Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Story of Us

I've been going back and forth on whether or not to do this.  Part of me wants to devote my whole blog to this silly boy I love.  But the other part of me (the rational, normal part) knows that some things are better left just between us.  But for whatever reason, I felt like sharing our story.  I warn you....this is not a "love at first sight" or a "and then we just knew" story....but it's our story and each chapter (good, bad, and painful) has made it what it is today.  I also warn you....this post is VERY long...I'm really sorry...

So, at the risk of going all "Taylor Swift" on everyone....here is the story of us.

Chapter 1: So, there's this boy....

K and I met in the fall of 2007.  I began working for my company in August of that year as an Indirect Account Rep and he worked in one of the retail stores (same company).  To keep it simple, the Indirect reps only spend time in the office (which are housed in the back of the retail stores) once or twice a week when we need to print things or do online trainings.  After I had been in the job for a couple weeks, my boss at the time decided she wanted me to spend a few hours in the retail store just getting to know the business and seeing how the retail reps did their thing.  This is where I "supposedly" met K.  I say supposedly because I don't remember him at all.  I joke and say it's because he was completely unremarkable, but that's clearly not true.  So this next little bit is his version of how we met (not mine): He claims I ran into him in the hallway by the inventory room and he introduced himself.  Apparently I said, "Hi, I'm Taryn," and then there was a WHOOSH of blonde hair and I turned around and walked away.  I swear everytime he tells this story, the WHOOSH gets bigger and my hair gets longer.  Pretty sure by the time we actually get married, I'll be Rapunzel. 

Anyways, I don't remember meeting him that day but I will give him the benefit of the doubt and say that's how we met.  At some point that next March (2008) I started noticing him working at a different retail store....one that I spent much more time in.  He had gotten transferred to that one and I just all of a sudden realized that there was this tall kinda dorky handsome guy running around the store.  I started requesting his help with silly random things on the days I was there.  I think our conversations went something like this:

Me: Hey can you help me send this fax?  This machine looks complicated.
K: Umm, yeah, you just put your fax here, type the number, and hit send.
Me: Okay, thanks.

Yeah....that was it for about 2 weeks.  Then it happened.  You know what I'm talking about.  I took a giant huge leap of girl faith.....I friended him on facebook.  Then I waited.  And waited.  And sure enough, after a week or so, he messaged me.  Our conversations were somewhere in line with my sad attempt at office flirting....pretty sure we even had an entire thread devoted to the fax machine at work.  Sad.  Just sad.  Eventually, after a week or so of stupid facebook banter, he put his number at the end of one message under his name.  When I replied, I did the same.  I may facebook friend you, but I'm still a girl....I won't call/text first.  It's against my religion.  And so I waited.  Again.  And he texted....about really stupid crap.  Some were kind of flirty and some were just plain stupid, and I couldn't figure him out for the life of me. 

One day, after an all day long text conversation, I went over to Whitney's place after work and enlisted her help in trying to figure this boy out.  Every time I thought he was into me, he would say or do something to change my mind.  I was clueless.  Whit convinced me to stop being super lame and just go for it.  So, since we had already planned to go to the movies that night with her boyfriend, she encouraged me to invite him to join.  So I did.  And he came.  He met us at the theater, and to avoid an awkward situation, I bought my own ticket and already had it when he arrived.  When it was over we all said our goodbyes and he went his way, and I went mine. 

It was a month before we hung out again.  Even though our texting had resumed per the norm, I was kind of over it.  He wasn't asking me out and he was giving me mixed signals about whether he was interested at all, and worst of all....I was confident he was also dating another girl.  I put the kabosh on the texting and just decided to wait it out and see what happened.  About 2 weeks passed and I finally heard from him.  It was the first week in June, and he wanted to hang out.  I invited him out with a group of friends to a karaoke bar and we had a blast.  He totally meshed with my friends and wasn't shy around them.  It was just comfortable.  Sometime that night we had our first kiss too.  It was fun :-).

Chapter 2: What's going on here?

For the next 8 months, we spent time together.  Sometimes it was several times a week, sometimes it would be every other week.  It was exhausting.  He was working full time at the store as well as putting himself through school full time, so that was part of it.  However, I knew a bigger part of it was that he was holding back.  We always had fun together, but he never let himself get too close to me or do anything too "coupley".  I desperately wanted to ask the obligatory question, "So, where's this relationship going?" but aside from men absolutely abhorring that line of questioning, I also already knew the answer.  I knew he would say, "I'm just having fun, I don't want to get serious with anyone."  I couldn't bear to hear that, so I tried to be content with the dates we had, the movie nights, and the pool days, and the random evenings together.  I always felt like he was someone I could talk to, even when I wanted to wring his neck! 

Yeah, I was that girl.  I admit it.  I would have told any of my girlfriends in the same situation to quit messing around and just put an end to things.  I'm pretty sure we've all told a friend or two "you deserve better" before.  Yeah, that's what I would have told anyone else in my situation.  But I cared too deeply for him to voluntarily walk away. 

So, after an 8 month long, mind f**k, it was finally Christmas.  A couple days before I was heading home for the holidays, I had the boy over and I made him dinner and we exchanged gifts (mine I had purchased a week earlier, his I'm pretty sure had been purchased an hour before arriving at my house).  We had a great evening, and the next day I wished him a Merry Christmas and drove home to my parents house.  I didn't hear from him much over the holiday.  The day I got back into town was the day he was heading to GA to celebrate a late Christmas with his family, so I didn't get to spend any time with him.  A few days after he had left for GA, I knew something was up.  He wasn't calling or texting and he was barely responding to anything I had sent him.  He made a brief return back to Lexington after the holiday, only to drive right back to GA after learning his grandmother had passed away.  I wanted to give him time...I knew he had been very close to his grandmother and was very sad. 

We finally spoke on New Year's Day and he assured me that everything between us was fine.  I felt slight relief at hearing him say those words, but still...I remained unconvinced.  A few days later he was back home and we had made plans for him to come over and "talk".  He called me instead and said he wasn't coming.  We spoke for an hour on the phone, and he finally admitted to me what I already knew...he had started seeing someone back home in GA.  The sad part is that I knew...I had seen a picture on facebook of him with another girl and several comments underneath from family and friends on how "cute" they were together.  BARF.  (oh, and don't judge me for the facebook stalking....you KNOW you've done it too).  I was very, very sad....but I was equally relieved to be done with the constant wondering and the constant agonizing over what was going on with us.  I cried that night for an hour, and then I didn't cry over it again.  I blocked all of his facebook activity from my home page (because I think de-friending is incredibly childish) and I got over it...

...but not before replaying "Last Christmas" by Wham! about a thousand times and wishing I'd never met him.

Chapter 3: Friends?

When I said I was done in that last chapter, I pretty much meant it.  I never sneaked a peak at his facebook page, I never texted him, and avoiding him at work was incredibly easy because he had been transferred back to the other store where the business reps work out of, and I never spent time at that store.  I had some pretty intense willpower when it came to that relationship...when it comes to cake, well, not so much.  I began dating other guys and just having fun being single.  The sad part is, I would often think about K and when I did, it was mostly just sadness that our friendship was over....because over those 8 months, he had become one of my best friends.  About 10 months after our relationship exploded, somehow or another we began to text here and there.  Mostly just very random things as we were both casually dating other people.  I had just bought my first home and was getting that settled, so I was stressed out to the max with home-buyer stuff.  But nevertheless, I wondered if we would ever one day become friends again....

Well, my question was answered in February of 2010 when I took a position in Business sales at our company, and my new office resided where else but at his retail store.  I pretty much had to see him every day.  So we (okay, really just me) had to get over our past and figure out a way to coincide with each other.  It was easy.  While I still harbored bad feelings about our failed attempt at a relationship, it was so nice to have him around again.  Anyone who knows him knows that he is as carefree and happy-go-lucky as they come and for a girl like me, that is a breath of fresh air because I can sometimes let myself get bogged down in negativity. 

Slowly but surely, we became friends.  It took many months (I was dating someone at the time I took that position) but by May we had quite nearly picked up our friendship where it left off.  The difference was that I wasn't looking for a relationship with him at the time...I was just enjoying his company at work, and (yes, I'll admit it) after work sometimes.  I loved that we had put many of the things in our past behind us and gotten back to what we enjoyed so much about eachother in the first place.  Let me be clear though...although we were spending some evenings together, I never felt like we were dating or that I was trying to pursue that relationship at the time.

Then, it happened again.  K was in a couple weddings at the end of May 2010 and something happened after those.  He stopped responding to most of my texts (even the ones that were work-related) yet acted like everything was just peachy at work.  I knew, even though he never mentioned it, that he had begun dating someone else.  I don't know if he just didn't feel he could be friends with me and date someone or why he decided to push me away, but I did know that I would not put up with it this time.  I wrote him off once again for turning his back on the friendship we had forged and tried to move on.

Chapter 4: Summer 2010

It was hard being at work with him last summer.  I felt he had once again turned his back on me for someone else and I had been through enough failed relationships to know that I would not for a second put up with it.  I begain focusing on me.  I stopped dating...mostly because I just didn't care about dating or finding anyone.  It had been so long since I spent time just doing things for myself and trying to figure out who I was that I welcomed the opportunity to do so. 

Because it's inevitable, we of course, talked here and there.  There was no way around it.  I don't think he realized I was angry or why.  I simply told him.  We cannot be friends.  Those words happened.  For me it was simply what I felt at the time.  For him, I think it was a wake-up call.  I can't speak for him, but I think he realized when I said those words to him that he didn't want to lose me.

Chapter 5:  People can change

After that, he began pursuing me.  I know that sounds stupid, but I can think of no other way to put it.  He texted me all the time, asking how my days was, saying sweet things to me...but in a heartfelt way, not in a way that made me feel like he was doing it just to appease me.  I was hesitant.  I blew him off all the time.  I would find excuses not to hang out with him.  I didn't want to get close again.  Be he persisted.  He had bought a house a few months earlier and he wanted me to come see it, to spend time with him, to cook me dinner (those who have read the last few posts will appreciate that).  He just simply wanted to spend time with me.  It was baffling. 

I remember saying to my girlfriends, "I don't know what's going on, but K has been blowing me up so much lately.  It's crazy."  I was guarded, but I slowly, verrrrry slowly, let my guard down little by little.  I felt like a kid who thinks there are monsters under the bed...eventually you have to put your feet on the ground and just risk getting out of bed, even if something scary is waiting for you.  As it turns out, there were no monsters under my bed.  I checked.  And re-checked.  And there were no pretenses either.  And no secrets.  And no other girls.  There was just K...and he was being honest, and he was ready to be everything for me that he had not been before.

It may be hard for some people to understand it, but this time it was different.  Nothing about our relationship this time was like it was before.  It was like we were two different people.  Except that we weren't different, we had just grown up in the 4 years that we'd known each other.  He openly admitted that he wasn't ready the first time, and he was an idiot the second time, but that there wasn't going to be a next time, because we had gotten it right this time.  I of course had to know why things had happened and make sure he understood fully the hurt that I had been through with him before.  The truth is that we had never really spoken about all of our failed attempts and about the ways we had hurt eachother and telling him was a weight off my shoulders (and I suspect a great weight onto his).  I cannot put all the blame on him though.  I remember sitting in the kitchen with him one night after I had made dinner, sometime in December and he said that he felt like there were all these amazing things about me that he had never known when we had dated before.  I thought about it for a while and then said to him that when I really look at our past, I had never been my full and true self around him until now.  I had let myself get so pre-occupied with the "if I say this, what will he think of me?" or "if I do that, will he like me?" that I had completely lost all of the things about me that make me great.  So maybe I hadn't been all that fun of a person to be around back then...and maybe our past was as much my fault as it was his.

Chapter 6: Full Circle

K spent last Christmas with me at my parents house.  We had not only come full circle from our first Christmas together (or not together as it happened), but K more than redeemed himself by driving through a snowstorm on Christmas Eve to get to my parents house in Louisville at nearly 1:00am...just to be with me for the day.  I guess in a way, you could say that we told out Ghosts of Christmas Past to f**k-off...

I don't know about him, but I knew after our Christmas together that we would never spend another one apart. 

A lot of readers may have doubts about whether you can really change a man...and I would agree.  I don't think you can change a man, but I think a man can change himself when he is ready.  And I know that every morning when I wake up, I feel lucky. And happy.  Very happy.  And not a day goes by that he doesn't tell me he loves me or make me feel special. 


So there you have it, the Cliff's Notes verison of our story.  I apologize for how long it turned out.  But I wanted to share because I feel like I have come accross so many blogs lately with these AMAZING girls who entertain me and make me laugh and are looking for love.  I guess I just wanted to share my story in the hope that it will make you feel hopeful about where your true love may be and that it will come to you when the time is right and you are the person you need to be to accept it.  I regret none of the losers (and some that were not losers) that I dated before and after I met K because they helped me to know what I want and what I don't want, and what I will and won't put up with...and more importantly...what I deserve.


Rachel said...

What a sweet story! I'm loving this!

Erin said...

This was such a great story and so well written...I loved every bit of it. I do believe that people change {when they are ready like you said}. You guys have such a beautiful future ahead of you...congrats again :)

Amanda said...

What a wonderful story! Now I want the engagement story! And I really appreciate the "whoosh!"

Fash Boulevard said...

love this. so glad I came across your blog. I'm following, I hope you will as well. I started my blog a little over 4 months ago after graduating from college in the south and moving across the country to LA. The site's all about celebrity fashion from the point of view of an LA stylist. I'd love if if you'd stop by to see multiple post a day on all the latest celebrity fashion news. Any support would be awesome. Thanks love. xoxo


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