Soul Mate, Lover, Friend and Perfect
The soul mate I didn't think possible
Do you believe in soulmates?. In love at first site? Lucky for me I didn't have to - someone else did!
On August 18th, 2012, I sat down to my Facebook page. As I always did at that time, I went through my "Friend Requests" and, as long as there was some sort of affiliation to my business (making body jewelry) I would accept them. It didn't faze me that anyone from a piercing or tattoo shop ever asked - it was par for the course as I'd been working in the industry for nearly a decade and most of my "friends" came from there.
Imagine my surprise when I then sat down to a message from one of them that wasn't asking about one of their orders.
"We met once or twice when I was collecting jewelry for Cody @ Creative. I was wondering if you wanted to get together for a beer some time."
In a quite agreeable business frame of mind regarding customers, I "Accepted" this task, responding with a perfectly perky "That could be fun! Im terribly shy around new people, I must warn."
As soon as I hit the "enter" key, I wanted to take it back. I wanted to tell him I wasn't able to follow through because guys didn't ask me out. They just didn't. What if he didn't fancy the way I looked? What if I said the wrong thing? What if he thought I was someone else?
In an absolute panic I ran to my roommate:
"A guy just asked me out and I said yes but I can't because I can't date and I don't date and I don't date, because I can't and whatamIgonnado?!"
Guys don't ask girls that look akin to me out on dates.
All Photos by Gina Blanchard, All Rights Reserved.
August 19th, he asked me out officially. He tried to call, but I didn't answer. He got my number off of Facebook. I never answer if I don't recognize the number and I was too shy to start there.
Then, the text came in....
(Note: the Following is word-for-word from the texts we sent each other that yes, I kept)
"Hey, I'm going to 99 bottles at 9:30 ish tonight. Want to meet there? :-)"
For an eternity, those words hung there on my iPhone, waiting for me to respond with something, anything at all. For thirty minutes I let that happen while I drank straight from the bottle of courage and panicked out-loud to that ever-patient roommate.
I didn't know what to say or what to do or where to go. I wanted so bad to just be one of those normal human beings who could walk down to 99 Bottles (it's half a mile from my house) and meet this guy, just to see what could happen. I wasn't one of those people. I'm still not. I'm socially anxious and shy as all get out, let me tell you.
"No- too drunk tonight and have work tomorrow."
Now now, I wasn't lying so much as I'd spent the last 30 minutes making the fact true. I wasn't drinking to avoid him, either, but was trying to drink some sense into myself, which didn't happen, by the way.
"Boo. I'm off. What are you doing tomorrow after work?"
He was a persistent one if nothing else (which will come in handy later).
"Haha. Dunno 'til I'm off."
You could hear the shy in the writing. Ha-ha.... I can feel it now as a physical reminder when I think back, just as warm on my cheeks now as it was then.
"Well, if you want to meet up hit me up. :-)"
Oh, if I could have put what I was thinking...
Yes, yes! Yes, I want to know all about you! I want to know why you are curious about me!
... I'm just too shy to walk through an already opened door.
This is not to say that he and I did not have interaction in between, because we did, but that it looked a lot like the aforementioned discussion and I did not feel the need for repeating. .
"Okay, so here's the deal- I'm finally drunk enough to tell you I'm not disinterested- just shy to the point of dysfunctional. I'm not a basket case - just awkward and prone to anxiety attacks when confronted with new faces, however that sounds. Ha.Ha."
His phone only receives about three lines but I couldn't discern that at the time. He responds as if he received it all. To this day I still don't grasp fully what all he read. Obviously it was not enough to deter, for whatever reason.
"No worries. I'm at 99 now. Just breathe deep come out or pick a place and time you feel comfy with. Is there anything I could do or say to make the shyness go away? I'm cool if you want to talk to me or text if that helps."
You can't make up this kind of patience. Remember, we haven't gone out yet and clearly I'm not one of the most psychologically stable women in Santa Cruz.
"Maybe! It's embarrassing for me that I'm so awkward - so I'm mostly a hermit. Haha."
Every shy ends in "Haha" doesn't it? I expected him to pick up the "Hermit" part of this statement.
"Awkward how? Like clumsy or do you scream inappropriate things?"
How does one even respond to that question?
He texted me every day
telling me where he'd be
for almost two weeks
before I gave in.
Between this text and August 31st, he sent a myriad of his daily activities, always telling me what time he was going to be at 99 that night and wondering if I'd swing by. There was one time when we were literally across the street from one another and all I could do was look towards that other building and wonder.
He made jokes and called me his pen-pal. He even swung by my work once; this time I was actually busy and didn't have time for visitors, though I'd wager if I weren't busy I'd still not have been able to face him. At this point, my roommate sat him down and explained I wasn't a crazy girl, or something.
He wasn't lying per-say.
Winning on a Blue Moon by Chance
Would I have just gone out with him at any point in time, if not for the universe lining up in a perfect place, a perfect time?
Some backstory: I was in a relationship for five years before this and had been out of it for a year. When we had broken up, I swore to myself I wasn't going to date anyone else for two years. Do the math = I was only in the middle of my promise. I also liked to work ALLTHETIME and couldn't imagine how I could find a way to fit another human into my schedule and still do what I needed to do with my life - or what I thought I needed to do with my life.
August 31st, 2012
Every two or three years the calendar lines up so that two full moons line up in a month; This is called a Blue Moon and is often used to indicate something that is done less often.
"You at the Rush?"
I was exactly there when the text came in; The Rush Inn (when you tell people about it, a lot of them think it's 'The Russian' for a considerable amount of time) is in the heart of Santa Cruz, near to the clock tower. It is a nice dive-bar with serious local appeal.
Normally I might have avoided this question, perhaps even left, but I told myself:
"Self, you gotta do this. It's once in a Blue Moon."
and to my surprise my self finally conceded.
I shot a glass of whiskey or two (or four) and grabbed a beer before my groundbreaking moment:
"Now we know each others hangouts. I feel like a stalker."
With that single text, I knew there was no going back - he was going to come there and I was going to have to face the proverbial music. I could not avoid him anymore! Between drinking as quickly as possible and sinking my head into a game of pool, I tried to distract my thoughts to keep me from running away.
"Don't think I'd know what you looked like if you walked in."
I did actually - he'd sent me a picture and I'd already totally virtual stalked him up and down Facebook,.
"Soooo you did only check out my body in that photo. Busted."
It was too soon to tell him I was doing lots of that, too.
"Mohawk, 6'1", biomech left arm incomplete. Head hunter tiki gods right leg incomplete."
Every word, every description was more terrifying than the last. This stranger was becoming something, someone more solid... I was anxious, near-breathless, quickly headed towards more tha a strong buzz.... waiting...waiting... waiting...
"Hey, I think your friend is already here." It was my bestie Jeff who said it while the two of us played pool.
You see, my pen-pal had already tip-toed his way to the bar to order a drink and had been watching me play pool.
"Oh. Hey... Nice to actually meet you..."
What else was there to say? At some point as the hours began to peel by my friend believed me safe and excused himself from our scenario. I turned towards Ross and let my knee touch his while I clung to every word. I remember thinking I wish he would kiss me... just kiss me... and wondering all the while if he was even truly still interested.
At 2am when we were practically shoved outside he offered to walk me back to my place. I wasn't ready to let him go, to end the night, to start tomorrow without our already mutual laughter.
The next thing you know we were kissing on the couch like a couple of teenagers if you know what I mean. With whatever I could muster in myself I peeled myself away from him and literally pushed him out the door.
"I want to see you again!"
From my hallway while I dreamily wondered if he'd call after he left. It caught me by surprise.
"What? Umm.. Okay...Sure."
"Go hiking with me."
I hate hiking.
"Heh .. hehheh.. That sounds fun."
I didn't even have time to think about what I was agreeing to because then he smiled so big my very soul wanted to jump free and dance with his from that moment. I kissed him once more and closed the door, then put myself against it and wondered if he was still there on the other side. I clutched my hand to my heart and knew to my core that I needed that to happen again and again.
As it turns out I do like hiking.
Some Things From Along My Ways
I made him a scrapbook full of reasons I love him - it doesn't get much more ooey gooey than that, does it? There's not enough room it in for all the reasons.
The end is the beginning for the two of us. Since that fateful night we have been inseparable.
Of course we kissed that night, and it was as amazing as you'd like to imagine it was.
I wanted him to stay.
I sent him home
He came back and our next date was out hiking.
We held hands.
He still makes me shy from time to time.
There are no dreams I dream up that he doesn't believe I can accomplish.
He always understands what to say and when to say it.
We talk about marriage and babies and all of the things we want together.
Even though he hates (read: HATES) hospitals, he held my hand when I was there.
He is good to his mother and father (who are still together).
Every day, he tells me I'm beautiful.
I was flipping through one of my journals recently and I found this:
"May 6th, 2012
Once again all is well in my personal self. My soul feels clean and lost in a sense of peace. I don't realize yet how to explain this other than I now feel like everything will be okay. The air smells like spring and my heart is relaxed and anticipatory for a new awakening. Last night I thought if I could just open my heart... today it is open. I'm getting a clearer picture of my future and the baby with little toes and giggles. I can see someone holding that baby and holding me"
I think some may think it's ridiculous, but I think I knew he was coming a long time before he was there. Maybe the power of attraction (see below for more on that) or just a fated recognition.
I asked him that Blue Moon night how he had met me before and I hadn't met him.
He said I walked by him in the office and turned to smile at him just before I left the room, and he hadn't forgotten that smile since.
That's the **** dreams are made of, girls and boys, and let me tell you, it's real.
To say we fell in love would be an understatement...
As they say,
there are no words
for love like ours
because the most important words
lie between us,
in the air
It is what you feel it in your chest
overwhelming yet calming
tight yet comfortable
like a hug from very
It is between parted lips and
It's being able to be apart
with a preference
and being able to be
when we are apart
It is waking up beside you
tangled in your arms
chest to chest
but never quite close enough
even if your breath
is on my skin
It is standing somewhere away
in the middle of my schedule
catching a whiff of your scent
and feeling my heart speed up
of your closeness
It is wanting to open my heart
so I can show you
what I'm certain
is a raging fire
that you set there
It is how every day
I love you
so much more than the day before
I may not know if I'll love you more
but I know
I'll never love you
less than today
Love is not always kind
it is ever-learning,
it is tears of joy
overriding tears of pain
We are not perfect,
you and I
but we are never irreparable
and all I can promise
no matter what happens,
is to always choose
fighting for you
fighting with you
These are the reasons I know
that what we have
I love you
-Gina (That's Me!)
What do you think?
Do you believe in soul mates?
I love you, Ross, because
You make my heart singand skip and my toes curl and my stomach get butterflies
You call me your Butterfly
You give me hope in myself.
... in our future
...for a life I am certain you can give me, because you already do
I love you for understanding how to LET me be sad and how to tell me everything is going to be okay when I don't think it is.
Even when you don't actually say it
I am a better, happier, smarter, more whole woman as a result of you .
I will always seek to improve upon myself and who I am and who I want to be simply because you love me and I love you.
You never ask for anything.
When I was a smoker and you were not you never once asked me to stop
You are sexy, beautiful and more important than anyone to me.
I want to wake up next to you every morning for the rest of our lives and then some.
I am afraid of the end of forever; It isn't long enough to be with you.
My soul is in love with your soul
You don't have to buy me things ( sparkly gel pens or pretty jewelry ) or take me on adventures and you still do.
You encourage my dreams and tell me they're all brilliant even though in hindsight maybe they aren't so great.
You make me want to be a better person . You make me feel I already am.
For once in my life I am 100% certain about something, and that something is you.
Gina's FAVORITE love stories of all time
I'm that girl who will watch these movies over and over until you want to vomit.
"I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I've led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I've loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough..."- Nicholas Sparks, The NotebookThat's what my love has been like from the get-go. That's what my love is like now. I know if we were separated, he would find a way to get back to my arms; Always.
From beginning to end, I sob like a fricking baby every single time I see this. It is sad - VERY SAD.
A Year of FunClick thumbnail to view full-size
Why, you might ask, is the beginning at the end?
The story you've been reading is unfolding before your eyes - ever changing, ever evolving.
What was told before was the story of a woman and a man seeing each other for the first time; a story of a blossoming love and all that surrounds it.
Now it's a story of a woman and a man on their way towards marriage; On January 14th 2014 Ross dropped to one knee and asked me to be his wife; his forever; his eternal love.
Stay tuned for our wedding planning right here and thanks for your inclusion in my life :)