As long as I can remember, I’ve always been a writer.
When I was young, I would write details about the minutia of my day – what time I woke up, what I had for a snack, whether or not my dog escaped from our fenced-in yard to meet me at the bus stop.
Next came the lists.
Lists of books I read and those that I wanted to read. Lists of words that I found interesting or amusing, like “lollygag” or “loquacious” or “schadenfreude” or “elysian”. Lists of holidays celebrated around the world. Lists of food I had yet to try, and lists of countries I wanted to visit and languages I wanted to learn. (It’s safe to say we come into our dreams at a young age – as early as middle school, I was dreaming about far away lands and the fabulous food to be found within.)
In high school, my writing was a bit more reflective.
I realized that the best way for me to get thoughts out of my head, was to quickly jot them down. In the frenzy that is high school and all the activities and events, my writing was found scribbled on post it notes, scraps of paper in my binder, on the edges of old math homework.
While not easy to piece together, these “reflective” pieces are fun to read. Like the time I turned over my AP Calc homework and wrote to myself to figure out if it made sense to apply to anywhere else but The Ohio State University. Back in those days, OSU was everyone’s “safe” school – most people were easily accepted, at least from my privileged, “college prep” focused, “blue ribbon” winning high school. Instead of paying attention in calc class, there I was – talking myself through the college application process.
Here were the facts:
I knew I’d probably get into OSU with my grades. I really wanted to go to OSU. I didn’t particularly feel like applying anywhere else as it’s a lot of effort to apply to colleges, plus, I was raised by a single mom and the thought of paying additional “application fees” to schools that I didn’t really want to attend didn’t seem to make a ton of financial sense. Basically, I’m confessing that I was too lazy and cheap to apply anywhere else.
And I had forgotten all about that thought process until I had come across the old calc homework as I was cleaning out some boxes my mom had given me to rummage through.
This is the magic of writing for me – being able to remember things from moments in time.
My husband and I are celebrating 12 years of marriage and I can hardly believe it. It feels like we’ve been married for, I don’t know, 3 or 4 years? Definitely not twelve! And it’s so much fun to go back and read the journals I kept during our early days of dating.
I wanted to share a sample of my favorite memories.
How I Knew He Was The One ….. According To My College Diary
It’s fun to remember the way I looked at the world when I hadn’t really experienced much of it. It’s fun to see how far I’ve come. And it’s fun to make fun of yourself, so without further ado – here’s why I was sure that my husband was “the one.”
So he legitimately looks like Tom Cruise. I thought it was just me being weird and projecting and stuff, but both Breanna and Matt agreed that he was definitely Tom Cruise-esq. But taller. And with better eyelashes. With a touch of Bailey Salinger thrown in. Which basically means he’s perfect.
(Bailey Salinger = Scott Wolf.) What can I say? I’m shallow. Also, I’m pretty sure this is before Tom Cruise got extra weird and started talking about eating placentas and things.
So I thought he was super shy/introverted/slightly weird and definitely awkward, but he took me to Spain and actually knew how to dance. Like he had Latin blood or something. But he wasn’t just moving, he was actually doing the ACTUAL dances. But he’s as German as his name. I can’t figure him out and I love it.
When I refer to Spain, I’m not talking about the country, but can we stop for a minute and dream about what a fantastic first date THAT would have been? I’m referring to a night club that used to exist on the north end of town. No idea if it still around today, but at the time, it was a pretty fun space. I learned later that he had extensive training in dancing, and in addition to the salsa, meringue, and bachata that he did that night, he was also so comfortable doing things like swing dancing, lindy-hop, waltz, cha cha, and tango that HE TAUGHT DANCE CLASSES AT OSU.
So after last night, I totally thought he’d take me out dancing again, because he seemed to have so much fun teaching me how to do the steps, but he shifted gears 100% and instead of dancing, we went to Barnes and Noble. On a date. And he walked right over to the travel section, grabbed a book on Austria, and sat down in the aisle to read to me. Can you think of anything more perfect? He took me to a bookstore on a date, and I think I’m in love.
You have to understand that this was sophomore year in college at Ohio State. Guys didn’t take you out salsa dancing, and they definitely didn’t take you to a book store. The basic scene in those days was more along the lines of a party full of drunk, obnoxious college kids or maybe a dinner out somewhere that accepted Buck-ID. It was drunk dialing at 3am. It definitely wasn’t sitting in the middle of a Barnes and Nobles and reading/sharing about all the places we wanted to adventure to. I’m not sure this date would have worked for any other girl.
We were driving to work and there was a family of geese – mom, dad and all the little babies walking together in a tidy row right across the parking lot. The look of pure joy on his face as he pointed them out, and then stopped patiently to watch them waddle along just confirmed it. I’m meant to be with this man. Can you imagine if he was one of those impatient types that honked or crept up with his car to rush them along? I think I’d have to break up with him immediately.
So, besides being overly dramatic, I think there’s something to be said for these little glimpses we get when we are just getting to know someone. At the time, I was happy that he saw that display of geese as a special gift, just for us to watch, and not an annoyance. Later, I learned that this also extended to other moments – like laughing and holding hands as we ran through a torrential downpour during aqua alta in Venice, or taking the time to listen to a street busker play some beautiful music (and missing our dinner reservation) instead of rushing off to dinner.
He looks at life with such a different perspective. He doesn’t say much, but when he does talk, it’s profound. It’s like every day, I’m walking down the streets in Kolkata, the smog filling up my lungs until they are tight and burning, and then he opens his mouth and says something, and suddenly, I’m on the top of the Alps or wherever Sound of Music took place, running around and gasping and gulping in the mountain breeze. Basically, listening to him is a breath of fresh air, is what I’m trying to say.
I didn’t know it at the time, or at least, I couldn’t identify it, but what I was deeply drawn to back then, and deeply drawn to still, was his way of looking at the world. He had vision. He knew exactly where he was headed, and had cultivated a “growth mindset” to get him there. The way that he talked about the world is the way that many of my favorite people talk about the world, like Tim Ferris, Chris Guillebeau or Tony Robbins.
It’s so much fun to go back and read my thoughts at various stages in my life. I’ll probably always keep journals, notebooks, and scraps of paper with various scribbles on them around me. Do you keep a journal? How often do you go back and reread them?