His name is B. We met on the internet, but really I think we would have met no matter what. We needed to meet. In that way. At that time. In that place.
I was living in Detroit. So was he. I was in a crappy Midtown apartment (which I LOVED) and he was with roomates on 8mile/Gratiot in a very unsafe neighborhood. We are both northerners. We had both moved her for a fresh start. We were/are fearless people. We had both been hurt deeply and were still healing. We had seen too much. Our sensitive hearts had been too exposed. We were both so raw and neither of us very ready for a relationship. Atleast, we thought. And then we met.
We were both very lonely.
When We Met
When I met B, I was in a dark place. I had resigned myself to the fact that I may never meet a man that could “handle” me-in my most raw form. I am creative. I feel things. ALOT. I am sensitive, passionate, idealistic. I shine bright-too bright for most.
But B was not fazed. He is pretty unflappable. He is also those things. He saw me for me. And I saw him. It scared me, but not him. He grounds me in so many ways. I am often left in awe of his integrity, his bravery, his resilience, his determination, his resourcefulness, his strong ties to his family, his loyalty, his compassion, his gentle nature, his giving spirit, his kind heart. The list is so long and still grows everyday as we grow together. He never lets me down. He never fails me.
How We Met
We met on a dating app. I was “snowed in” with my best friend and her family (who are very close family friends) in the suburbs. I was thinking about quitting my teaching job in one of the most corrupt charter schools in Detroit. I was thinking about just giving up-on so many things.
And then I saw B. A picture of B. He was smiling so bright and I could see the light shining through him. He was so special. I HAD to know more. So, we began to communicate via the app. And then text. And then facebook. And I liked him even more with each passing moment. He is funny. He is kind. He is witty. He is so many things. This was the weekend of the superbowl (February of 2014). We bonded over Katy Perry and her sharks and the Friends tv show (I told him I was like Monica, he said he was like Chandler with all his corny jokes…neither of us were kidding. Except when he does tell those jokes. ALL THE TIME. It’s fair. I am super Type A and quite obnxious about it sometimes).
The next weekend, he picked me up for our first date. It DID NOT go according to his perfectly outlined plan (a comedy club), but it was perfect to me.
We were never apart for more than a few days after that. He had me. I later learned he loved me from the first moment, as well. It was a love at first sight, quite literally. And I began to believe in all of the cliches. I GOT IT! THIS WAS WHY I WAITED. THIS IS WHY I NEVER SETTLED. THIS MAN. THIS PERSON.
We said the word Love outloud to eachother Week 3. I whispered it to him when I thought he was sleeping beginning Week 2. He knew. He did the same to me, just in his head. We moved in together after 5 Months. He asked me after 3. People thought we moved too fast, but we knew. And those around us knew.
This was it. My Lobster! (Friends reference).
He is not perfect. I am not perfect. We argue. We disagree. We annoy eachother. But there is so much love. Always. Because Detroit is for Lovers. My grandparents met there. My parents met there. We met there-it is a magical city that I love dearly.
I moved to Detroit to teach. The teaching part almost took me down, but B restored me. He restored my faith and my spirit at a time I desperately needed it. I believe that was the “plan.” I have long noticed that certain people surface in life when we need them most. It is up to US to decipher what that purpose is. For me its teachers, preachers, friends, strangers…
But until B it was never a partner. It was never a counterpart. It was never the love of my life.
When I Freaked Out (the first time…there were many times. Still are)
There was a moment once that I FREAKED out. We were at the Dollar Tree (my favorite store in the world) and I was shopping for my prize bin at school (my work). He was putzing around, as he does (he has a very long attention span and is entertained easily) and was standing behind one of the displays. I could not find him and I started to freak out. I literally paced the store and looked everywhere! Where was he? I looked out in the parking lot and did not see his car (later I would remember we had walked there from another store down the way). I FREAKED OUT. I called and called his cell. No answer. I started to cry in the middle of the store.
“This is it,” I told myself, “This is the moment he leaves me. This is the moment he figures out how crazy I really am and that it’s not worth it and this is the moment he bails.”
Sad. So Sad. I have come so far, but its so sad I would ever feel that way. I am so sad for the woman standing in that store a little over a year ago.
I had been bailed on before. Many times. I had been called “crazy” so many times I had started to believe it. I had snuffed out my own light in order to make others comfortable time and time again. I made myself small. I made myself weak. I made myself a victim. Why? Fear. Percieved societal expectations. Anxiety.
But mostly fear. What would happen if I let my light shine? How would people react? What if it was negative? What if people talked about me behind my back? What if people didn’t like me? What if? What if? What if?
So I made myself small. And I believed the worst things people could or would ever say about me. Except they didn’t. I DID. I said them to myself.
And now, I was in this amazing relationship. And he was leaving me, I thought. PROOF, again, that my fears were rational. I know now, it was a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Brandon didn’t leave me. He was behind a display. By the time I found him, I was in tears. I was shaking. We cut our trip short and returned to his house. He held me while I cried and cried and just let all of the irrational fears out.
His response? “You’re not crazy. You’re not broken. You’re not any of things you think you are .You are beautiful and I love you.”
His love allowed me to TRULY love myself. I was already on the path, but had so far to go. But seeing me how B seess me was healing.
From that moment on, there have been several “tests” for us. Life happens. We are no exception. But I don’t panic anymore. I don’t doubt or fear (as much). I trust him. I trust this love.
(nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnbbbbbbbbbbbb;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;aqwwwwwww q2w) <—-that was from our cat, she likes to “help” me write.
I am so grateful for him. I am so blessed. We are blessed by this love. We are us and us is enough. Always.
And I have been writing about us for almost 2 years now (In my mind for much longer…) Here are some samples:
B is Love
Easy. Cool. Fun.
Smiling. Happy. Honest.
I trust Again.
I trust This.
No clutching fists, just letting go
Before I met you, love was some big scary thing. But you showed me it is just as normal as breathing. Loving you is my single greatest source of joy. Your love brings me peace, clarity, and calm. And Laughter! Your love is fun.
We Met in the depth of the Winter
Mine and the World’s
Your love got me through to Sprnig
When you saw into my soul
With reborn life comes a fresh uprising
The time to become whole
I know what/who you are. And I know you are a good one! The BEST good one I know. I am honored to be your love.