Everything in the world (if you look close enough) seems to be centered around finding that first and "true" love. Thousands of books, tv shows, movies, magazine covers, greeting cards....well, you get the idea, they all are telling you that your one, true, lifetime lasting love, is just out there waiting on you. Sure, most everyone has a first love....but is that the one that is supposed to last forever? How come no one mentions love, the second time around?
It is probably a silly question and maybe I'm the only one thinking of it right now because of the situation I'm currently in. Anyone who knows me, knows that I was married to a woman for quite a number of years and I met her when I was a teenager and we had three amazing children together. When I met her, I was convinced I had 100% met the love of my life. I married her within seven months of knowing her, had our first child a little over a year after that and we lived happily ever after...for a while anyway. Bottom line is, things didn't work and I will take the majority of the blame for it. We finally split for good and to be honest, looking at it now, it was the best thing we ever did. I don't mean that in a negative way, but once we got to a certain point, we were poison to each other, she'll admit it and so will I. But at the time, sure, it was tough, on both of us.
I truthfully didn't think there would be any chance for me to be in any kind of honest to goodness real relationship again. I figured I'd meet someone, sure, but I mean that kind of relationship where that person is your whole world, the kind where you can't wait until the next time you see them, the kind where you can't stop talking about them, even to total strangers (ok, maybe that part is just me..) I especially didn't think that when fate brought me to Des Moines, Iowa.
Through luck, chance, or what have you, I was lucky enough, to meet Jodi. Jodi, for those of you who somehow found your way to this blog without going through the facebook link (and I'd have no idea how you would do so since I don't post it anywhere else) is the girl in all the pictures that I post. She is my girlfriend, female companion, other half, drinking buddy blah blah blah, you get the idea. And she is absolutely amazing. To be honest, when first getting to know her (prior to our first date) I thought that she was too good to be true. She was clearly smart, funny, had a great voice and an infectious laugh. She was up front and honest about her past and her love for her daughter Sydney was crystal clear the first time she ever mentioned her.
After nearly two weeks of begging (I wouldn't really call it begging, but in this case, I will) and talking on the phone nearly all day, every day, she agreed to go out with me. At this time, we knew a lot about each other, but it was time to see if the "spark" that was there over the phone would be there in a one on one setting. So, where does any respectable young(ish) man trying to make an impression take a first date??? CHUCK E. CHEESE. Yep, that's right, I took a very first date to eat pizza and play video games. Hell, I figured if she was ever going to really want to know me, she might as well know on the first date that I'm a big kid who likes pizza and video games. (PS, I didn't just spring this on her, we talked about it and I was forced....er...um...I mean, we decided that it would be fun.) You know the old saying about "letting the girl win".....??...well that's exactly what I involunatarily did.....yep, unless it was a game that involved throwing something, she whipped my ass....video games, skee ball (I won a few), the games where you push the buttons to get tickets...she won them all. I called her a jerk, called a cab and went home. No, no, I'm only kidding.
I'm not going to take you through a play by play of the date, no one wants to read that, I'm certain, but the "spark" turned into a bond. And there hasn't been a day that has gone by that we haven't spent a good portion of it either texting, talking or being together. I can honestly say that after never thinking it would ever happen again, I am completely and totally, head over heels in love with this amazing woman. (and even though I'm clearly more open with my words in public than she is, she feels the same way about me)
I've never been happier, my kids can see it, the people I work with see it, everyone that knows me sees it. It isn't rocket science, it is because of Jodi. She makes me feel the way that you always hear that you're supposed to feel. I noticed something this weekend while we were in St. Louis for our first "mini-vacation" together...every time she walks into a room, a smile comes across my face whether I want it to or not ( I don't know why I wouldn't, but you know what I mean) and I instantly just feel better, even if nothing was wrong.
I do this often, I go on and on talking about her and forget the point that I was trying to make or the question I was trying to ask. Is love better the second time around? And when I ask that question, I don't ask it in any way to knock my ex-wife (who also has found love a second time as well and is probably going through many of the same emotions I am) but almost to thank her. If she and I hadn't made the mistakes that we had, would I be able to be who I am with Jodi? Would I know what I did right and what I did wrong and be sure not to duplicate those mistakes? As crazy as it sounds, I think, quite possibly, without all that, I wouldn't be in the great place I am now.
So because I will be better the second time around, does that in fact mean that love WILL be better the second time? Well, it makes sense, and I can tell you, from where I'm sitting, it sure feels like it.
More than a year ago, I was scared to death about my future. I had realized that I had no idea who I was or what I wanted. I had become what I thought I was supposed to be, in a clouded vision. I really didn't know what I liked, what I wanted, what I needed, who I wanted to be. I'm still working on some of those things (just found out this weekend, I actually like sushi, who would of thought that?) but I can tell you the I'm excited about the future, more excited than I've ever been. My three crazy, talented, gorgeous, (mostly) sweet kids, this amazing, beautiful, ninja woman, who for some reason thinks the world of me, with the cutie pie goofball daughter have all got me looking forward to that age old question....what's next?
Maybe I should have just answered my own question with "YES", huh?