Just Rannin' Around

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

“No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born.” –Dr. Dale Turner

It all began when I started receiving anonymous notes on my car. To be honest, I really didn’t have a clue as to who was leaving them. They were simple and sweet. Due to some other things that were happening in my life at that time, it wasn’t unusual to find nice gestures left for me, but I knew these were in a whole different realm mostly because they were in male handwriting and because they were not signed.

I have to admit that I am a sucker for notes and letters that have been left for me to read and enjoy. The actual handwritten word means that they had to take the time to sit down and write it out and then deliver it. It carries a much deeper meaning to me. These would not be the only notes which I would receive (only I would know who they were from because he would actually sign them). For example, there was the note with the flowers left on my front door step and there was also the note sent on a Salt Lake City postcard which made me laugh because who sends someone a post card from the city they are both occupying?! I must admit that this was just a small portion of the charm that came along with this man.

We did a wide variety of activities which is always impressive to me. We went dancing. We went to sporting events. We went to plays. We went to the park. We attended the State Fair (only time anyone has ever won a stuffed animal for me). We did things with family. We did things with friends. He would make me laugh until my sides hurt. We would talk in the parking lot for hours. Or we would stay in and enjoy a movie. There was definitely never a dull moment when I was with him.

One thing that he didn’t do was kiss me. Okay, so he eventually did and then we also enjoyed that activity added to the list, but he really took time to take that step with me. I was amazed and respected the amount of self control that he exhibited (assuming that he wasn’t disgusted at the thought of kissing me and that was what was holding him back . . . not to mention he was having a great time teasing me with it) in getting to know me and wasn’t just in it for the kissing. When the first kiss happened, it only made it sweeter that I knew that there were feelings behind it and I had to hold on tight for fear of my knees giving out in that tender moment. I believe that the term “swept off my feet” is applicable to this memory.

However there was something to this man that impressed me and made me want to hold on tight. I could see a desire in his eyes to be better. I found in him a charity for mankind that I had never experienced. There was humility and honesty. There was acknowledgment and striving in his weakness. I saw tenderness in his heart. His thirst for righteousness was inspiring.

Greatest lesson learned from him was that even though trials and tribulations can leave us withering in pain and torment, the Atonement cleanses and heals those broken parts of us and we are able to move forward with a greater hope.

“As you walk to the boundary of your understanding into the twilight of uncertainty, exercising faith, you will be led to find solutions to the challenges of life you would not obtain otherwise. No matter how strong your faith is, God will not always reward you immediately according to your desires. Rather, He will respond with what in His eternal plan is best for you. Your exercise of faith will forge strength of character available to you in times of critical need. Such character is not developed in moments of great challenge or temptation. That is when it is used.” –Unknown

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

“Men have always been afraid that women could get along without them.” –Margaret Mead

We had been dating for a while and were to the point that I received a phone call every morning just to say hi and to say that he could hardly wait to see me later that day. Yes we were together every day almost without fail which sometimes wasn’t easy since both of us had extremely full schedules, but we always seemed to make it work. It was incredibly nice not to have to wonder when I would get to see him next or question exactly how he felt about me. For some reason I feel the need to share totally random memories. They don’t necessarily connect but as I think about him, memories have been flashing through my mind verses one specific memory that sticks out.

-Butterflies still flutter in my stomach as I think about him walking up behind me and slipping his arms around my waist in a hug. He most frequently did this when I was involved in a conversation with someone and I had no idea he was any where nearby. It was his little signal to me that he was ready to go whenever I was and probably his little signal to others that I was with him.

-Watching movies curled up on the couch with his arms wrapped around me and my head resting on his chest.

-Seeing that little look of awe in his eyes the first time his little sister called me instead of him for advice about boys and wanting me to come over to help her choose which prom dress to wear. Same looked happened when we were walking through the garage laughing and his dad and grandpa were under the car fixing it and his grandpa said, “Is that my Brenda?” and then got up to hug me.

-Starting a huge water fight with him at a family party. I ended up in the pool set up for the kids but not before he had a bucket of water dumped over his head. We only got his mom a little bit wet . . . oops! Good thing she is a good sport. Then having a huge family sleepover that night in the back yard and having his sister blush when he came in our tent to kiss me goodnight before joining the guy’s tent for the evening.

-Finding out from his best friend the rest of the story. During the first part of our relationship, his best friend had been living in New York. When he got back into town, we went over so that I could meet him. The first words out of his mouth to me were, “so you are the girl that has had his full attention for a year.” Well at this point we had only been dating for about three months so I was more than a little confused. His friend went on to explain that all he talked about was me for a year. He had been wanting to ask me out for a very long time, but it never seemed like the right time (later that night when it was just the two of us he explained that he didn’t ask me out because he knew that he would marry me if he dated me so it had to be the perfect date). Needless to say that his best friend gave me a ton more insight into just how much he cared for me. It made for interesting discussions on the way to his house and I don’t know how much he told his best friend after that spillage of information. It was quite funny.

The greatest lesson that I learned from him was that I can believe in my heart and head if I will let go of the many fears that I allow to rule me.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

“Even if you cannot always see that silver lining on your clouds, God can, for He is the very source of the light you seek.” - Jeffery R. Holland

It has taken me a while to write even though I know what I am writing about. First there is the decision of which one to write on next. I have known which five I was going to write about from the minute it was suggested that I do this, but as I have allowed memories that I typically block out to roll freely through my mind and heart I have had an automatic shut down on wanting to share. The second problem is that I could write a book about each of these men (if I was willing to share that is) and so choosing what to share has been a huge problem. Even though I just want to re-wrap my memories and keep them to myself, I promised myself that I would finish this out.

Throughout the years I have been incredibly blessed with groups of guy friends that are loving and kind and would kill anyone that dared cross my path. Looking back, I now understand why other women always seemed intimidated by my relationship with these men (which is a whole other blog entry that I may someday return to explain). I had been hanging out with such a group of male friends when I meet the one that would one day make my toes tingle. When I say hanging out, I really mean that all I didn’t really do was sleep there. I was at the house on almost a daily basis because one or all of them would summons me up there because they wanted some me time. I was already friends with him when he ended up moving into the house.

We spent two years being friends, good friends. I would be there to meet the newest girl in his life and then there later to listen and understand the pain of breakups. Nothing that wasn’t happening with all the other guys in the house, but there was closeness with him that wasn’t the same which I knew I was purposely ignoring. However it was harder to ignore when we would all go out dancing and he would invite me to the dance floor. There would be no talking and he would wrap me up and hold me close with one arm around my waist and the other holding my hand pulled in next to his chest. I honestly know that there was no talking because I couldn’t force myself to breath and my mind would become a mass of mush.

Our first official date (yes two years into knowing him) was to a formal dance that was being held up at the State Capital building. Yes, I am going to go from having a Sleeping Beauty experience with the first guy to Cinderella experience with him, so those that have a weak stomach better stop reading now, but I promise this is the last reference to Disney princesses.

He was in a tux and I was in a pretty great dress. He did everything that I expected and a few that I would have never thought was possible in anything but the movies. Of course all doors were opened for me and he led me into rooms with his hand on the small of my back. He also got my chair anytime I was going to sit down. He causally asked me what I was going to order when I set down my menu at the restaurant and then ordered for me when the waiter asked what we would be having. That was a first for me and I loved it. The real shock came when we got to the State Capital. For those of you who don’t know, there is a large amount of stairs that you have to climb in the front of the building before being able to enter. Well it was cold and snowing that night so he pulled the car up to the front of the building, got out to help me out of the car, escorted me up the stairs into the building and then ran to park the car. He kept his eyes on me the entire night. I felt like I was the only one there in his eyes. He held me tight and I felt the shift in his thinking about just being a friend. My shift had already happened so excitement flew all around us as we danced. It was fairly magical. Like I said, stuff that only occurs in movies.

Needless to say, the first kiss was that night and way down to my toes tingled. Have I ever told you that I have never experienced a bad kiss? Well it is true. I don’t know if it has to do with the fact that I just won’t kiss someone until I am sure about my feelings for them or if I have just been lucky enough to have always kissed men that know what they are doing, but I won’t complain because I have heard some pretty horrible stories from others.

The greatest lesson that I learned from him was that I deserve to have someone that when he holds me I feel beautiful, protected, loved and that when it is right, he will never let go.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

I’m starting at the beginning, but the order will probably not stay true

Who looks forward to College Math, especially when it is a course in the summer, a week after high school graduation? Well the first day I wasn’t so much looking forward to it, but that would quickly change.

I am not, nor have I ever been much of a dater. Not by choice, just because I am not that girl. You know that girl, the one that is always being asked out every time she turns around. Most don’t believe me because I have always been surrounded by plenty of guys, however what they aren’t seeing is that I am nothing more than the best friend. Coming from that point of view, I have always been extremely naïve about knowing that a guy is interested in me beyond friendship. At eighteen with almost literally no dating experience behind me, I was about to be taken on a whirlwind ride.

I have to give credit where credit is due and say that this is the only guy that has ever from the moment he saw me, unabashedly pursued me. That one reason, in and of itself was incredibly flattering (side note: I have learned that the butterflies that I felt from this pursuit only happened because I was attracted to him as well and thus enjoyed it). Being the A-type personality that I am, I was even more impressed when he asked me out on a date (that included all the three P’s that Elder Oaks has emphasized: planned, paired off, and paid for) after our second class together while he was kindly walking me home.

(I must add that there is even more reason to be impressed by his pursuit. My mom was taking this math class with me and so he not only put all normal fears aside, but also had added fears that needed to be taken into account.)

Well I am not quite sure when my fairy godmother had entered the picture, but let me give a few more reasons this man deserves some credit. At eighteen, I still belonged to the good old virgin lips club. After months (yes not weeks) of receiving roses quite frequently for no particular reason, notes on my car, taken out on date after date after date, phone calls daily, presents just because, trading me cars in order to change the oil or wash it for me, and countless other things, he gave me the perfect first kiss.

I didn’t have to work that night and I was waiting for him to get off work and come and pick me up for a date. I was curled up on the couch watching some mindless television and must have drifted off to a deep sleep. I was gently brought out of that sleep by one of the sweetest kisses in the history books (well at least my personal history books). I am probably one of the few women that truly knows what Sleeping Beauty must have felt like to receive that kind of kiss.
I think that the greatest lesson that I learned from him was unconditional love. I was completely and totally myself and he loved me anyway. (Side note: this is the only relationship that I ever ended and sometimes I don’t think that I will find someone who will accept and love me as much as he did)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Following some wise advice

In an attempt to continually better myself and really be able to step back and evaluate what I want out of life, I have been challenged to take quite a few steps that are not even close to being within my comfort zone. This step is by far the most difficult for me. To me it represents my biggest failures and my greatest insecurities. The easiest thing about this is that I am supposed to be positive about the man involved and focus on lessons learned. The hardest part is sharing and allowing others into my locked down world. The task: share my experience concerning five dating relationships with a group of friends/family.

So over the next little while I will be posting, one at a time, the five dating relationships that have had the biggest impact on my life. My disclosures attached to this would be that of course I won’t be naming names and I will only be sharing a few memories of each, no play-by-play will occur.

Anyway . . . I just wanted to explain why I am writing what I am.


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