I never would have predicted I would end up in the relationship I’m in now. I know it’s cliche to drag out a long winded practically empty sentiment regarding for an unexpected person at the most unexpected time but in my case it couldn’t be more true.
After a two year stint in a bad relationship I was jaded when it came to dating. Happy, free, confused and (very) lonely at the same time I entered the world of dating as an adult. I’m relatively dramatic and throw myself fully into something if I want to be apart of it…either dancing on tables or crying in the corner. Dating was no exception to the drama and I immersed myself by serial dating. I spilled coffee on myself on almost every coffee date, drank one (or two or three) too many frilly cocktails and eventually learned how not to hyperventilate on the Uber ride to a first date. Serial dating was fun and I would recommend it to every girl at some point in her life but it was also exhausting.
In the midst of juggling a handful of guys was my 23rd birthday party. In the days and weeks leading up to my birthday several of my well intentioned friends asked me “when I would choose the guy I wanted“. I understood the meaning behind the sentiment but even then I knew that none of the guys I was seeing were actually right for me in the long run because I had no desire to disregard the others. I had the intelligent conversationalist who complimented my mind and made hand squeezed orange juice for our mimosas together, I had the sexy party boy who probably couldn’t even spell my name correctly but was such a good kisser and I had all the “not-quite-rights” in between. I had the guy I liked talking to and the guy I liked kissing, I had the guy who would take me dancing and the guy to paint pottery with. Each man offered me pieces of what I wanted but no one offered the complete package so to speak.
When I met Jordan at my 23rd birthday party I completely glossed him over. On paper, in bullet points he was none of what I wanted. He was 10 years older than me, a self described workaholic who cared about cars and seemingly partied on boats with random strangers-I continued texting my kissy-friend and conversationalist-friend and felt no real pressure to choose. Just a week later Jordan and I met again on the snowy slopes of a mountain. My friend broke her arm giving the two of us time to talk and after that day I couldn’t stop thinking about him until we met up again. There was a spark– less than 2 weeks later we embarked on a weeklong road trip together, officially became boyfriend and girlfriend and now we’re posing for cheesy campfire photos on the beach with our puppy. What changed?
Jordan will never be the guy I thought I wanted on paper. My bullet points described someone who attended a semi-prestigious university and graduated with honors, maybe a year or two older than me with an inherent bookishness and an apartment above a coffee shop on Capitol Hill. Though Jordan fit the profile with his green-eyes, freckles and glasses I would have assumed all the wrong things about him based off of a few facts I would have initially prescribed as “telling” and I would have missed out on the “imperfect on paper” guy who was actually overwhelmingly perfect for me.
As it turns out imperfect on paper can sometimes translate to all of the qualities you really wanted when you made that silly bullet point list back in junior high (or am I the only one who did that???). In my case “graduated from a prestigious university” really meant I wanted someone intelligent who values education and more importantly valued my brain. By “bookish” I wanted someone articulate, who would prefer to visit the art museum even on a football sunday or would rather see a play or go to the ballet than drink beer at a house party. The more I dissect the broader meaning behind my list the more I realize the person I’ve fallen head over heels in love with is everything I wanted all along though he never would have met my OkCupid filters and we would have never crossed paths at a college party.
I’ve always categorized myself as very “Type A” meaning goals and lists and criteria hold a very special place in my heart. Looking at my relationship (the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever had) I can’t help but think some of my other goals and lists might not be accurate either. I’m not suggesting we burn our Erin Condren Life planners (heaven forbid) or toss out our vision boards, but rather take a step back from the rigid guidelines us “Type A”s tend to set for our lives. Sometimes I get so caught up in a goal, a standard, or a routine that I forget to evaluate the underlying meaning and intention! What good is it to check off every item on my list if the items are no longer serving a larger purpose in my life?
Allow yourself to reevaluate your goals, your vision and your purpose often. In the past I’ve felt guilty for giving up goals I’d once held even though they didn’t fit where I was or what I wanted anymore. There is no shame in abandoning a life or vision that no longer suits you. One of my favorite quotes comes about change comes from Alice in Wonderland, Alice says to the caterpillar “I knew who I was this morning, but I’ve changed a few times since then“.
Have a lovely weekend everyone! I’m headed to San Diego with my bestie to meet my family for the Taylor Swift concert. Follow along my adventures on Instagram (I promise no more puppy photos for at least the weekend, hehe)! <3