I follow WordPress.com on Twitter, and today’s writing prompt led me to sit down and write this while I was sitting in the airport waiting to fly back to Chicago after a fun-filled vacation with Kim, my girlfriend since last May…or at least she was my girlfriend when we left Illinois last Friday. However, during our brief stay in Las Vegas, she became something more, the woman that I will spend the rest of my life with, the woman who will be the mother to my future children, and the woman that brings me the most joy.
Now, as many suspected and even mentioned, we did not get married in Vegas, though the thought had crossed my mind. At this point in our lives, I don’t think there is much need for a long courtship, and my time with her over the past 10 months has been nothing short of wonderful. I decided to “pop the question,” asking her to marry me and become my wife, something that I suspect will happen not long after we figure out where I will be working once I finish school in May.
How did I know she is the one? When did I know that she was the one I would want to spend my life with? It really isn’t all that complicated. She came into my life with a bang, sassing me because I used the wrong order of the words to refer to the twin cities of Urbana and Champaign on my OKCupid profile back in May.
Prior to starting my MSF program last June, even before departing Utah for Central Illinois, I updated my location to Urbana-Champaign, hoping that my dashing good looks and witty humor would play out better with a group of ladies that had yet to meet me and be a welcome distraction from what I was expecting to be a pretty arduous program. I wasn’t doing super well in SLC for various reasons, and wasn’t expecting much different in Illinois. But fate intervened, and Kim came into my life.
We talked about random stuff, as you do when you are establishing a connection over the interwebs, sharing an appreciation for crappy teen television shows from the late ’90s and the “alternative” music of the same time period. She even knew of Ben Folds, an obvious requisite for anyone to be cool in my book. Once I was settled in Champaign and really needed to see more than just the 120+ folks in my graduate school program, we met up for sushi at Kofusion and the rest, as they say, is history.
I joke that I have been converting her to be more like me. A lot of our initial time spent together was binge watching Game of Thrones prior to the Season 3 premiere. Not a person that generally enjoyed fantasy, she is now in eager anticipation of the next season and has even mentioned that she may want to read the books. Not being much of a televised sports fan, she developed a fandom for the Boston Red Sox as they marched along to a World Series championship last fall, then stuck around through her first football season, following my fantasy football season more closely than I did and being disheartened by the poor performance of the Patriots.
But it’s not just her adaption of my pop culture and sports needs. She has been a steadying force in my life when school gets tough to deal with, when there are struggles with school work and perceived difficulties with classmates. Quick to smile and quicker with a hug, she has made this time away from family more bearable, and her apartment — and cats — have been something that I have truly needed more often than not. When I am upset with the lack of progress in my job search, she is there to tell me that it will be okay, and is willing to support me no matter which avenue I decide to pursue in three months.
Now, I didn’t get the full breakdown from my siblings and friends after she met all of them this week, but it seemed to me that they all like her. I know that she enjoyed meeting all of them and is looking forward to spending even more time with them in the years ahead. Hopefully, those years will be spent in Utah, where she is more than willing to move (I think the mountains won her over more than me) and start our life together. I know that Utah is not for everyone, but she seems genuinely excited about moving there, making it much easier for me to continue to focus my job search on the Wasatch Front.
If you had asked me a year ago today if I thought I would be married by the end of 2014, I probably would have said no. Sure, I had faith that I would meet someone, if only because it was bound to happen eventually. But Kim changed that and accelerated the process a bit. It isn’t because she has had marriage on the brain from day 1, but from the beginning of our relationship, everything has just felt right. It wasn’t long before I could start seeing a future with her that extended beyond my stay in Champaign, and a solo trip home at Thanksgiving confirmed for me that I couldn’t live without her.
She has made me happier than I have been in a very long time and I love her more than I can even describe with words. It sounds cheesy, but she truly completes me and will make every day from here on out even better, and I can’t wait to get started on building a family with her. Even if everything else in the short term doesn’t feel like it is working out right now, I know that the long term is all set because she will be there and be my rock.
I love you so much, Kim! Here’s to the rest of our lives!