Right before I met him I had just about given up on guys and came to the conclusion that there was no such thing as a mutual, healthy relationship - I was not looking for a relationship in the least. Then one fateful night, Austin and I started talking casually (both of us were extremely bored on this particular night) and next thing I knew I was falling for a guy that lived 3000 miles away.
After six months of non-stop instant messaging, web camming, phone calls and texting I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I needed to meet him face-to-face. At the time, he was living in Colorado with his family so we decided that I would fly out around mid-August and spend 10-11 days with him. I am not the type of person who gets nervous easily but believe me when I tell you that when the plane landed in Colorado and I stood up, got off the plane and began walking through the airport I was so nervous that I could barely breathe. I was nervous because we had both been waiting so long for this moment and I was afraid that reality would never be able to live up to the expectations that we both had. For those of you that don't know, the airport in Denver is a city unto itself. I swear, you can walk for hours in one direction and still not reach the other side of the airport - it is absolutely absurd! Anyway, after getting slightly lost and asking a security guard for directions he informed me that I would have to take a little subway-like train to get to the baggage claim. I hopped on the train and held on the handle for dear life. I just kept thinking, "Breathe, Colleen... BREATHE! You're going to pass out if you don't start breathing." I forced myself to inhale and exhale slowly. Just as my heart rate was starting to slow, the train began to slow, as well, and I realized that meant that we were almost at the baggage claim which meant that I was seconds away from meeting Austin. You guessed it, my heart began pounding erratically once again. I saw him before he saw me (HA! I win.) and instantly my nervousness evaporated and lightheaded giddiness took it's place. I sprinted up to him and gave him a hug. I had really wanted to kiss him but I figured that my heartbeat was already so high that kissing him would only further progress the problem and I really didn't want to die from heart failure within the first five minutes of us meeting. I could not stop smiling, I remember my cheeks hurting so badly. We got my bags and we walked to his car and just sat there for a few minutes, trying to convince ourselves that this was really happening. It all felt so surreal, like a very vivid dream. One moment we were sitting and looking at each other and the next we we were leaning in for a kiss... the moment of truth. It was well worth the wait.
Right after the airport we went out to eat at Panera and then went back to his house and I got to meet his family. The next 10 days were filled with all sorts of adventures, conversations and experiences. Here is a few excerpts from a list titled "Things Worth Remembering" that I wrote when I had gotten home from Colorado:
Sitting on the ground in the hallway of the movie theatre.
Sleeping on the trampoline.
Skipping around Safeway.
Kissing at stop lights and around corners.
Seeing how absolutely adorable he was as a child.
Falling asleep on his lap on long car rides.
The wave pool at Elitch Gardens.
Writing on the table at DQ with an ice cream cone.
"Brady Bunch" - esque, chapstick kisses.
After a week and a half filled with amazing memories I boarded the plane back to Connecticut. I missed my family, of course, but I was so sad that I was leaving him... leaving him just didn't feel right. We promised each other that that would not be the last time that we saw each other and left with optimistic hopes for the future. After I got home we picked back up with our regular instant messaging, web camming, phone calls and texting schedule - it was torturous not to be with each other but we realized that if we ever wanted to have a future together that this was a necessary step towards that goal. Over the course of the next six months we discussed what we should do and decided that moving closer together permanently was what we both wanted. So in the beginning of January 2010 we both moved to Idaho.
It is mind-blowing to me that I have only known him for a year, in so many ways it feels like there has never been a time when I didn't know him. Things are still going incredibly and for that I am immeasurably grateful.
Everything has happened so perfectly for us, the timing has been impeccable. My relationship with Austin over the past year has grown and evolved into such a strong friendship and an matchless love. I have learned that everything happens for a reason and that a single choice or moment in time can alter your life completely. I recognize how blessed I have been and I thank God everyday for bringing Austin into my life.