Fourteen years ago I started dating my husband to be. I look back now and think about that kid I used to flirt with, how I spelled his last name wrong on our first lab report and he corrected me. How I now spell that same last name for people who are tripped up by the one surprising letter in my otherwise simple last name.
I was a senior in high school bound and determined to leave Colorado for college. I wanted out and wanted to see something new. Despite the advice of my advisor and my mom, I applied only to out of state colleges, UC San Jose, UC Irvine and UC San Francisco. (I could have really used help in picking schools... Irvine is acceptable, of course, but the others? What was I thinking - other than Northern California sounded cool.)
At the last minute I decided I didn't want to leave Colorado.
I panicked and went to my advisor who made two phone calls. One to the admissions department at CU (50 miles down the road) and one to CSU - the college across the street from my high school. CU would give me a place in their music department and I could change majors after that.
What? Sure, 9 years of piano lessons as a kid, but I was not a musician. (I didn't understand colleges so well at 18.) They told me I didn't have to take music classes... but I went with the other option, Colorado State. I was in and good to go in the fall.
I dumped my high school boyfriend (who was a year behind me) early that first semester for a guy about 6 years older who I met at my job. We were both at school at CSU and he lived with his parents off campus. Coincidentally I had gone to high school with his little brother too.
Looking back I am not sure what I saw in him. He taught me a lot and I do admit that we had a good time together and he taught me about enjoying good food, he thought he knew a thing or two about wine and started me on the road to enjoying the beverage. He also pushed me over that first hurdle to becoming not so picky anymore. But a romantic relationship wasn't what I needed at that time. I needed to learn how to be by myself. I knew this in the back of my head, but it was a scary thing. So I ignored it.
(But I did like his family a lot! I still wonder how they are.)
One day he told me that he had been thinking... he said he was 24 years old and didn't want to live in his parent's basement and go to school there anymore. He wanted a better business school and was planning to go to CU.
I was upset he had just made the decision without asking me what I wanted. After a long discussion with him, thinking by myself and a talk with my mom I decided I too would switch to CU after my first year. I am not a person that takes change lightly. I knew that CU was where I really wanted to be, it was a better school for my major and a "cooler" town than the one I grew up in (which town isn't cooler than the one you grew up in?) and my mom encouraged me to go there, to expand my horizons, but I was still scared. (And I was going to move to California the year before??)
We up and moved. We had a townhouse together, two bedrooms I insisted and he was fine with that. (What kind of college relationship has two bedrooms where you actually stay in the seperate rooms?) I should have known this relationship wasn't for me when we were setting out to decide what we wanted for a place to live. Hindsite is 20-20.
About four months later, it was over. We resumed being friends, which was what we always should have been. And since neither of us could afford to move, or keep the townhouse by ourselves, we existed peacefully until our first years at CU were over. That spring my mom came down to help me find a one bedroom apartment and I set out to be single for one year. I was determined to find out who I was and to focus on school.
To be continued...