Four years and four weeks ago, I sat down at a table in a local family restaurant, not knowing for a moment that my life was about to change.
It had been a rough year for me, you see: I had moved from Grande Prairie back to my hometown and I was struggling to fit back in. I was still living out of boxes in parent’s basement (until I found a place of my own) and my former high school friends had their own lives. A lot changes when you haven’t lived at home for seven years.
I wasn’t going to do NaNoWriMo that year. I had decided it. It was too much trouble and too much stress. The last two years had been marginal successes, at best. And I didn’t need that kind of stress in my life. Or so I had told myself. Of course, my friends, and fate, had other plans. When I expressed the above to a good friend, she immediately shut down all of my rational excuses why I wouldn’t be writing a novel in a month. Instead, she gave me a new challenge: “write 5,000 words and meet new friends.”
I wrote 5,000 words that first weekend and just kept going. You see, for the first time since I had started NaNo, I was spending a significant amount of time around people like me: other Wrimos. That changed everything, including my outlook on writing. Of course, I was writing a horrible Mary Sue fanfic that shall never see the light of day… but I was writing. And having fun. And meeting people!
And then, November 14, 2008 came. The day when I innocently sat all alone at a table at the Ricky’s. You see, fate had plans for me that day; thank goodness it’s more clever than I was.
I wasn’t alone for long. One of the other Wrimos that I had sort-of-befriended came to keep me from feeling too lonely. Then the Municipal Liaison at the time sat two “shy” girls at the table. Of course, the four of us ended up singing songs from Harry Potter Puppet Pals, but who cares? We were having fun, and I was hanging out with people that got me. I was smiling.
And then someone else joined the table. A young man with an amusing shirt, a hat, and an engaging smile. I don’t really remember much else about what he looked like then, but I do recall that I couldn’t seem to stop talking to him. I still haven’t stopped.
Three weeks ago, four years and one week to the day that we had met, that man asked me to marry him.
Of course, I said yes. The last four years have been among the most amazing and life changing years ever. He has laughed with me, cried with me, grieved with me, and grown with me. He has challenged my beliefs and everything I thought that I wanted from life without ever making me feel like less of a person. He has supported me without question no matter what was going right or wrong in my life. He stood by my side when my world crumbled around me, and he was still there when the chaos stopped.
He constantly inspires me to aim for new heights, both as a writer and a person, mostly without even trying. He pushes me to be better, to do better, and to set goals that I never would have otherwise considered. He always listens to me vent when I just need to vent, but offers amazingly insightful advice when that’s what I need. He likes my friends and loves my family (and I love his). He completes me in nearly every way that it is physically and emotionally possible to do so, and I find myself loving him even more every day.
I don’t have the words to express how honored and humbled I am to have found him and I cannot wait to celebrate the next phase of our lives together, in front of the family and friends that have helped to shape us and our relationships. I love him more than any mere words can say, and I cannot wait to see what other plans fate has in store for us.