Today when I was cleaning my house I found the books my fiance bought for me on the day he asked me to marry him. In the two weeks since he asked I’ve been very busy. We got ready for deployment, worked to set a date, looked up venues, met with our pastor, said goodbye. And then I made appointments to see those venues, contacted our church, started conversations with our families on what the wedding would look like. All the while missing him and realizing what it looks like to plan a wedding without him by my side.
I’ve been stressed, to say the least. But I think today things got a little easier. I looked at my ring and felt the butterflies again that I felt on the day he asked.
I look at those books and I remember one of the best days of my life. He took me to the greatest bookstore ever, Chamblins Bookmine, and we walked around. He played this game with me where he’d find a book title that had something to do with relationships and show it to me. There were tons. Some on military relationships, others on divorce. Some on keeping your man happy. I would giggle and make a joke, but I thought nothing of it. Until he found one titled “An Ideal Husband,” and I looked at him and said he wasn’t one. He asked if I would like for him to be, and the rest is history.
I think it was important for me to write this down, to spend a few moments remembering the start of our greatest adventure yet. After I said yes I hadn’t known what to do with myself. We kept shopping and found books that I wanted to buy. And then he bought them for me. I look at my books and I’m reminded of the man who not only gave me a ring on that special November day, but also knew me well enough to let me do my thing. “Let” isn’t even the right word. He encourages me in everything I do.
Yes, I am sad that I’m doing a lot of big planning without him. Yes, I miss him so much that I’m on the verge of tears a lot. Yes, I am so very proud of him.
So I write this tonight out of excitement and gratitude. Both for the future and how far we’ve come.
Today is a happy day. One year ago I met the love of my life, on an ice cream date. How cute, right? We’d been talking for about a week on EHarmony and it was one of the cutest dates I’ve ever been on.
We didn’t actually get together for another two months, but I count this day as a victory. You see, I’ve been waiting for the year mark for quite a while now. I’ve known I’ve loved my boyfriend since month two, when I decided to switch churches and the first person I wanted to tell was him. And ever since then my love has grown exponentially. I think I’ve been waiting for the years to catch up with my feelings.
I’ve been a hopeless romantic all of my life. If you follow this blog some, you’ll notice that so many of the books I review are in the romance category. I’m the same way with music. Except, most of the love songs out there are of the pining variety.
Today is a good day, but it’s a day that I won’t see my love.
It’s times like this that I think of songs like Run by Rex Goudie. I listened to this song so much in high school. I’d equate the sentiments to lovers in books and movies, to a future guy I wasn’t sure even existed. It’s funny now, finding all of this old music that hits very close to home during long stretches of separation.
All of those songs I lived on growing up about aching hearts and overcoming distances prepared me for this time in my life. Gave me the ability to pull strength out of the emptiness. I’m able to find the romantic in a time that’s anything but.
So today is still a good day. Even though I miss him, even though all I really want is a hug right now. Because I am fully capable of holding onto hope… and music.
I woke up to a text yesterday morning from my boyfriend saying “I love you so much.” He was on his way into work.
The busy season for his crew has started again and I’m not going to see him as frequently as I used to, until I don’t see him at all for a couple months. It’s sad, realizing that the life I’ve known since before Christmas is about to change. But before that I’d known deployment life, so I know I can do this again.
So many things in life are temporary. And while I scroll through my Tumblr feed so close to Valentine’s Day I’m reminded of a time where I was as heartbroken as some of the people I follow are. When there was a different guy in my life that decided he didn’t want to be anymore. When I see those posts, all I can think is that feeling doesn’t last. That one day you wake up and you’ve moved on. For that, I am grateful.
I think of my boyfriend, who has been one of the most caring and loving people I’ve had the privilege of having in my life. I realize what true love really is, and I never want to settle for less.
Just like I had to take the time to move on from an old relationship to find this one, I also have to wait for him to do his job so we can have another season of togetherness.
All of the waiting, the lonely nights, the fending off of question as to where my other half is, is utterly worth it. Maybe one day I’ll wake up to him every morning, but I don’t mind the waiting.
Whatever journey we start in life will always have an end. Seasons will change. It’s important to find the lessons in each, so that even the hardest of times will be fruit.
There’s so much good out there. It’s time to find it.
Since my boyfriend left, I’ve been slowly compiling songs to listen to, to help me through this first deployment. I think I have enough now to share with all of you. I really, really love this playlist and I hope you do too.
For When They First Leave
- Across The Sea by The Sweeplings
- 500 Miles (Acoustic) by Jefr Tale feat Louise Rademakers
- All of the Stars by Ed Sheeran
For When You Feel Strong
- Yours – Russell Dickerson
- Can’t Help Falling In Love by Ingrid Michaelson
- Make You Feel My Love by Adele
- Bless The Broken Road by Rascal Flatts
For When You Want To Cry
- I’m Already There by Lonestar
- Glitter In The Air by P!nk
- Alex’s Song by Grayson Kessenich
- Restless by Alison Krauss
For The Everyday MILSO Feels
- I Get to Love You by Ruelle
- From the Ground Up by Dan + Shay
- I Choose You by Sara Bareilles
- I Like The Sound of That by Rascal Flatts
You can listen to the entire thing on Spotify below!
I was thinking about mix tapes today. Sometimes after I finish a book I like to find songs that match and put them in a playlist; and as I was doing that today for The Love That Split The World, it reminded me of a similar one.
It’s always been through music that I felt connected to the world around me. So it would make sense that when I started seriously dating somebody I would want to share with them the songs that I felt connected the two of us. This is the first mix tape I ever made. It’s still my favorite.
I’m not posting this because I want him back. I really, truly hope he’s happy.
I’m posting this just to say I miss him. Full stop. Because I’m thankful for the two years we had, but I’m also thankful for the years we’ve been apart. I grew so much with him. I’ve grown so much because he let me go. Even when I didn’t have the strength to.
So I’m taking this mix back. I’m making it my story. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
I miss you… thank you.
Continue reading “Mixtapes and Stories”