fancy, that has a great mac and cheese and gives you ice cream with every entrée. He texted me one weekend, a weekend I didn’t think I’d see him (we’re a little long-distance) and he gave me the name of the restaurant and the time to be there. I laughed and told him I’d be there. My mom took me shopping when I told her about the plan. She bought me a fancy new dress and I picked out a pair of sophisticated flats and I walked into the crowded restaurant. The moment I saw him, I became so nervous that he wouldn’t like my dress or my makeup or my hair, but he smiled when he saw me and that was the only thing that mattered to me at that moment. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I needed to see him that night. We ate and talked, and we walked out to the parking lot and kissed in the rain. I felt like we belonged in a cheesy rom-com but that was okay.
Have you ever met a person that has taken away all of your fears with a single smile? I’m generally nervous person. I don’t do well in crowds, or social situations really. I am, without a doubt, an introvert. The first time we were planning to hang out and spend real time together, a group hang out, (there was really no plan, it was quite spontaneous) I was so nervous. I sat in the car with my friend, hiding. Watching his car. I had never had a good encounter with a guy I had such a huge crush on before, so I was terrified. I wasn’t concerned about whether he’d “like like” me or not. I was concerned about losing the friend I was certain I was making. I liked talking to him. Asking about his day. Hearing about his family. I didn’t want to lose that and so far, I still have it. It has only got better over time. The moment he stepped out of his truck, he smiled at me and I wasn’t nervous anymore. I was excited. The night was suddenly full of possibilities.
Have you ever listened to person talk about something they love? A passion? The most important thing in the world to them? You see, him and I, we are very different. He’s outdoorsy and loves being on the water. Fishing, hunting, anything requiring nature and freedom. I’m only outdoorsy in the way that I like reading my favorite book while sitting in a park or on a riverbank. I love to paint landscape scenes, but only from pictures. Well, his passions are foreign to me. I don’t know anything about fishing, but I recently had the chance to listen to him talk about it. What made this opportunity special was that he wasn’t talking to me. He was talking to a salesman at an outdoors store. Had he been talking to me, I never would have been so fascinated. What made it so great, so intriguing, was how “in his element” he was. He knew what he was talking about. He instantly had the older gentleman’s respect simply by the way he carried himself and how confidently knew what he was talking about. The words sounded a little like gibberish to me, but I couldn’t stop listening and smiling. I could have listened to him talk to this man for hours and I kind of wanted to. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so passionately about something as he obviously does about fishing. I never want to forget that moment where he looked at me nervously, when he realized how long they’d been talking, and I just smiled because I genuinely wanted him to keep talking.
Have you ever had a particular detail about your life that only you and a select few have known? Maybe your best friends know and an obscure cousin or two have been in the loop? Well, I do. Ever since high school, I have had anxiety and while being in college, it has started impacting my life more and more. Well, this man has a way drawing the truth out of me with ease. Early on, I told him about my anxiety and to be honest, I don’t remember when or how. It just happened. And I am beyond thankful it did. There came a night where it felt like my world stopped turning. A single text message and my heart skipped a beat in a horrifying way. There was a mass shooting and two people I loved were there. I was lucky because the message I received was a declaration of safety and reassurance. Other families weren’t so lucky. I read the message and researched the horror. I was scared and in shock and I needed him. I wanted him. He was already there. I read him the message then I clung to him until I started falling asleep, but my drowsy thoughts were no match for my anxiety. Within minutes of finally falling asleep, I couldn’t breathe. I knew I was hyperventilating, but knowing it’s happening and being able to stop it are two very different things. Suddenly, I was sitting up in my bed and he had wrapped his arms around me and was telling me that he was there. “I’m right here, I’m right here.” I can still hear him say that. The way his voice sounded. I don’t know how he did it, but he got me to calm down. Since that night, I have had a few more anxiety attacks caused by school and stress. The strange thing is that I no longer have a fear of him knowing that I’m having an attack. I may not always text him or call him when it is happening (much to his dismay) but I don’t think he understands why I don’t. It isn’t that I don’t want him to know. It isn’t that he doesn’t help. He does help. He helps me through them without saying anything. Just knowing that if I were to text him, saying I can’t breathe, he would be there to help me through it. I know that if he were beside me in that moment, he would say “I’m right here.” All of that is usually enough for me start calming down. And if it isn’t enough, I can actually do it. I can text him or call him because that doesn’t scare me. I’ve never had that before and maybe I’m still getting used to it, but I know he’s there to help me.
Have you ever been so happy that you can’t believe that this whole thing is happening? That this is real life? That this guy whom you believe is way too good for you is actually going out of his way to spend his time with you? And sure, I worry too much. And I have a lot of doubts because I don’t want to disappoint him. I want him to be happy, even if his life of happiness requires my no longer being a part of it. Everything happening, good and bad, is so new to me. Each time we laugh is new. Every piece of advice I ask for and he gives is valuable. His opinions intrigue me. His ideas fascinate me. His stories amuse me. They’re all new adventures. New puzzle pieces to keep putting together and maybe someday, I’ll finally see what picture the puzzle will make. In the meantime, I think I’ll keep being happy. I’ll keep trying to make him happy. I’ll try to stop worrying and just live in the moment because maybe I can be the girl who dreams of the breathtaking kisses of a boy who can light up a room with his big smile and kind eyes.