My First Time Falling in Love
A Not So Typical Love Story
Note: This post was originally published on the 365 Days of Love Blog.
I love my husband dearly, but he’s not my first epic love story. I had one shortly before meeting him. And if it hadn’t been for that experience, I don’t think I would’ve been ready for the one that unfolded with the man I ended up marrying.
Growing up, I was often wary of taking too many chances. It felt safer to stay in my bubble… to follow the rules and avoid potential pitfalls. And as a sensitive soul, external conflict was particularly scary. Because I was already working so hard just to wade through my struggles internally. But even back then, I had a curiosity and sense of passion that couldn’t be quenched. It showed up in my love of reading and creative writing.
It wasn’t until my college years though, that the explorer in me really started to break out of her shell. The exposure to all the new experiences opened me up to so many possibilities. To dreams worth taking chances for.
And college was only the beginning. It was during those first few years after graduation that I truly began to fall deeply in love… with myself.
I didn’t fall all at once though. It was a long and complicated courtship. This was a love that developed slowly over the years. And it took a lot of work.
That work began with one particular trait: courage. The courage to listen to my heart and the willingness to explore things that called out to it. Giving the explorer in me permission to wander in territory outside of my comfort zone.
These acts of courage started out small, but eventually got bolder. Trying something or going somewhere new with friends slowly lead me to venturing out for new experiences on my own. And as I got more comfortable doing things alone, I began enjoying my own company. I even started looking forward to it!
I felt the sense of peace and clarity that can only be found in solitude. And it was through having this alone time that I really started getting to know myself… and feeling good about the woman I was growing into. It was during this period that I began trusting my intuition and stopped worrying so much about always needing to make sense. Because I was discovering that my heart usually knows things before my brain does… and it always makes sense eventually.
Practicing opening my heart up to myself for a few years is what made room for my husband to swoop in when he did. By the time he finally made it to the party, I was ready because I’d learned how to recognize true love.