Friends, My 22nd birthday was more amazing than I could’ve ever imagined.
Not because everything was absolutely perfect. (Though it came amazingly close to perfect).
Not because I got money or was showered with many gifts from many people.
Not even because I planned everything to the tee (which if you know me, you know I do often).
It was because, as I said in a recent post, I have the control now.
I chose to have fun. I chose to be happy. I chose to accept the bad and treasure the good.
My actual birthday, January 30th at 12am, was spent with Andy at his place. He picked me up and we got junk food and beer, watched How I Met Your Mother, and waited as I counted down the minutes to my birthday. Finally when I checked the clock again it was 12:01 and I burst forth in joy!
I had to wake up pretty early because Andy had work that day. On those days he drives me home and heads off to work before the sun comes up. Yet he still lets me sleep over and sacrifices losing sleep to spend time with me. And he always walks me to my door every morning without fail. I got home and slept for quite a while. Woke up around 2 and my friend who was giving me her bed gave me a call to let me know she was on her way.
I finally have a bed!
I got some amazing bithday news from my mom. My college finally pardoned my blaance from the semester that I withdrew from a year ago. Once I pay off a couple hundred dollars I get to finish my last year and a half of college! (a $600 balance beats $6,000 any day).
By the time my bed was in my apartment I only had an hour to get ready for my birthday date with Andy!
Boy oh boy. What an amazing date.
I’m still so shocked that a man like Andy exists.
Well, no. Let me rephrase that. I’m still so shocked that a man like Andy exists, and he’s mine.
I wore an orange dress and beige heels. The first time I was that dressed up in Austin. I was so nervous and excited that I couldn’t stop looking at my reflection. hoping that any imperfection would be spotted and taken care of before Andy could see it.
Suddenly there was a knock at the door. I took a deep breath and opened it.
And there in front of me was a man. Handsome as all hell. Wearing dress pants, a purple dress shirt, and a black vest.
And the biggest smile that most likely matched mine. He said I looked stunning. Stunning. That is my new favorite word.
On our car ride over to spot #1 (I didn’t know anything about the night until it happened) he started talking about air fresheners and how he feels like they don’t work. Then he mentioned he thinks he has some in the glove compartment.
“Will you grab them out of the glove compartment for me?”
I sensed something was happening. He sounded very different from the way he usually talked.
So I opened the glove compartment, and there were air fresheners… but behind those was my absolute favorite movie on DVD! The Wedding Singer.
Suddenly I had a flashback to the night I told him how much I loved the movie and how I was bummed I still didn’t own it. That was about two beers in at a bar, and I didn’t realize he kept it in mind.
I beamed with delight and pretty much freaked out about it. (May have teared up a little. Gifts do that to me.)
Seeing me smile made him so happy. It reminded me of when I’d try to surprise my exes and any glimpse of happiness I got from them would send me to the moon. Only this time I was the one being surprised. I was the one getting what I deserve.
And I realized he’s the one person who deserves it from me, too.
Spot #1 was this really cool speakeasy called Midnight Cowboy. Outside of it there are multiple buzzers, and you have to push the right one for them to let you in. They make signature mixed drinks there. We both got a drink and they made mine in front of me.
And then after we tried them, Andy asked me what I wanted to get next. And in my goofy thought process I asked, “We’re getting another round?”
I was so used to dating guys that made me feel bad if I wanted dessert, or another round, or pretty much anything that was above the bare minimum.
He laughed and nodded. Possibly a little bit confused on why that was so surprising.
Those other guys… that’s not who he is at all.
Two drinks were more than enough to get me pretty tipsy though, and dinner was next, which meant wine. So we headed out to the restaurant, Annie’s.
I had the most killer salmon in the whole world, and a glass of wine to match. They even gave me a free brownie for my birthday which was cool!
After that we went to a place called The Elephant Room. They are a bar that play jazz music. We both love Jazz so it was the perfect place. There wasn’t really any room for dancing, but the thing about Andy is that I knew if I wanted to dance with him later we could. I wasn’t desperate to dance with him because he’s always willing to dance with me. That is something I love so much because dancing is so important to me.
We both got a beer there and enjoyed the Jazz. Then headed out because my friend had a going away party she invited me to, and I wanted to say goodbye. I accidentally typed the wrong street into the GPS Stonelake instead of Stoanoake. We ended up on the complete other side of town! (After 4 drinks I am no longer trustworthy with a GPS, or many other things!) And I apologized my head off while Andy laughed and assured me that it was okay.
We got to the party and I had a blast! Hung out with some friends, got to introduce them to Andy, and I got to see how he reacted to a group of strangers he had to mingle with. He was a complete gentleman and he impressed me so much. He mingled with me, without me, and always checked on me to make sure I was alright, but never tried to cut me off or embarrass me in front of others.
Even when my clumsy tipsy ass spilled a drink on his shoes.
Anyway we left and I was pretty gone. But it’s alright because it was my birthday! It was a celebration, and it was a great time. Andy took care of me and luckily I wasn’t too hard to deal with. I just kept falling asleep as I walked. For some reason when I’m really drunk I tend to fall asleep at random moments. It sounds funny but when you’re trying to keep me awake and get me into a car or house it doesn’t seem like it’d be that fun.
Luckily we were able to laugh about it in the morning. We stayed in till 3pm. We talked about the night before, we laughed about my drunk mishaps, he told me all of the sweet things I was telling him while he was trying to get me home safely… a genuine smile on his face, happiness in his eyes that intensified even more when I told him that everything I said was how I really felt about him. We watched The Wedding Singer, and then went to Denny’s for my free Grand slam! Then we had to part ways because I had to get ready for the party and he had to work on my SECOND gift in his woodshop.
He’s the absolute sweetest.
So to answer the question in my title, “What happens when you’re not afraid to love anymore?”
You get to enjoy the love that you know you deserve.
I’ll dive into my party story tomorrow. Tonight, I am scouring Pinterest for Valentine’s Day Ideas. I decided I wanted to be in charge of it so that I could surprise him this time.
I remember with Joseph I always pretended to hate Valentine’s Day. He hated it. Thought it was too lovey dovey. Same with any public displays of affection, any indication that we were happy together. (we used to talk about how long we’d been together with disgust. We said it jokingly, but I don’t know if it was all truly a joke or not.) Our relationship was filled with the hatred of random things. I don’t really know why. I guess I didn’t care about it because it never felt right.
But now, with Andy, it feels wrong not to celebrate the amazing person I’ve found.