March 3, 2015

the one who wasn't

Happy birthday to The Right Design by Isabella Louise Anderson. As she celebrates the one-year anniversary of her debut novel's release date, Isabella invited me to participate by writing about realizing "the one" wasn't the one.

Before I dive into this subject, I want to say how fortunate I was to be in a loving and supportive relationship for four years with a kind and funny young man. When we broke up, there was no major drama, no bad-mouthing, and a genuine desire that each of us would find happiness in life. Though I haven't seen him in years (and that last encounter was kind of awkward, because that's just who I am) I still hope he is happy. Basically, he's a good guy, and I hope this post doesn't ever turn into trash-talking, because I still think the world of him.

We started dating our senior year of high school. We went to college and ultimately transferred schools together. Though I'd never really seen myself as the type of person who married her high school sweetheart (contrary to things I might have said in moments of whimsy), I spent most of those four years believing I had found "the one." I imagined telling our grandchildren about senior prom, the time he wrote me a song for my birthday, and the relieved look on his face when I saw him after waking from emergency surgery. It seemed pretty amazing and romantic in a quiet way.

I'll blame this on my youth, but at times I was hot-headed, possessive, and (for lack of a better term) kind of a dick. I'd like to think I've matured into someone better capable of handling such massive emotions, but I'm still a work in progress. Though we'd had disagreements, the dynamics of our relationship really changed when we transferred colleges.

Unlike Carrie in The Right Design, there wasn't an instant that made it abundantly clear our relationship was over. It was little things that added up. Along with the change of scenery, we changed our majors and our life goals. For a while that seemed okay. Then we each made plans for our futures that didn't really involve the other person. He wanted to go to graduate school at a Midwestern university. I wanted to be a reporter and live on one of the coasts. He started hanging out with a group of students he met in social clubs, and I spent most of my time at the college paper.And so on.

After months of wondering whether or not we'd get through the seemingly endless rough patch in our relationship, halfway through the first semester of my senior year of college I realized I didn't care if we did. I'm guessing he'd experienced a similar epiphany, because when we had a very civil conversation about the state of our relationship, we agreed we'd come to the end of our time together.

Sometimes I think it would have been easier if he'd cheated on me, or if I'd one day thrown a big, crazy tantrum. At least then there'd be a story to tell. But for us it was a gradual discovery that neither of us saw a future together. At a certain point, if you don't see a future with someone, what's the point of carrying on in the present?

Since then, he's found and married someone. I'll admit I had a moment of sadness when I heard the news. (Thank goodness Adele's "Someone Like You" was blowing up the charts that week, so I had a soundtrack.) It's not like I wanted us to get back together, but I was sad because I still hadn't found the cheese to my macaroni. Though it took time, I ultimately figured out there wasn't much point in being sad about something you don't have.

I've also realized I don't really believe in "the one," at least not in the sense I did when I was younger. The one isn't the one and only person that exists in the world just for you. The one is the person who makes your life better and makes you want to be better. The one isn't someone who loves you in spite of your faults, but for them. The one is someone who you aren't willing to change for, but who you're willing to make adjustments together so you can forge a new path. Unless he turns out to be Michael Fassbender, I still don't know who I will share my future with, but when we find each other, I'll bring my A game.

Enter to Win

About the Book
In the author's debut novel comes a story about picking up the pieces, letting go of the past, and finding love along the way--even if morals are tested!

Interior designer Carrie Newman could not have envisioned a more perfect life for herself. She had a great job doing what she loved, wonderful friends, and a close relationship with her sister and brother-in-law. Add in an amazing man who she’d hoped would soon become her husband, and her life was perfect. Until one devastating decision ruins her relationship and changes the course of her life.

Determined to make a new start, Carrie leaves Texas and heads to Palm Beach to pick up the pieces of her shattered and broken life. The last thing she expects is to find herself attracted to her first client at her new job--Brad Larson, who has proven himself time and time again to be caddish.

But there’s something beneath the surface of Brad’s arrogant exterior that keeps her craving more of him--something almost sweet that Carrie can’t seem to resist.

Is Carrie ready to take another chance on romance? And will this new design of her life prove to be the right one?

Now available for only 99 cents during the month of March:
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About the Author
Isabella grew up with a book in her hand, and to this day nothing has changed. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and has been featured on several blogs. While Isabella doesn't blog a lot, she focuses her time on featuring other writers, along with writing and editing. Isabella Louise Anderson created Chick Lit Goddess to share the love of the following genres: Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance, Romance, and Romantic Comedies! She loves featuring authors and their books. She lives in Dallas with her husband and cat. She enjoys spicy Mexican food and drinking margaritas, and can be found spending time with family and friends, cheering on the Texas Rangers, and reading. Isabella's short story, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, was featured in Simon & Fig's Christmas anthology, Merry & Bright, in November 2013. The Right Design is her first novel.

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1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful and honest post, Laura. Thanks for sharing! I can definitely relate... at one point in my life, I had "Someone Like You" on repeat and knew every single word. It is the ultimate cry song!