This is the story of how my crush became my husband. Each Wednesday I’m sharing another piece of the puzzle to this real life love story. Need to catch up? Here is last week’s post: Communication. If you are new here you can start at the beginning with The Window.
I gave myself the most amazing gift when I graduated from college. I wasn’t thrilled about graduating. My friends would be scattering across the country (and globe!) and the “real world” didn’t seem that appealing. Plus my boyfriend was in Jamaica and I still had several weeks before he would come home.
My university had a required cross-cultural program. I fulfilled that requirement with the semester I spent in Central America. Nate did his cross-cultural in Washington D.C. As a gift to myself, I went on a second cross-cultural just for fun. For 6 weeks I lived in Lesotho and traveled throughout South Africa.
Since I had already fulfilled my cross-cultural requirement and didn’t need the credits, I was able to audit the “class” aspect of our trip. I didn’t have to write any reports, read the books, or stress about the language tests. It was so. much. fun.
My trip to Lesotho and South Africa felt different compared to the time I spent in Central America. During that trip, it was always on my mind that Nate was at home waiting for me. I enjoyed myself, but I was anxious to go home. When I was in Lesotho and South Africa I was able to relax and enjoy myself a little more. I wasn’t in a rush to get home. Nate wasn’t going to be there! The distraction of that trip was so good for me.
(Yep, that was my host family’s bathroom. Amazingly, it wasn’t the worst bathroom I’ve used in my life.)
After I came back from Lesotho and South Africa, it was only a few more weeks until Nate came back to the USA. I drove from Ohio to his parents’ house in Pennsylvania so I could meet him at the airport. I was a restless mess waiting in the airport, but then it happened. He was home.
Finally our long distance relationship was over. Paying an insane price for a 20 minute phone call was over. Refreshing my email again and again and again and again was over. Counting down the days, weeks, and months was over.
Being separated from my best friend and true love was finally over. It was glorious.
Nate wanted to spend some time living in Pennsylvania close to his family since he had just been gone for so long. I agreed and we decided that I would move from Ohio to be closer. Nate’s sister and brother-in-law generously offered to let me stay with them.
It was all much harder than I had expected. Things were wonderful with Nate, but in general I was lonely. I desperately missed my girlfriends from college. I had a hard time finding a job. I was grateful to be living with Nate’s sister, but it wasn’t my space. I felt like I was living in limbo just waiting for the next thing.
Waiting for the ring…
Tell me your love story! How long were you dating before you got engaged?
Read Chapter 11: Engaged.
Top Image by Amanda Faye Photography