Thursday, January 10, 2013

In a Relationship

It's amazing how much one's life can change in a short amount of time.  3 weeks ago I would have never imagined the changes that have occurred in my life in the last week.  Needless to say, I have figured out something I've been praying for, for years.  I found my future husband.  I found the man that I am going to spend the rest of eternity with and let's be honest... I can't stop smiling.  Let me tell you all what happened.  In December of last year, we hired a new cook at work named Allen.  He was close to my age, drank, smoked, and had been previously married.  I never looked at him as anything besides a coworker.  Each morning we would open together and since that affords you about two hours of time together we just talked about whatever was going on in our lives.  Fast forward about 9 months.  Allen had been put in charge of the training program at work and I was going to train him as a supervisor.  One Saturday morning, he failed to come to a training meeting and I thought that was pretty strange since he'd always been very punctual.  When he didn't show up for work, I knew something was wrong.  The Allen I knew didn't do that.  Pretty early after opening one of his friends came in and I asked him if he knew where Allen was.  He explained to me that Allen had gotten arrested the night before coming out of the bar.  I couldn't believe it.  I knew Allen had an interesting past, but he'd been doing so well and had even expressed to me how careful he was being to not go back to jail.  A few hours later, Allen's parents came in to talk to me.  They explained to me that Allen was hoping to keep his job and that they were sorry this had to happen and his mom cried a little and told me he was doing so well, she couldn't understand why.  The way it turned out though jail was the best thing that ever happened to Allen.  About 3 weeks after this, I received a letter addressed to everyone at Arctic Circle.  He explained how sorry he was that he was in jail and not with us, but that he would like to have some pen pals and would people please write him.  He also specifically asked for me and a girl named Kira to write, as he had important things to talk about with us both.  We went to the post office to get the necessary post cards and I sent off a letter that mostly talked about work and how much we missed him there, and didn't really say anything personal.  A few days later I got a letter explaining that jail was good for him because he was quitting drinking and smoking.  He was also reading the scriptures, and going to church.  He asked me to send some of my favorite scriptures.  I sent him a list of scriptures that had to do with mercy, and repentance, and encouraged him to continue on the path to change.  In the next few months (he was in jail about 3 months) we exchanged letters, and before long he was working at a food pantry and earning a little bit of money that he could buy phone cards with, so he called a few times.  I was always happy to talk to him, but still didn't think much of it.  He was set to get released on December 17, and about the beginning of December I started to wonder about my feelings for him.  As I analyzed how I felt in quiet moments, I realized that I no longer just thought of him as one of the cooks.  I started to have moments when I would wonder what it would be like to hold his hand or be held by him.  At first these feelings kind of panicked me.  Relationships are not allowed at work and I knew we'd be breaking some serious rules if I entered into such a relationship.  Also, with Allen's past being what it was I wasn't sure I could forgive him or  work out our differences.  On Sunday December 9, I was sitting in sacrament meeting where the youth speaker gave a talk about forgiveness, the next speaker talked about the prodigal son, and the last speaker spoke on charity.  I felt like each one was talking directly to me about Allen.  I wrote an entry in my journal describing my feelings, and I wondered if Allen felt anything for me.  In my mind there was nothing worse than discovering you have feelings that you don't really want about somebody only to have them not return your feelings.   I wasn't sure how to bring it up, so I waited for him to get out of jail.  On December 15, he called work and I was so excited to talk to him, but then as we talked I started feeling dejected because we didn't talk about anything personal.  The morning of the 17th I was a mess.  I didn't know what I would say or do but I had a lot of ideas in my head about how I thought it should go.  Shortly before 10, he knocked on the window and as I went to let him in I shot him a giant smile.  I opened the door and while holding the door with my foot, launched myself into his arms.  I found out later that it took him by surprise because we had never really had any physical contact.  His first words were, "Honey, I'm home!"  The rest of the day was kind of awkward.  I had ideas about what I wanted to happen but had no idea how to approach it.  Two weeks passed, and while I never really expressed my feelings, I think we both knew that something had changed.  On December 29, we were working together and I was talking to him.  I made this joke about him being my boyfriend and then laughed it off and immediately went to the office to text my friend Aubrey (who knew before he was out of jail that I liked him) and told her what I had said.  She told me to tell him that it wasn't a joke and I told her maybe I'd do it by text that night.  When I got home from work, I was trying to decide if I should tell him that I was only half joking and so I texted Aubrey again and she told me to flip a coin to decide whether or not to tell him.  Heads I send the message, tails I don't.  I grabbed a dime out of my change and threw it in the air.  It came down on tails, and my first thought was "No one flips a dime, you dummy.  If you really want this to work you need to flip a quarter."  So I went into my kitchen to find a quarter.  I flipped the quarter and got heads.  As I stared at that coin, I thought to myself, "Do or die."  I typed a quick message that read "Confession:  I was only half joking about the boyfriend thing."  I stared at it briefly and then hit send.  As I watched that message go away I was panic stricken.  What had I just done?  I then immediately texted Aubrey and told her I had done it.  Not too long passed when I received a text back from Allen that said "I know."  I was stunned!  I asked him what that meant and he asked what company policy was.  I told him it wasn't allowed but we could hide it.  He then asked if I wanted to try.  I told him I did want to try, because I was feeling very differently about him and wanted to know if it was something.  He had told me a few letters back that he wanted to be my personal genie and grant me three wishes and so now he asked me if this was one of my wishes.  I told him this probably equaled all three and he said he would only count it for one since this was something he wanted as well.  I told him we needed to talk about this face to face and we decided that we'd get together Sunday and talk about it.  From that moment on our text conversations got a lot more personal and I was overwhelmed, freaking out, and basically Butterflies had taken up habitation in my stomach.  I went to dinner that night with a friend and could hardly eat, let alone concentrate on anything going on around me.  In fact we had gotten together for the sole purpose of exchanging Christmas presents and I'd forgotten hers completely.  When I was driving home, my sister in law Nicole called and asked what was new so I told her.  It was weird to talk about it when it was so new, but I was pretty excited about the prospects of what was happening.  Later that night, I was on the phone with Aubrey and he sent me a text that said "did you go to sleep without saying good night?"  I assured him I hadn't and that I was just talking to Aubrey on the phone.  A little later I texted him that I couldn't keep my eyes open anymore so it was probably time to say goodnight.  He texted "sweet dreams, sleep with your angels and think of me."  I texted back "I've been thinking of you for weeks" to which he replied "Ditto Kiddo."  The butterflies went crazy again and between the cough that I've had since the middle of December and the butterflies, I think I got a total of about 3 hours of sleep that night.  Sunday he sent me a text wishing me a good morning and then we texted throughout the day.  He asked about church, told me he was bored at the birthday party he had to go to and was begging people to leave early.  He told me he'd probably be at my house around 10 and asked if that was too late and I told him I didn't care, because I couldn't wait another day to have this conversation.  He convinced his family to leave early so arrived at my house around 9:15.  Earlier he had asked me what was going to happen.  I told him we definitely had to talk, I would love to repeat the hug I got when he got out of jail, and whatever else happened happened.  When he got to my house, he knocked softly and I ran to the door.  When I opened it and he stepped in I gave him the hug I'd been craving and then kissed him.  Later we talked about who kissed who and he said I did it and I said he did it, but either way I think we both wanted it.  The next day I admitted to being the one who kissed him.  I'd been imagining it for weeks.  We sat down and the first thing I told him was that regardless his intentions, I was getting married in the temple.  He said he knew that and then said, "No offense, but I'm not going to the temple for you."  I told him I'd be offended if that was the reason he wanted to change his life and he absolutely had to do it for himself, not for me.  I then asked him how long he saw this going for, and he said, "I'm too old to start anything I'm not in for the long haul."  I agreed.  We talked about a lot of things that night.  We began delving into his past.  We asked a lot of questions.  We kissed some more.  I told him I wanted to be kissed at midnight on New Years Eve.  He asked me where I'd be.  I told him I'd be home in time.  He left pretty late that night and again I didn't sleep very well.  He wasn't working Monday but he told me he'd come in.  It was kind of hard, because we weren't telling people.  After work I went to my Grandma's house for our New Year's Eve party where I proceeded to tell my parents and grandma about him.  He texted me around 9:30 asking where I was and I told him I was at my grandmas and asked if he wanted me to leave and he said yes.  I left immediately and went home.  We met at my house and talked for 2 hours until just before midnight.  I turned on New Years Rockin' Eve and about a minute before midnight he started kissing me.  I pulled away and told him that I wanted to wait til midnight and he said he had to get 2012's kisses in.  About 20 seconds before the ball dropped I pulled back and we counted down from 10 seconds and then kissed again.  The next few days we decided we shouldn't keep the secret anymore so I called my boss to tell him and he told me Allen would have to be transferred, but that we could have a month to a month and a half so that he could train the cooks to replace him (he's really good at his job!) .  After Scott knew we decided to tell people at work.  We were met by looks of disbelief.  Almost no one took us seriously.  When I told my assistant manager that I had to transfer Allen because I was dating him she didn't believe me.  I called him into the office to tell her and he full on kissed me.  She freaked, my other supervisor shouted "I knew it!"  That night we made it Facebook official and people still didn't believe me.  We have spent time everyday since then together.  We've been out to dinner with friends and relatives, he's met my parents, we've been to his house and my nephew's birthday party.  The next Sunday we went to church together where I was grilled by the Bishop.  I told him I had never been more sure of anything in my life and I was going to marry Allen.  He told me he couldn't argue with that and assured me he was there if I needed anything.  We are now in the process of figuring out when Allen will be able to qualify for a temple recommend because that's the next stop.  We've been together less than 2 weeks and I've never been so happy.  I've never received a stronger answer to a prayer and I know that he's a changed person and I know that we will be together forever.  It's not going to be easy.  There are a lot of issues that need to be dealt with, but I've forgiven his past.  I love him more deeply than I've ever loved anyone.  We've talked about everything and anything and I know he is my Eternal Companion and that we will live and love forever.  That's really all that matters anyway and I'm really excited to get started!

7 comments:

Ara said...

Congratulations!

Ryan and Rachel said...

I'm so happy for you! Having that knowledge and assurance will help through the hard times. Marriage is definitely work but soooo worth the effort. Love you so much! Can't wait to meet the man who sweeped you off your feet!

tiernybugs said...

Hey there! I love this post. That sucks that Allen will be transferred to another store. I saw his profile picture on Facebook and I think he's cute. I'm so happy and excited for you! All 3 of us should go out to dinner sometime. Thanks for the gift card to Payless. I bought me some cute shoes the other day with your present. Take care and have a great rest of the week.

Kayla and Greg said...

This sounds wonderful!!! :) I'm so excited for you! We still have to get together and chit chat some time soon!

Emily Gunnell said...

Julianne!!! So excited for you both! Can't wait to meet him?

Nicole said...

WOW! Just wow. That is a completely amazing story, and I'm SOOOOO happy for you! A lady with your strength and patience and integrity deserves to be truly happy. Sending huge hugs!!

Hay and J said...

Wow What an amazing story! I'm so glad your happy! He is lucky to have you!