Friday marked exactly two years since Keith and I met. Most of you probably don’t know, but the first time we met was in his best friend’s car. Why was I in that car? Well, I was on a date with his bestie and we were all driving up to Rancho Cucamonga for a comedy show they were both on. At the time, Keith had another girlfriend. We actually picked him up from their apartment. I remember sitting in the passenger seat so intimated by the fact that it was not only my second date with this guy, but I also had to meet his friends. That means multiple people passing judgement on whether or not your cool. The car ride up the guys did a lot of the talking and I timidly chimed in when I had something to say. Then, at the show, I sat and watched. Keith sat next to me and asked if I was a comic. I said nope. That was our only interaction. On the drive back he got a call from his then girlfriend about their cat dying. Yeah, I don’t know. It was weird. (The cat is totally still alive, by the way.)
Shortly after, Keith’s friend and I stopped seeing each other and I went on with my life. Then July came around and I was contemplating deleting my OKCupid profile. After a year of dating, I was done. But before I got around to deleting it, I received a message from a familiar face. It was Keith. He hadn’t recognized me (we’ll pretend that didn’t sting a little) but I immediately knew who he was. We messaged back and forth, Keith refused to back down, and well… you guys know what happened from there.
That whole story was really only to provide more context for the main point of this post. Friday, I was on my way to work when Keith sent me the screen shot of his photo from two years ago. (Thanks Timehop. Not using Timehop? Fix that.) And on my ride to work it all just hit me really hard.
Life. Is. So. Weird.
But not the bad kind of weird. The awesome kind of weird.
Ever since I can remember I’ve been a planner. Like, a pretty crazy planner. Want to know how crazy? I cried every birthday from 5-16, not during my birthday party, but in the hours before because I got so stressed about everything being perfect. Want to know how crazy? I really, really related to Marnie on this episode of Girls. But meeting Keith and the last year and a half of our lives makes me question all of that. Had you asked me the night I first met him what our future interactions would have been like, I would have told you none. I didn’t think I’d ever see him again. But here he is, the love of my life and I can’t imagine my days without him.
This is applicable to so many other things in life, too. We often get caught up in what we have planned for our lives: what job we’re going to have, where we’re going to live, when we’re going to get married, how we’re going to live our lives, when we’re going to have kids, what our house is going to look like, etc. etc. etc. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with dreaming and looking ahead and wanting to create certain realities in your life. But we have to realize that sometimes life is not going to go according to plan. Sometimes, you study journalism in college and end up a Tour Manager at a non-profit working to support the North Korean people. Sometimes, you think you’re going to live with your best friends for years but then you end up living 3,000 miles away from all of them. And sometimes, you meet a funny fella you never think you’re going to see again and end up wanting to spend the rest of your life with him.
I think what I’m learning is that it’s okay to ditch your plans sometimes because that’s when life really happens. I think for a lot of people this is where faith comes in, but I don’t necessarily believe in God or in any sort of higher power. So for me I always describe this as the universe having my back, though I’m not even really sure what I mean by that. But what I do know is that even this crazy, control-freak is starting to realize that sometimes you have to let go and let life happen. Because Keith and I meeting only happened because so many other little things fell into place and I could never have planned all of those events and if I had tried to it would never have ended up as great as it did. So hey, universe, thanks for having my back!
What have you guys given up planning? Has it worked out in your favor?