So a country girl and a suburbanite walk into a bar…


Nightwolf Kelly six month anniversary

Those of you who enjoy reading the more ridiculous of my posts may have seen this one about details. Essentially, it was about how my boyfriend (whom I lovingly refer to as Nightwolf on his blog) and I completely screwed up the date of our anniversary. In late August, we were sure we had tipped the six month mark, only to realize we were a month early. (We lost track of time — it’s easy to do when you’re having this much fun.)

Well, after all that, we are actually at the date that both of us (and others who have been privy to our growing relationship) deciphered as being the true “half year” mark. We aren’t big on “monthiversaries” but, half a year seems like a milestone worth celebrating.

Six months ago today, a country girl walked into a bar in downtown Kansas City to have “a drink” with a charming, nerdy suburbanite. A “drink” ended up actually being drinks, appetizers, and a meal.

Nightwolf-kelly-at-wedding

My favorite picture of us.

Our early romance was not clean-cut. We met on Match, exchanged a few messages there, and then swapped phone numbers. We spent some time texting. He asked me on a date — I said yes, then cancelled because a friend was coming into town. Sure that this guy was just as much of a dead end as other dates met online, I figured that’d be that. He was persistent, though. He HAD to meet this girl who obviously had walls up, but also owned Yoda slippers, an Avengers t-shirt, a large “purse knife,” and a cute dog. (Apparently I was intriguingly terrifying? At least, I imagine there was a bit of an adrenaline rush attached to our early courtship.)

Kelly Rivard Avengers t-shirt

This was the Avengers t-shirt that caught his attention on Match.

After the first date, I was giddy. I remember texting friends about HOW WELL it went — yet I still told people I probably wouldn’t see him again. I mean, I’d had good first dates with other guys, right? And he was totally a suburban guy. He wouldn’t “get” a country girl like me, especially not after all of the big adventures and life changes I’d experienced.

Then, he took me to a movie at a dinner theatre type place. We saw G.I. Joe 2 and ate pizza with bacon on it. I got excited and squealed during trailers for superhero movies. The next date, he took me to the aquarium in downtown Kansas City. In just weeks, it morphed from “seeing someone” to “dating” to finding any excuse to see each other. During an especially stressful time in his career in the spring, he dropped the “L Bomb” on me and I laughed maniacally — not AT him, but in pure relief because I had felt it for a while and was too afraid to say it first.

Needless to say, by that time, I was over my denial. Y’all, the country girl living in the city had fallen for a suburbanite.

Nightwolf and Kelly at Stephanie's wedding

Okay, maybe THIS is my favorite picture of us. It’s close.

It hasn’t been all laughter and fun dates. There’s been stress. There have been growing pains, as in any relationship. I remember feeling severe anxiety when we approached the topic of my history with bipolar disorder and bulimia. (That night was actually the night I realized I “L-worded” Nightwolf, but was too afraid to say it.) As two fiercely independent people, we’ve had tensions over where to draw some lines and how to respect each other. We’ve had tough conversations — about us, about the future, and about our pasts. But never, ever have I felt so empowered to handle those things in an adult, collected, mature, and productive manner, as I have with Nightwolf.

I’ve written a lot about how unexpected this whole journey with him has been. One thing is for sure: it’s been one of growth.

Since the day I met Nightwolf, he has made me laugh, made me think, and made me want to be the best, most giving and patient person I can be. (That “patience” bit can be pretty damn hard for me.) I hope I bring as much happiness and growth to his life as he brings to mine — even with our elementally different perspectives and experiences in life.

And the more we talk about our future, the more excited I am to take on life’s challenges alongside him.

So, if I can give you any advice about life, it’s this: you never know who or what is going to change it. You never, ever know when a defining moment may arise. That moment may be in the form of a person you didn’t expect to make an impact (Nightwolf) or an opportunity that hadn’t fit your plans (moving to Kansas City). God will bring these moments into your life in His time, and the best we can do is be open-minded and faithful as we navigate those unknowns.

So, have YOU had any surprising “defining” moments in life? An unexpected friend or significant other? A surprise career change? A big move? Share in the comments section if you like — I’d love to hear your stories about your big, unexpected moments!

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