The Story of How We Met

Monday, January 28, 2013

Josh and I have been together for 1.5 years as of January 24th, although our anniversary date is debatable. I've been wanting to document how we met and how our relationship came together over the span of a summer (2011) so that I don't forget as the years go by. The little things are so important and reminiscing about the simple things (especially as a girl) can give you butterflies even years later. So, here's the long story about us. 

We went to high school together and never said one word to each other. I know, people think that's just the craziest thing but if you knew our personalities back then and saw the diversity in the groups we each hung out with you would understand. I was student body VP, an editor of the newspaper, active in dance and spent my downtime at my part time job at an after-school care program or hanging out with my mom & tight knit group of friends. My summers were spent at leadership camps or journalism camps. I thought drinking/ drugs and partying was unnecessary and thought 'those kids' were just ridiculous. I knew that they would look back on what they did in high school and have regrets and I didn't want to end up like that. I would randomly thank God for giving me a simple heart that was content being at home on a Friday night. (You can read more about my high school life on this post.) 

Josh was a little more rough around the edges. He was a rowdy guy and the only time I saw him was in between classes on the second floor of our high school in a circle of his friends while I walked by to go to class. I must have seen him every day in this exact spot, but I don't think we ever made eye contact in passing. He graduated the year before me and moved to Arkansas for college. 

We didn't communicate for the first time until NYE '10. It was 2 months after I had ended a terrible and controlling relationship. I was restricted in what I could do for a year while in that relationship and I hadn't experienced the 'crazy college lifestyle' just yet. So I did what any newly single college sophomore girl does--lost 30 lbs, borrowed a dress from a friend and went to a NYE party with a group of girl friends in Tulsa. It was a dressy hotel party but we danced/ got drinks across the street at a convention center. I'm going to be real honest here and say I don't remember every aspect of that night. I know I danced like Beyonce (or so I like to think) drank way too much (I had a 3 day hangover) kissed my best guy friend at midnight (never do that, your friendship will be ruined) and had my first verbal encounter with Josh Smith. Up until this point I had assumed he wasn't a friendly person. I had never seen him smile in high school. I call his high school hallway face his 'mean mug'. Anyway, so while we were in the hotel--I don't remember if it was later in the night or before we went to the convention center-- he made it a point to tell me that he had found a video of me singing on FB and told me how great I sing. After that I knew he was a sweet guy and that he was approachable which would come in handy when I would decide to FB message him about a mutual friend that passed away a few months later. We wouldn't communicate again until then, but I'm pretty sure we rode the elevator down together the morning after on New Year's day. 
NYE '10
So a few months pass and I see a FB status about how a friend I had in 8th grade passed away and Josh was the person who had posted it. Knowing he was friendly, I wrote on it in shock and asked what had happened. Later on, before he responded, I saw he was on FB chat and apologized if I was being intrusive and that I was just shocked. He told me that it was completely fine and we ended up messaging for awhile and learned a little about each other. I seriously knew nothing about him or his life. I assumed he went to OSU but he went to UofA and lived in Arkansas with his brother. I thought he was an only child. The last thing he said was that he hoped we'd run into each other in the future, which I thought meant he wanted to end the conversation but later on he would tell me he felt like a creep for saying that or that I would think he was hitting on me. I didn't think either but I didn't respond.  After that, we didn't speak again for 3 months

We both went home to live for summer '11. It's so funny when you think back to how things were set up in the past and you can just tell God was intertwined and his plan was in full effect in order to carry out exactly what was supposed to happen. His timing is always perfect. During this summer, I was still in single girl, do what I want mode. I wasn't really being myself. I thought being a wild child was acceptable at this point in my life and I also wanted to make up for lost time spent in that past awful relationship. My best friends didn't come home to stay that summer so I found bonds where I could on nights I wanted something to do. On one night in particular (June 30th), we were running around our hometown, most likely drinking Quick Trip diet cokes and eating taquitos. Our friend texted us and we met him at the mall and talked for a long time before he told us to get in his SUV because we needed to meet Josh and another guy at a gym. So we went and keep in mind the only face to face communication we had at this point was when we both were incredibly intoxicated at a hotel party for a few seconds. So we pull up and Josh is in a t-shirt and basketball shorts because he had just worked out. I turn to my friend and had big eyes like I was in shock or a large wave of nervousness had just hit me. I couldn't get a word out and she kept saying 'WHAT is WRONG with you?!' But I didn't know. I knew that all of a sudden I thought Josh Smith was the most handsome guy I had ever seen and I knew I had to find a way to get to know him in another way other than FB. We ended up all going to a local baseball field (it was night time) and standing around talking (except for shy Jordan) that night. Josh told stories and I think I said two words. After, our friend took us back to our car which was still at the mall and as we left I turned to her and told her I had to find a way to get to know him
June 30th, 2011
Over the next few days I would randomly think about him but I was definitely not at a point in my life where I wanted to start a relationship up. However, I knew something was driving me to pursue Josh and I was driven to spend time with him. The problem is that I am a super traditional grandma and I don't like the idea of the girl pursuing the guy and doing all of the work. So what's a girl to do? Tell her mutual guy friend that he needs to help a sista out. Which is exactly what I did. This resulted in him telling me and a few friends one night that we were leaving his house and going to Josh's because he was having people over. We got there before every one else and sat on his couch. Me, Kristen and Kim took pictures of ourselves and giggled like the only girls in a room full of guys. Once more people came, Josh kept coming up to me and Kristen to check on us and talk with us. He later said he was a little skeptical because I was a 'good girl' in a house full of not so good guys. We talked a lot that night and I was probably overly smiley but I was a happy girl. We even went outside at one point to talk in a small group and found a cat on his porch to take a picture with. A year later, the same cat would be in front of his house and we would talk about that first time I ever came over. So funny. My guy friend which took me over there had over-consumed at that point so I took his keys and drove his truck home (he lives 2 blocks away). He stayed at Josh's that night and Josh took him to my house the next morning to get his keys but I was in my jammies and didn't go outside to say hi. However, my friend did tell Josh I was interested which apparently completely shocked Josh. I was the goodie two shoes and he didn't think I would be interested because of how different we had been. My friend asked him if he wanted my number and he said yes. So, the ball was in his field now. 
On July 4th, I didn't have any plans so I was napping. It was early evening, maybe around 7 or so and I woke up to a text. Yep, you guessed it. I jumped out of bed and said 'MOM GUESS WHO TEXT ME?!' She already knew. It went something like, 'Hey Jordan, this is Josh Smith. What are you up to tonight?' I was so excited. My friend Friedy had also text me and told me to go to the country club in our hometown to watch fireworks with our friends so I threw on some comfies and went. While we were there I asked her what her plans were and we planned a cute little last minute double firework date at a lake on the outskirts of town. I told Josh to meet us at Sonic (after Friedy and I had gone back to my house to redo makeup/ hair and change into something cuter). Once Friedy saw us around each other she said she was pretty sure there were crushes all around because she had never seen Josh that shy around someone. Josh had ended up bringing two friends, so while Friedy and I were talking to him and one of his friends, his other friend was running around lighting up fireworks in the background. Maybe it's just funny to us but I still laugh about it. We talked about things we like (tiger's blood snowcones and big cats) I told him I was asked to volunteer in South Africa at a cheetah rehab center that summer but couldn't accept because it was so expensive. Josh's life revolves around a zoo and has since he was 12 so obviously he liked that. We hugged and said bye and Friedy told me she bet he would text me right after--he didn't. The next time we talked was 2 days later on July 6th, his birthday. I was sitting at work deciding if I should text him or write on his wall for his birthday. I texted him and told him I owed him a Tiger's blood snow cone whenever he was free. 
July 4th, 2011.
A few days after, I made plans with him to go to my friend's house to watch a movie with a group. I picked him up in my mom's car and we literally talked the entire way there, watched the strangest movie ever, and talked the entire way back to his house. He was great around my friends which was so important to me. We sat in his drive way for awhile and he told me later on that he wanted to kiss me then, but I hugged him in a way to where he couldn't. A few days after that, the snow cone date happened. He still likes to point out how I had on rolled up jeans that night and how the snow cone vendor didn't take cards, so he ended up buying his own birthday snow cone. (sorry, babe) We found steps and again, talked for a few hours before we both went home. All I knew was that I really loved being around this guy and I felt completely comfortable with him. 

--At one point in the middle of the commotion of becoming an 'us', we became inseparable. He would have work early every morning but stayed in my room, talking with me until at least 2am every night. At one point we got to that silly stage, where we both broke down our walls and became ourselves completely around each other. I look back and still can't remember when this happened but it's just important that it did.--

He met my family for the first time a week or so later. He came over for smores in our backyard firepit. It was ridiculously hot out and I remember thinking I looked so bad in a pair of tights and a tank top/ sports bra combo. I could tell right away that my family liked him. We talked for awhile in the kitchen with my friends that were over and my brother. I walked him out to his car that night, barefoot. We talked for a little while longer and then he kissed me for the first time that night in the middle of the street. I was so happy that what seemed like the most promising relationship was happening to me--something I had prayed about for months. After the giddiness had subsided, I realized I was in for some major decision making. Here I was in my single girl, wild child time period, finding a guy I was absolutely crazy about who I could see myself with forever. I knew it would all come down to a conversation about how we were going to manage a relationship being 4 hours apart once school started up. I knew that I wasn't the best at communicating and that I was scared what I wanted might not be what he wanted.
We met behind our high school's parking lot to have the 'what happens now' talk. It was July 24th, 2011 and summer was ending in two weeks. We had to figure out what we both wanted so we could either move on together or apart. He wanted to know what I wanted before he told me what he wanted. That's a very intimidating situation to be in. Basically, whichever way you choose to verbalize is how your future will go. I told him that I thought it was worth it. That if we didn't at least try it we might regret it. That if he ever felt like it wasn't working to tell me and we would go from there. That it would be hard but I thought we could do it. He later told me he was scared of being in a long distance relationship because he had never had one. But he agreed with me that day. 
We have successfully, but not without error, succeeded in a long distance (summers & breaks spent together) relationship for 1.5 years. That's 3.5 semesters of seeing each other once a month for a weekend if we're lucky. That's a lot of skyping and phone calls and texts and long FB messages throughout the weeks. It hasn't been easy, but it has been one of the most amazing things I have ever decided to take on. Some days I don't know what I would do without his encouragement. He has grown tremendously in the time we have been together. That rowdy high school boy is now a man of God who doesn't drink or waste time around drugs. Instead of partying he finds productive outlets like church and work and helping others. He has taught me so much about myself and is the ultimate encourager. When this summer comes we will have ventured through 3 summers together. We will have bonded through multiple road trips and visits back and forth. I feel like without the struggle of distance we wouldn't fully appreciate the time we do have together. Distance has been a blessing in disguise. God has provided for me in a way I could have never imagined. When we both graduate in May I will rejoice in the hard work it has taken not only to succeed in college, but also in my relationship with Josh. It ain't easy people, but it is beyond worth it. It pays to take chances. Let us be an example of that.

Jordan Linna

No comments:

Post a Comment