Life Narrative Project

My First Experience With Love

The campus air smells of fall: the large coffees, leaves just turning brown under the shoes of students and that tinge of stress under every person’s skin. With finals up ahead, most people are in their own little worlds. They focus on their projects and keep going to reach that grade most desired. This was never my dream or ultimate intention. This was never where I wanted to end up and as I sit in the front of the Morgan library, people watching, I realize something. This is exactly where I needed to be.

CSU was never my dream. I always thought of going to college but I never thought Colorado State University was where I was going to go. I never thought a big university was in my sights or even a blip on my radar. I had my entire life planned out at the ripe age of 18 years old. I would gain a degree from Metropolitan State University in Denver, Colorado, where I was just finishing my freshman year. I would gain the degree in journalism and focus on a successful and rushed career of being a reporter. The Denver Post was my dream. Being a family was my dream.

The start of my senior year I met someone; my first love. It wasn’t how I thought it was going to be but you never really can plan these sorts of things. The charm and affection and manipulation took hold and I was trapped. Enchanted at the time but trapped after further inspection from my present self. I fell for the charm and the blue eyes of the snake that would ultimately be my undoing.

My dad never approved. He saw right under the mask and knew that he would be the first to break his little baby’s heart. But, he kept as quiet as he could and I continued on. Skipping classes my senior year, forgetting friends and family, reprioritizing my life to what I thought (what he thought) would be better suited for me. And like a lamb, I was led. I followed willingly, obeying. I was led right up to the slaughter, blind to everything around me except for the snake.

Now, hindsight is 20/20. I can’t say that he was all that bad when I first met him. He was sweet and gave me what I needed for a good seven months or so. He took me on dates, paid, held the door open, came to pick me up; a real gentleman. The façade was up and non-transparent. But little by little, it chipped away. He began having me drive to his place, 45 minutes away. He dropped out of school and started working full time at a dead end job. He tried to convince me to quit everything. My schooling, my job, moves away from my family. He tried every tactic he could to get me to leave what I had known behind and just be with him. At one point, California came up.

I stayed adamant about one aspect: there was no way in hell that I was leaving school. My one and only dream since I had been a kid that remained unwavering was gaining my degree. I was never going to rely on someone else’s pockets when I should be able to rely on my own.

By this time, my mom had moved to Connecticut with her boyfriend, my dad had met someone serious and my brother was still reeling from his concussion and its effects. So why shouldn’t I be able to move on. However, I was stuck. I was still following and the rope around my neck had become tighter. The problem with love is that it truly is blind by choice. I was choosing to ignore the fact that he was having other girls over without inviting me. He was drinking almost constantly and he never gave a shit about anything I wanted to do. I was just sex and someone to complain to. I was slowly becoming trash in his eyes and never saw it.

The first time he kissed someone else, I walked in on it. It was New Year’s Eve. The second time he said he had gotten someone pregnant. I stayed with him for much longer than I should have but I was naïve and young and I thought I was in love. So I stayed, for much longer than I should have. After that, I was pretty messed up after that, not really caring about anything. I fell into a depression, thought I wasn’t good enough for anyone.

That soon turned from sadness, to anger, to pain into something of a fire. Cheesy, but true. I started searching for other schools to go to, other jobs to have. I started questioning if I should move to another state. But I finally settled on Colorado State University. I chose CSU because it was just far enough away from my family but close enough that I could see them when I wanted to.

I’m not the same person I was 2 years ago. I’ve grown, matured and become someone that I can be proud in. I think I’ve grown into a woman who can make her own decisions in life and focus on school and me. I found out how to show more compassion towards my friends and how to be a person they can trust and count on.

I’ve learned a lot over the years. This is one moment that will stick with me forever. My first love that made me who I am today.