The Story of Us
“I didn’t fall into love with you. I walked into love with you, with my eyes wide open, choosing to take every step of the way. I do believe in fate and destiny, but I also believe we are only fated to do the things we’d choose anyway. And I’d choose you; in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality, I’d find you and I’d choose you.” -Kiersten White Tyler and I grew up in the same small town in Northern Michigan, and went to the same small catholic school from elementary through high school.
I have a few memories of Tyler when we were really young. One being when we were in the same group for a school project, making some sort of toy car, and he was SO nice to me. So much so, that apparently my mom went up and thanked him for being so nice to me (which, by the way, he’ll never let me live that one down). Besides that, I remember he was one of the really smart kids, all the teachers liked him, and that one day he was going to be a fighter pilot, specifically a blue angel in the National Cherry Festival every year.
Besides that I don’t remember many specifics until eighth grade graduation. Every year the eighth grade class got to have a dance after graduation, our first real high schooler dance! Equipt with all of the horrible dresses and all! And then the slow dances start...yes it was as awkward as you are picturing! That was Tyler and I’s first dance. Earlier in the night I remember my friends and I talking about how another girl was dancing with Tyler, and I thought she was so lucky! Then the next slow song comes on, and who asks me to dance? You guessed it! Tylerina!!! Okay, okay his name is Tyler. But I like to call him Tylerina lol. Let’s all keep in mind that Tylerina and I were both VERY very very very shy. I’m laughing just thinking about it!
Which brings us to high school. Freshman year we were all excited to go to our first real high school dance! Would I go with someone, would I get asked, would I go with my friends? You know, the usual questions! And then one day Tyler came up to my locker and asked if I would go to the dance with him. Excited was an understatement! I’ll never forget the day he called my house phone to ask what I wanted him to wear. Looking back this should’ve been my sign that I need to marry this kid. Kidding! Kind of... haha. So I told him my dress was purple and navy blue and he says “so maybe a purple vest?” Ugh. Fashion was not his strong suit. But hey, we did look pretty adorable! And no, we did not talk the entire night at the dance...just your average awkward freshmen!
We hung around with the same friend groups throughout high school. Always crossing paths, hanging out in the same crowds in and outside of school. We ended up getting to be pretty good friends. Then comes junior year. We’re sitting at those long school tables in religion class. I’m on one half he’s on the other. Apparently he did the thing from Harry Potter, where he leans back and motions to the girl if she wants to go to the dance with him? As you can tell I was not your average Harry Potter fan...I had no idea what he was saying! And then he says out loud will you go to homecoming with me and I said “Oh! Yeah!” Looking back I think it’s adorable. Poor guy, I wish I’d known Harry Potter better!
Two homecoming dances later we got to be pretty good friends by senior year, locker neighbors actually. The whole you like me, I like you but we don’t talk because we’re too shy thing? And then you like me, but I’m with so and so and then I like you but you’re with whoever? Was way too real for us! So friends we stayed.
When it came time to leave for college, Tyler was going to the Air Force Academy and I was going to Saint Mary’s at Notre Dame (go Belles!) our paths naturally parted. But, we always seemed to stay in touch over the years. We dated other people, went through all of the silly life lessons you wish you didn’t have to go through but they’re actually so helpful, and finally came back to each other.
After breaking up with my last boyfriend I made a list of qualities I wanted my future husband to have. I remember reading them to my Mom one day (yes we are very close!) and she said “You know you may have to compromise on some of those.” And all I could think was that Tyler had every single one of them. Light bulb moment if you want to say!!
Boys are stupid you know? Idiots. Complete idiots. I’m only partly joking!! After rekindling we went back to our high school story of I like you, you like me but we both don’t just say it. Dating other people but always coming back to each other. After two years of confusion wondering if we were ever going to be together, we were hanging out just the two of us. Nervous as heck basically about to cry my voice is shaking so much I said, “Listen, I really like you. I want to do life with you. But it’s hard not knowing if we’re friends or if we’re together. So I think we either need to be together or not talk and play these games anymore.” Holy guacamole ladies we were dating a week later! We started our relationship long distance since Tyler is in the Air Force, and have been long distance ever since.
Remember how I said I always knew Tyler growing up as the one who was going to be a fighter pilot in the National Cherry Festival Air Show? The day that Tyler got selected to fly the F-16 (read the blog post about how amazing that was here) was one of the most proud moments of my life. The fact that we grew up together and I’ve known his dreams just as long as he has made celebrating that day so much sweeter.
I feel like I could go on and on since our story is pretty unique. But I feel like I should end it here. We dated for two years, got engaged almost exactly after two and are getting married August 2019. All I have to say about this is that I have learned so much about myself and about life while finding my way to Tyler. Tyler is my perfect match. He brings me patience when I have none, believes in me more than I believe in myself, brings adventure in every day, and gives me love in a way I never knew existed.
God has a plan for all of us. It isn’t always clear, but if we listen it’s right there. When we settle for less than we deserve, we aren’t following God’s plan. Stay true to yourself, get clear on what you want, and be ready to let God make it happen. You never know, fate could’ve been sitting right in front of you for 18 years.