Matt was the first person I truly fell in love with. I remember we were at Youth group, surrounded by our friends and I couldn’t help but look over at him. Peircing blue eyes and black hair, a goofy smile with thick lips and white skin. It was the first time I wanted someone. Our first kiss was at the Speedway track on a Saturday night. I remember that night as if it’s only just happened. The heat of Matt’s lips on mine, the tingle in the base of my stomach, the way my skin responded and my body yearned for his in a way I was too young and inexperienced to recognise. I remember it all. I have so many journals dedicated to how much I loved Matt. So many “Janet Jenkins” scrawls on diary pages where I practiced what my signature would be ‘when’ we got married. Falling in love with Matt was like going on a roller coaster. I never knew what to expect, our relationship was always changing. Sometimes I cheered, other days I screamed. Some days I felt excited about it and other days in fear of what would come of it – but I loved every minute of it, waiting breathlessly at the end to “go again”. Again and again and again, loving the thrill and excitement of it all. Matt makes me yearn to go back to the start.
I fell in love with Troy years after Matt and I were no longer. I thought Troy was the bees knees. He held me at arm’s length and at first wouldn’t let me love him – but there was definitely something there between us. Something…undefinable; a delicate silver thread keeping us close nonetheless. I pushed so hard to date that boy. I really wanted to be the other half of him. I remember doing one of my last exams at College and butterflies were filling my stomach because after the exam, Troy’s Mom was coming to pick me up (oh the days of being too young to drive and having our parents ferry us about, bless them and their patience) and we were going on a date. I knew studies were sooo important, I knew it…but I kept biting my bottom lip and imagining Troy’s lips pressing onto them. Oh how wonderful that would be. I wrote a poem about him that I’ll upload onto this blog when I find my diaries from when I was16 years old. I just wanted to be around him, you know? Being around Troy and falling for him felt like going on a peaceful walk through a Forest on your own – first thing in the early morning as the sun is rising and everyone else is still asleep. The sun glinting through the leaves and the sense of hopefulness at what the day is going to bring. Troy takes up a lot of my diaries from 18-19 years old and a little into my early 20’s.
I look back at my relationship with Jonathan with so much “wisdom” now; the 20/20 vision only gained from age allowing me to see the parts where we as two similar and yet so incredibly people just didn’t fit…where we were close, but just short of the mark for each other. At 43, I can look back at marrying Jon when I was 25 and think “Bless your heart, little one” because at 25, I thought I knew everything and that marrying Jon was the best thing in the whole world. I have diaries about him, too – about absolutely adoring him and feeling so safe and comforted around him. Being married to Jonathan was like having someone cover you over with a warm, heavy blanket when you fall asleep on the sofa. Warm, safe and comfortable.
After Jonathan, there was a steady stream of dates with a bunch of lads where I had a lot of fun on every single one. I couldn’t have picked better guys to go on first dates with and a lot of them have become close friends who I trust with my life.
I fell in love with Patrick more and more as we slept together under the guise of “Friends with benefits”. I loved how sweet he was. Patrick would insist on some type of date before we had sex, you know. I was so excited to learn and experience sex that the ‘date part’ was just in the way! It felt like a little kid, having to wait as a parent wanted to put suncream on me when I desperately wanted to jump into the cool, clear ocean. Patrick’s “waves” beckoned to me (no idea where I’m going with this metaphor) and I just wanted to dive in. Boy, take your pants off! I don’t care about dinner first.
But Patrick would bring over a favourite DVD of his, take me on a drive to the Ocean (haha) or take me to dinner first (once he took me to his house and cooked dinner! Salmon and rice. So good)…then the sex. Amazing sex where he taught me 1) what it actually was 2) How to enjoy it 3) Different positions (can I get an “Amen” on the “girl-on-top position”, please?) The entire time, he’d ask “is this ok?” “can I do this?” “do you want to try…?” being so gentle and patient with me and chuckling when I would look up at him in wonder and had a million questions about what was happening. I think of him even now and my heart swells. Falling in love with Patrick was like going to the beach on a summer’s day. The sand, the cool sparkly water, the feeling of being enveloped and challenged and loving every minute as the waves gently push and pull. Awesome. I’d want to do that every summer.
Then the love of my life, Alun. Where do I begin to describe the person who completes me? I read in ‘The fault in our stars‘ that for the main character, falling in love was like falling asleep: “slowly at first, then all at once” and that’s how falling in love with Alun was. We were friends a really long time first. We used to hang out and just laugh and laugh, enjoying being goofy together. Al was dating Aleysha and I was ‘dating’ Patrick. I was still actively seeking out “the one” so I was on a lot of dates, really and we didn’t expect to fall in love with each other – it just happened. Now I’m low key obsessed with my husband. I love his kindness, his humour, his stubbornness (yes, I can write that now because he’s not here winding me up), his determination and how Alun makes his dreams realities. He’s not afraid to try things. Alun is fearless. He doesn’t let anyone label him or stop him or limit him. Alun will point to something, say “I’m going to do that” and do it – even if it takes 10 years. His word is his bond and I know I can trust him. Falling in love with Alun is like coming home after a long day. He’s the best person I know, you guys.
I’m thankful for all the guys in my life. I’m thankful for all the crushes that come in between all the paragraphs above and for all the near misses. I’m thankful for the marriage proposals (repeated) from Alby and from Terry. If I could have picked who I fell in love with, I would have picked you Alby…but we don’t get to choose so I had to keep saying no. I hope you find the woman for you because you deserve only the very best, you’re such a good man.