The Man of My Daydreams (A Valentine’s Day Love Letter)

Then and now

Someone posed this question online recently:
​Was there a specific moment you knew you had found the ONE?

Hmm. Much ado is made about that term: ​The ​O​ne​. The idea that there could possibly be just one moment to predict ​The ​One seems preposterous to me. Isn’t the very notion of choosing a mate dependent on the hope that there are so many good moments, so many great reasons? Isn’t walking down the aisle a little bit like saying I love so much about you, that I want you to be a permanent part of me? A singular moment seems too simple to me. Still… the question was there, and so I pondered it. And in spite of myself, something came to mind.

I often hear myself telling Coaching clients, “If you can shape it in your mind, you can find it in your life.” I mean it when I say it. And I think I believed it wholeheartedly before I ever really ​put the words together​.

To this point: When I was young, I had lots of dreams about the kind of man I would marry. I read lovey dovey books and indulged in every romantic comedy on God’s green Earth. Let’s put it this way… I did just about everything EXCEPT buy an actual gown! Yeah. I was that girl.

I wondered:
What would he look like?
What kind of job would he have?
What would his hobbies include?

I imagined something like:
Handsome and preppy,
Law or Medicine, and
Talking about feelings under the stars.

You can Imagine my surprise when I fell in love with a long-haired, ear-pierced rock band drummer from downtown Chicago.

Our love story was like a lot of others’ – unique only because it was ours. We met in college when we lived across the hall from one another​:​ ​b​egan as friends, which turned into “best friends,” which turned into inseparable. Of course meeting at​ age​ ​19 didn’t come without its challenges. We acquainted as young adults, and quickly learned that we didn’t just have to grow together, we had to grow up together. The perfect moments were sprinkled with difficult ones, including a break up that did nearly that – broke us. We shared everything together during those dating years, and finally graduated into adulthood a bit wiser, but together, and thus – happy. ​​19 turned into ​25 very quickly, and before we knew it, our little chapter had turned into a six year book.

In knowing one another this long, we had became very familiar ​with​ our respective quirks, habits and guilty​ little​ pleasures.

My own ​guiltiest being the TV ​talk​show “LIVE with Regis and Kelly.”

I had recorded the show religiously for years, because plain and simple – it made me happy! Ryan didn’t share my passion for the show, and if he was aware of my obsession with it, he certainly didn’t ever talk about it.

Regis Philbin ​​retired on November 18th, 2011. (At 9am CST.) (Writing this is embarrassing.) Being the avid fan I was, I worked from home that morning to watch his ​final​ show​, and ​settled into my couch with a Kleenex box in hand. The opening credits began to roll when I heard a knock on my apartment door. Slightly annoyed, I glanced through the peep hole and answered. Behind the door was my sweet boyfriend entirely dressed for work, with ​a​ mug of coffee in one hand and a breakfast pastry in the other.

He smirked and simply said, “Let’s watch it together.”

T​hat was the moment that defined The One​. It wasn’t about the TV show, or the fact that my non-tv-addicted boyfriend watched it with me that day. It wasn’t about the coffee or the breakfast pasty. Those things were kind, but still somewhat unremarkable in hindsight​​… had it not been for this:

He didn’t care that what mattered to me was ​mundane​, or even silly. He just cared that it mattered to me.

When ​Ryan and I​ got engaged a month later, it was the best ​day of my life.

When I champion the idea that we can create in our mind what we want in our lives, I think what I’m really trying to say is​ this: ​I​t’s good to have grown-up daydreams.​ They’re never going to exactly predict our futures – we’re not clairvoyant. But, they can​ prepare our minds and hearts to recognize the distinct feelings we get inside when we feel giddy, peaceful or fulfilled. Those feelings are our daydreams coming true.

My long-haired, earring-wearing, rock star drummer is a preppier, balder guy now. He works in real estate and ​plays his​ drums​ticks​ on the steering wheel of our Jeep. He is a slightly tamer version of th​e​​ Ryan​ I met across the hall. He still doesn’t like talking about his feelings under the stars, but he buys me a Regis and Kelly mug every single Christmas.

​And yep… he’s still The One. Lucky me.

{P.S. Regis and Kelly turned into Kelly and Michael. Yes, I still LOVE it. No, I don’t stay home from work to watch it. I schedule people around it. So, I kind of do.}



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