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High School Sweethearts on a Journey

At the age of 15, I put on my pair of blue jean shorts, white v-neck and "pink diamond earrings" and had my mom drop me off at my high school football stadium to go watch the Junior and Senior girls play each other in Turkey Bowl (commonly known as Powder Puff). I took a seat in the stands with some friends and little did I know at the time exactly what that night would lead to.

After realizing that I was sitting in front of "the hot soccer player, Tyler", my best friend called dibs on him and we just laughed it off as if it wouldn't happen for either one of us. Apparently, Tyler had realized I was sitting there... at least realized I was sitting there enough to remember exactly what I was wearing the first time we saw each other. I don't remember full outfits, but he remembers that one and thats exactly why our story started with the choice in clothes. Tyler was talking to his friends about me, so what did he do that every man would think to do to get my attention? Oh right, casually take his homemade flag and hit me in the head with the pole. Well that bump on the head was worth it because it was that night, on August 1, 2013, that I met the man I had been waiting for... except I kept on waiting. Yes, that's right. He didn't ask for my number that night.

our first picture together

In fact, he never did. It took one of our (unknown) mutual friends to realize that we would be perfect for each other and for her to force us to text because neither one of us were looking to date anyone. I was busy with the schedule I had on my plate and he was "too cool" to be in a committed relationship, so we brushed off the idea of dating and just texted back and forth, getting to know one another better... until that "just texting" became me getting giddy when his name popped up on my phone and me waiting for him to ask me to hangout.

But would it be a love story with me and Tyler if it all worked out so easily? If you know us, you are laughing. Of course not! On my 16th Birthday, Tyler was playing in the Regionals Championship for Soccer and ended up breaking his shoulder (the best way I can explain it... too long of a story). So the first time we got to hangout after he got off the post-surgery drugs and came back to reality included him driving me with one arm in a sling and the other hand working over time while trying to turn his Ford Escape really sharply AND singing Nikki Minaj's "Did It On Em". Oh, the romantic beginning of true love. For the next three months, I got to know the kid better than any other guy I had talked too and I was really falling for him... fast. There was just something about him. And I knew I wanted to get to know him better when he kissed me for the first time just two days before he asked me to be his girlfriend, as he claims "making sure I actually knew how to kiss".

January 1, 2014 will forever be one of my favorite days because it's the day our journey began. I couldn't drive. Tyler had never had a girlfriend (only counting real ones, sorry to all of his elementary school lovers). And we had no idea where in this world we were headed... but I was completely content with moving forward with him by my side.

After dating for the rest of my sophomore and his junior year, life started rolling with him as my co-pilot. He sat through pageants while watching me give up my Miss Indiana's Outstanding Teen title. He sat through dance preview after dance competition watching me perform the same two routines a hundred times. And I became him biggest supporter on the soccer field. Tyler's Senior year was right around the corner and we were lost in all of the high school fun that we never realized he would be making his college decision sooner than we realized and it could be a huge factor on our relationship.

Through countless nights of conversations, tears, concerns being brought up, and thinking about his biggest goals in life, Tyler decided to attend Indiana University to study his dream major and stay close to home so we could manage this relationship. That school year included Friday night football games, Dance Marathon, Prom, and even nights that included just the two of us that we would take for granted because before I knew it, I was walking hand in hand with him for the last time while leaving high school together. His graduation day was a day filled with such happiness and joy but tears held back... tears of fear, tears of sorrow, and tears of already missing the man that had his arms around me at the moment.

The day we dropped him off to college was the day I knew our relationship was one to last or one to forget and this was going to be our trivial year. We were both determined to make it work and after countless trips of back and forth to Bloomington, Indiana for us both, we managed to come out stronger than we started. Our amount of love, support, trust, and faith in us was at an all time high. Through my senior year, I had planned on attending University of Indianapolis, but I realized in late April that I wanted to do life and all of it's new chapters and beginning that awaited me after graduation day from high school with my absolute best friend, so I changed last minute and also became an Indiana University Hoosier.

My freshman year of college was everything and more that I could have hoped for with him. We started new chapter together that included more parties, lazy days, studying, and plenty of coffee trips. While I feel like I grew more as a person in that year than I have all of high school, I could feel our relationship maturing by the second also... but maybe that was all thanks to the many road trips of deep conversations and throwback song playlists or the emergency room run when I broke my foot and the person I called to take me to the hospital was Tyler. We have been through more illnesses, injuries, weather issues, and everything else in-between this past year and I am so thankful for the growth that it has brought to our relationship.

Switching to the real school of my dreams would have never happened without Tyler. In fact, a lot wouldn't have happened without his continuous love and support in everything I do. I would not be where I am today. I would not smile as big as I do. I would not be in my sorority. I wouldn't have switched my major to what I truly want to do with the one life I have. I still would be hiding this blog from the world. I wouldn't know what it's like for a three hour car ride to feel like ten minutes. I wouldn't have gone to all of the fun events, places, and museums that we have ventured into. I would be starving. And I most definitely would still be wondering around this world looking for the only man that was right for me. And it's for all of those reasons that I am sure that I want to spend the rest of this journey with him.

While I don't know him like the back of my hand, I realize nobody does. That's the beauty of being in a relationship. Everyday, I learn something new about the man and every minute, I fall more head over heels for him. I have witnessed his flaws, his low points, his tears, his sweat, and his fear and yet I still sit here with him.

While I could sit here and say our relationship has been completely perfect, I am not going to lie. With arguments and disagreements and bickering, we have always chosen us over a winner. I am okay with taking a loss in an argument if that means I get to go to sleep at night knowing I still have him in my life.

While I know some people are going to sit here and criticize my confidence in my future, I will continue to sit back with ease and confidence knowing everything has happened for a reason to get us here and it will continue to do so if we are supposed to meet each other at the end of the aisle. Our road trip has been rocky, curvy, smooth, hilly, and everything in between but I wouldn't want to drive the distance with anyone else.

It has been three and a half years with Tyler by my side and I hope that number continues to increase. I look back on the kids we were in the beginning and the adults we are now. A future teacher and doctor. Two people always putting others first. A couple just trying to make the most of the worst. The other half to our corny jokes that we find hilarious. It may not be a perfect life and it may be as hard as all get out to get going but if I could have three and a half years be the way these last few have been, I would climb every hill and run every marathon to ensure that I am going to get it.

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