It's been a little over two years since I wrote my last blog post, so there's a lot to "throwback" to.
The funny part is, I seemed to have stopped blogging right when my life started getting better...MUCH better! I guess along with all the new changes came a lot of time commitment, and commitment to other people. This is the first time that I can recall in that entire time where I've actually intentionally set aside time to blog. I took the day off work, came to my old blog-writing spot (Bigby Coffee in Madison Heights), got my usual large coffee and cranberry-orange muffin, and blocked out an hour or so to just get my thoughts down. It's like digging out an old photo form several years ago and remembering simpler (yet simultaneously more tumultuous) times.
At the time of my last post, I had just signed up for an online dating site. My sister had suggested it, as I had just broken up with my girlfriend. We'd been dating for all of about 3 months, so I wasn't exactly heartbroken, but I was feeling a bit lonely. After chuckling at the idea for about a day, I figured it couldn't hurt, and if nothing else, would be an interesting social experiment. I went on a few dates with some very nice women. No nightmare dates, and most of them I still keep in touch with. I started dating one woman exclusively and we both took down our profiles from the site. After a barbershop event, I started getting a text from an old girlfriend who was having some similar troubles finding the right match and was asking for some advice on making her profile. I suggested that I could sign back on and review it for her.
Now, re-opening an account with this site means you have to keep it active for at least a week. I explained the situation to my current girlfriend, who was reluctantly okay with it. I re-activated, assisted my friend, and amended my profile to indicate I wasn't 'available', with the intent of deactivating it at the first opportunity.
Within a day, I was messaged from Danielle, a mysterious woman with no profile pic, but a charming profile, and we continued to converse. I made sure she understood I was in a relationship and this would be strictly platonic. She understood and we became friends. Danielle has 2 kids of her own and was going through a divorce, as well. We had an incredible amount of things in common, almost to the point of making one believing in destiny. We conversed, met for lunch, and talked on the phone. She was brilliant, beautiful, funny, sexy, and quite simply everything I have every wanted in a woman. I could go on for pages, but I'll save that for another post.
Long story short: she was persistent, I was smitten, and we started dating. My (now former) girlfriend took it as well as could be expected, but didn't want to remain 'just friends', so we parted ways.
Danielle was already researching apartments in my area and ended up getting one in the same complex as mine. our kids got along great, we had our own spaces, but could see each other whenever we wanted to. All was right with the world...
Then I lost my job. As the business environment changed for the company I worked for, I began to notice some practices I was becoming increasingly uncomfortable with. When I raised my concerns, citing examples, to my superiors and the owner, I was dismissed without any explanation other than, "it's not working out". This came as quite a surprise to me, after over 2 years of being one of the top reps and one of only two to survive that long.
At that point, my choices were limited to moving back with my grandfather in the same room I occupied in middle school (and briefly in college and early divorce), or a cardboard box behind the local McDonald's. Neither of us were happy with the idea of not being able to see each other whenever we wanted. Danielle surprisingly suggested I move in with her. We had only been together for about 2 months at this point, but things were going well, so it was worth a try. I reduced my belongings to the bare(ish) essentials, sold/donated the extras and most of the furniture, and moved in. The rest is history.
As I don't have time to sum our entire relationship in a single post, I'll summarize saying that since then, we've gotten engaged, rented a nice bungalow, gotten married, and are exceedingly happy together. This is what I always dreamed marriage could be!
There have obviously been several major events in this time: lifestyle changes (Danielle moving from Camaro to Caravan comes to mind), my triumphant final contest with my quartet, a week at Harmony U, my fortieth birthday, and probably the worst part of the past 2 years - saying goodbye to my father. All of these I will try to address in future posts. My hope is to make time to do this on a semi-regular basis.
Here's hoping I can find a few hours of "me" time now and again.