Rich and I met at work, starting at a new company the same month in 2011. We said "good morning" and "have a great weekend" for years to one another. We were both so completely oblivious to what time had in store for us. In 2014 my marriage had rapidly begun to spiral into a negative space and feeling held back, I allowed myself to lean into my job a little bit more and make friends. I had no idea that Rich's own relationship was coming to an end over in his side of the world.
Allowing myself to lean into job as a career, I begun getting to know the people I was around every day and was having great conversations with all of the sales team in my office, but with one in particular (guess who!) We started to laugh together, and talk about our love of hiking and running, and our relationship evolved from "good morning & goodbye" into a friendship. Rich was the only person I knew that had been through a divorce, he gave me some of the best marriage advice I've ever had - "Don't walk away until you know you have tried absolutely everything in your power to make it work". That's exactly what I did, until finally choosing to walk away in February of 2015.
Getting my feet underneath me, doing what was healthiest for me, and choosing myself for the first time, in a very long time was exhilarating and necessary. Living by myself for the first time was empowering and refreshing. Seeing Rich every day became more and more interesting. We started seeing each other more seriously and regularly over summer time, realizing that this was much more than just casual relationship. I met his boys after a lot of discussion and few months and our lives began to blend together.
Falling in love was not made easy us - we had bets against us from some of the people we were closest to, we had rumors and lies spread through the office and my hometown, plenty of our personal trials and together trials, but the thing about choosing your own happiness, is that outside influences matter less. An amazing thing happens when you follow your true north, and not a path that was set out for you.
Through our seven years of being together we've learned how to have open, honest, raw communication. We've learned how to listen, and communicate. We've learned how to choose each other again and again. We've learned each other's cadence's of daily life. tiny anxieties and how to make each other belly laugh. We've built our future by working through our past and being present. And the future that we've envisioned together is our very own creation of wonderful.
Part Two: Let's get married (finally!)