Two years ago today BF and I hung out for the first time in 15 years. Ok, actually it was the first time we hung out ever. And he wasn't my BF 15 yrs ago, nor was he even 2 years ago. I like to call it our anniversary today, while most people say that happened much later. Here's the story... let me know what you think I should call this day...
In case you were wondering, BF stands for Boyfriend because I'm too lazy to type boyfriend out every time I mention him. His real name is Chad. We are from the same city and went to middle school and high school together. He was popular. He was on the football team. He dated my friends. And pretty much every pretty girl in our high school. Except for me. I didn't really date anyone. And although I'm sure my mom would argue differently, I wasn't all that pretty lol.
BF dated my best friend, and we were all three in geometry together when I was in the 10th grade. That was the year BF and the varsity football team won the state championship. I remember the Monday after, BF came in and many people were talking about the game. BF wasn't the biggest guy on the football team or the fastest. But he was smart. And made it on the news with several plays in the winning championship game. What I remember most wasn't that BF was on the highlight reel that was played over and over. It was something that he said about that highlight reel. He came in and said his Dad was proud of him. And I could tell more than anything, that he was proud to make his Dad proud. And that's what stuck with me for 15 years.
As social media became more popular and people got back in touch, he was one of my first MySpace friends. He was my Twitter friend and Facebook friend too. We never really talked, though. Maybe he'd like my status or I would like his. The thing I remember about him out of everyone I was 'back in touch with,' was that BF lived an interesting life. Always traveling, always posting photos of himself with gorgeous girls in exciting cities across the US and world. Then inevitably he'd post how the gorgeous girls treated him badly. Or how things didn't work out. He was very honest and open with his life. Even though I never really 'knew him.' I sort of felt like I did. He didn't try to hide who he was online or brag. He posted about the good and the bad.
After Gav's dad and I split up, during a time when I'm sure other people would become reclusive. I had this new-found sense of self. I dressed brighter. I was funnier. Prettier. It's hard to describe, but I guess I was just more myself. If I saw a post on Facebook that I wanted to comment on, I would. And it would be funny, or awesome, or just sort-of epic. BF and I have 60+ mutual FB friends. It was not long before everyone realized that I went from 'married' to 'single.' BF and I began commenting a lot more on each other's posts. And we'd tweet back and forth too.
I remember Christmas Eve 2 years ago, my mom came up to spend Christmas, as it was Gav and my 1st Christmas alone. BF and I tweeted back and forth that night until 2am. We had so many of the same friends. Had so many similar experiences. And like I said, I was posting at an epic level of awesome. Other people caught on. They would ask BF or I if we were dating, or hanging out. But we were like nope. We live 2 hrs away from each other and honestly, I wasn't really trying to date anyone. But for the first time in life, with my new sense of confidence, guys would ask me out everywhere I went. It was awesome. But I was a single mom. No time for guys. only time to be a mom.
Then a few weeks later BF was at a car show and told me via twitter he saw something he wanted to show me. I said ok send a pic. He insisted on txting it to me... and that's how he got my number. I think once he got my number, whatever he was going to send a pic of wasn't there anymore. But that's how we started texting. Then one day he asked if I had gchat. I did so we started chatting that way. After all this communication, it was clear we should hang out. As friends. No question about it, my awesome matched his awesome. I'm not going to c&p the whole convo here, but I actually have it saved where he asked me to drive 2 hours to see him. It sounds like a crazy request, but my entire family lives in his city and it's where I'm from, so it wasn't too outlandish that he'd ask me to drive there.
And when he asked me to do that, I told him I'd think about it, but he'd have to tell me something super awesome and fun we would do to make the trip worth my while. He said we'd get drinks at Common Market (it's a 'modern day general store,' ok really it's like a deli/conveience store/bar/hang out place). Then we'd go to Soul (it's a tapas restaurant/they have a dj/lots of sofas/bar). Then we'd go to Amelie's (a 24 hour authentic French bakery). And then go find a band to check out. ... and to me that all sounded perfect.
So I said yes. And I got Gav and almost 2 years ago today I drove to BF's house. Our time to hang out and do all that alone was actually Saturday, the next day. Gav and I went to BF's after I got off work that Friday. He fixed us dinner. We sat on one sofa and Gav sat on the other. And BF totally made a move and held my hand. Something like that happening is impossible to predict will happen when you're online. I mean this wasn't Catfish on Mtv. I wasn't in some kind of fake relationship. We were just friends. Then I went to my Mom's with Gav that Friday night. My mom had plans the morning of Saturday, the next day so Gav and I went to the Nature Museum. It had snowed. BF wanted to come along too and so he did. We walked around the park I had walked around hundreds of times growing up. But this time, in the snow. And with Gav. And BF.
My mom watched Gav that evening and I went to BF's for our hang-out date. He says I wore a business suit. This isn't true. I wore a royal blue cardigan I had gotten new that week at Target. And a cami. Jeggings and black boots. Not a business suit but yes, I admit I have worn that cardigan to work since then.
And that was exactly two years ago. There was no boyfriend-girlfriend, no 'facebook official'. Not even me meeting his friends until almost 5 months later in May. That's when BF says our anniversary is. When he asked (told) me I was his girlfriend in Brooklyn, New York.
But something happened two years ago. On January 14, I started hanging out with BF. He took me to Soul (the tapas restaurant for our date) and I cried. No, not cried because I was sad. Or scared. Or missed Gav. I cried because as we stood outside on the balcony of the restaurant. Waiting for our table and overlooking the skyline. It was beautiful. Everything about that moment was beautiful and the city was covered in snow. I had somehow had changed myself from a single mom in straight survival mode, to a girl cool enough to be taken out on dates.
Inside the restaurant I was really quiet. I had gone from this newly self-assured girl who was funny, sassy and cool, to someone who realized they were out of their element. I could 'talk the talk' but when it was time to be in the moment. To do something as simple as to order... I felt really un-sure of myself. BF kept asking me what was wrong, and if I was okay. And I actually wasn't okay, and I told him. I told him that six months before I was sitting around my apartment watching TV every night. That Soul (where they have soul food tapas) wasn't really the type of restaurant I was used to. And that I was used to something more like Chili's (and you all know that chocolate molton lava cake is the bomb. ok sorry, not what I said at the time, but thinking about that lava cake right now LOL).
I think that's when BF really understood a lot more about me. It wasn't that I couldn't handle myself (ok at that moment I couldn't). It was just that I was out of my element and realized that the life I was so used to, was a whole lot different from what I was experiencing right then. I was a 30 year old out on my 1st date in 11 years!
BF was really kind, he told me that he wanted to take me more places so I could experience more things. I guess when you live your life the way you are used to, it's scary breaking out of your comfort zone. It was for me, anyway.
So although it's not *really* my and BF's two year anniversary. It's my own two year anniversary of truly breaking out of my shell and becoming the person that I am now.
Not that there was anything wrong with me before. Not that there's anything wrong with eating at Chili's lol. Like I said, they have delicious desserts. True Story. What I'm saying is that the world has been opened up to me more now that I'm with BF. The very next month after our Soul date He and I took an amazingly epic trip to DC where we had a fabulous time. We stayed in a gorgeous suite in DuPont Circle and could walk to Whole Foods for breakfast. We ate Mexican with table-side guacamole. At night, there was a full moon and we sat at on the steps at the Lincoln Memorial and saw the full moon shine down on the National Mall.
Then three months later BF and I went to NYC. We saw Wu-Tang Clan, Mobb Deep and Lil Kim made a cameo. We laid in Central Park for hours and watched birds build a nest in a tree above us. We went to Brooklyn and watched the sun set over Manhattan and walked across the Williamsburg Bridge at midnight.
The next month we went to Bonnaroo where we camped for four nights and saw the most amazing music acts.
Two years ago is the anniversary of when my life really changed. It wasn't splitting up from Gav's dad that changed me so much. It was taking those very scary first steps into a new relationship that was such intense for me. That is why I celebrate this day as my anniversary. The anniversary of the beginning of a life beyond what I had ever known or thought I deserved.
And this past weekend we went back to that same park. This time Gav razor scootered around. And it was gorgeous warm weather, no snow. And this past Saturday night, BF took me back to Soul. This time I felt like a different person. Not like I wasn't cool enough to be there. We ate at the bar, in front of the DJ booth just like we did 2 years ago. This time I knew what to order. And the food was still amazing. Everything was so comfortable. And yes, I did wear another cartigan lol. However this time it was over a super bright hello kitty geometric pattern dress. with textured tights and super cute shoes. I looked like I belonged. I am finally comfortable with who I am. Inside and out.