Out Of My League

Its been couple weeks since I’ve posted. Life happens sometimes. Things have changed and ultimately stayed the same.  I met her family last weekend. It was a very fortunate situation in that her niece was having a birthday party. So my presence was made known but no one had time to really question me too hard.

She met my family this past weekend. We made a last second call to crash a family cookout. I was more hesitant about it than I thought I would be. Every step forward we take like that is even more of an investment in my feelings for her. Obviously, I’m all in. But her hesitation to talk about anything farther than the next date certainly causes me pause. For the record, they adored her. Because of course they did.

Two weekends from now we’re going to a music festival. Three straight days of her should answer whatever lingering questions I may have. Its not an ideal situation. It’s me, her…and three of her friends. I honestly wish it was just us but her time is limited and I’m honored to have it at all, even if it’s split with others.

We went to dinner with her friends last week. When I picked her up she was wearing a seersucker dress. She looked absolutely incredible. We went to a night festival afterwards and we walked around, hand in hand, checking out the local vendors. I have no idea what really happened because I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. I was incredibly proud to have her on my arm. I stopped and thought, “I’m literally with the most beautiful woman here. I’m waaaay out of my league with this.” It was an incredible and terrifying feeling.

The universe found it fitting to insert this song into my playlist on the way home. It couldn’t be more true.

 

Electric Love

Confirmation.

The hardest thing about quasi-distant dating is that you’re forced into two relationships. One present. One in your head. I’ve spent the last few days living out the worst and best outcomes of the mess I made this weekend. So much so that I think I lost touch with reality.

I do that all the time at work. I over-analyze things to such an extent that I lose focus on the facts in front of me. I need to do a better job of taking the facts as they are and dealing with them.

I was convinced that I was going to arrive at her house yesterday and then head back home fairly quickly. Alone. When I got there, though, her eyes were still the same ones that I think about before I go to sleep every night.Her smile still shook me to my core. It was a little awkward at first. But after a pizza and wine dinner (I paid. No complaints. Boom.) we settled onto her couch for an episode of Newsroom. (Amazing show.) We went horizontal after an awkward attempt at sitting up straight. She put her head on my chest.

It was electric. There were fireworks just like the first time she walked out of her house, my knees week from her smile, clubmasters, and little black dress. Not a whole lot was said. But her smile told me everything I needed to know. I must have kissed her head a thousand times.

We talked about the weekend later. She was concerned. She didn’t want to date someone with tendency to get so sideways that he loses control of his words and actions. She stewed too much on it after I left Saturday. She was over it, now.

She was still on top of me, but it felt like someone backed my truck off my chest. I don’t think I had taken a deep breath in three days. As much as I hate to admit it as a man who prides himself of toughness and self-dependence, I just needed some confirmation. Some reassurance.

It’s funny how touch works like that. So much can be said. Explained. Promised. But at the end of the day, feeling the person you love next to you speaks things to the soul that couldn’t ever be expressed verbally. I got a text on the way home about us moving forward. The term “fender bender” was used. Certainly not ideal, but so much better than “totaled.”

I listened to this song on the way home. My love for her IS electric. It runs through every part of me. It’s shocked me into doing and saying things that just don’t come out of a conservative southern man. It has flatly jolted me off my feet. I’m sitting in my office still buzzing from feeling her skin on mine.

For lack of more corny electricity puns, I’m incredibly happy to be back in the hunt for her heart. Next up — her family’s. But that’s a post for another day.

Blow Me Away

Corey Smith has been around for a long time. I started listening to him when I was 18. In a lot of ways I’ve grown up with his music. I discovered pretty early that there’s something that appeals to me about a guy with an acoustic guitar in a smoky bar room. That’s often caused me more trouble than happiness.

His music has changed a lot of the couple of years. It’s less friday night shenanigans and more sunday morning reflection. I like that think I’ve made that change too.

She and I talked a lot yesterday about letting things happen how they will. Lots of apologies from me, and even a few directed at me. I’m grossly undeserving of those. It’s pretty clear that the next few weeks will flatly make or break us. That’s on me; I put us here. But for her to give me the grace of another chance — to be willing to look past my flaws and truly give me a chance to be the man she deserves. Well. That blows me away.

I’m fully aware that I can’t ever be what she truly deserves. Perfection is an ideal, not a reality. I’ll chase it for her, though. Regardless of the sleepless nights. Regardless of how many hours I spend anxiously staring at my phone waiting to hear from her. The anticipation is worth the chance, if small, that I can call her forever.

 

If You Can Hear Me

I was sitting in Church today trying to pay attention to what Pastor Scott was saying. It’s hard not to; he’s got a southern delivery that is hard not to watch in awe. But sometimes heavy hearts lead to closed ears.

I’m a Christian guy. You may not know it if you’ve read much of this. I curse. I drink. I have a strong sarcastic streak. But my faith has always been important to me. I make time to pray everyday. Maybe not on bended knees with closed eyes. Usually driving in my truck with the music turned down. Sometimes in my head when I’m mowing my lawn. I tend to skip the formalities and get right to the substance. “I need you on this, God. Show me where I need to go.”

I think some people need the big, formal God. The suit, tie, and stained glass windows God. Not to sound like Ricky Bobby, but I prefer my God riding shotgun in my F-150. Or next to me and my basset hound on the porch. God is my confidante. He’s my bent ear. It took a long time and for real life to get pretty heavy for me to realize he comes to me as a friend. Maybe that’s not the “correct” God. But he’s gotten me through many hard times. So I think I’ll keep him where he is.

All of this with her has me acting in ways that I don’t like, certainly in a manner that I’m unfamiliar with. I’m pressing way too hard. Upon reflection this has been entirely too much about me. “Show ME what to do God. What can do to get her to trust me…to love Me.”

That’s not what any of this about. Love isn’t a goal, another block on my checklist. It’s not another degree I want on my wall. It’s bigger. It’s more humble. It’s a process. And more than anything, it’s a blessing. Now, I may not be a biblical scholar, but I don’t remember being taught that extra prayer will force God’s hand on anything. No matter how bad I’ve ever wanted something, it has always come it was supposed to. Or not at all. And much to my chagrin in the moment, retrospect has always proven that the divine plan was better than my own.

So. Mid-communion God made it very clear what I need to do. Not like a voice in my head or a burning bush moment. Just a moment of clarity. “Listen buddy, I made you a type A and there are times and places where I’m going to use that. But on this. Well. You’re gonna have to let me handle it.”

That’s not the answer I wanted, sure. Everything I have ever achieved is due to pure and simple hustle (with his help of course). I’m very proud of that. But this isn’t about me. It’s about her. And Him. So, here you go, God. I’m gonna back off and see what you do with it. I think I’ve made my intentions with her very clear to her. And very clear to him. All that I can do now is continue to pray. Continue to love her. Continue to grow and hope.

If I needed any reassurance about this conclusion, this song came on as soon as I got in my truck. I laughed out loud. “Okay, big guy. I hear you. Do what you think is right.”

 

It Must Be Love

I love old school country. People disparage it a lot: it’s too simple, there’s no substance, etc. But I don’t music always has to be a heady experience. Sometimes it’s best served as soundtrack to a cold beer on a porch during a summer evening.

It’s a lot like how I feel about her. I can delve into the complexities of it. Or I can just let it flow over me. There a million things in life that require intense thought and consideration. But to me, she just IS. She’s everything. She makes me happy in a way that I’ve never experienced without trying. So today I’m just gonna bask in it.

(I like the Alan Jackson version, but I’m all about crediting the original.)

All My Heart

I send her Spotify screenshots constantly. I struggle with finding the words for her, so music bridges the gap. Maybe she thinks it’s super awkward. But that’s the wonderful thing: she tolerates my awkward. She’s always looking back. Smiling. Hand held out for me to hold. Waiting patiently for me to catch up.