Today marks the seven years since the day that John and I first started living together, so I thought it would be fun to share that story here with you guys to this fun anniversary! I love sharing bits and pieces of our story here on the blog. Even if no one else reads this, I’ll always have a place to come back and read it again and again when I’m feeling nostalgic 🙂
It started the weekend of the Superbowl. We had been dating since the beginning of September 2007, but we’d been friends for about a year by then. Moving in together (especially so soon!) obviously wasn’t something we had planned, but I’m so glad that it happened that way. Have you ever heard the saying “you really don’t know someone until you live with them”? I think that’s such a true statement. And once we began living together, we learned so much about each other and grew closer very quickly. Looking back, I think the whole thing sounds crazy. Ludicrous. At 20, it was CRAZY to move in and start living with my boyfriend of 5 months. If I had a daughter who was trying to do that, I think I’d have a thing or two to say to her! Twenty years old is so young! You have so much growing to do at that age. I’m so different now, seven years later. The whole thing could have ended in disaster, heartbreak, or BOTH. But I think we were lucky in that we were able to grow up together and support each other through the many changes we’ve been through over the past seven years. For that, I’m grateful.
It happened while I was at work. Back in 2008, I was working as the Visual Coordinator for the Old Navy in our town, which meant working semi-frequent overnight shifts to reset displays and things like that. In those days, I actually really liked overnight shifts! You could get work a lot of work done and they would usually lead to overtime, which meant MORE MONEY. The managers at the time must have not been football fans at all, because I found myself working one of these crazy overnights on Super Bowl Sunday, of all the nights. Back then I could care less about football. (I told you, you change a lot in your 20s!!) I remember it so clearly. I was up on a ladder digging through a stack of jeans in the men’s section denim wall when my cell phone (a flip phone, circa mid-late 00s…I had a polyphonic ringtone of the song “Bartender”) started buzzing. Of course, I wasn’t supposed to check it at work, but I was 20 years old and in love with this guy who was probably texting me something funny. I had to look at the message!
I wish I remembered exactly what the text said, but iCloud wasn’t a thing yet then so there was no way to save it, and sometimes you don’t know that something pivotal and life changing is happening to you until way later. This was one of those instances for sure. That text (and the reply I sent) changed my life, but at that moment I had no idea.
The gist of it: John: “my apartment was broken into” Me: “That’s crazy! Are you ok? You can stay with me for a while if you want to”. And in two messages, less than 160 characters each, our lives changed.
We never planned to move in together forever. At that point we had actually planned on John just staying with me for a while as he looked for another (safer) place. Days turned into weeks and then months til eventually I felt myself feeling like I wasn’t ready for him to leave yet. I hated living by myself and having my best friend/boyfriend there made life so much more fun. We must have felt the same way, because before too long John’s lease was ending and we were moving all of his things in and starting a life together as an “us”. There was no big, dramatic moment when we decided to start a life together. We just kind of came together and knew that life was so much better, so much more, together than it was apart.
I remember how weird it seemed to merge our things together back then. There was a much more distinct feeling of “your stuff” and “my stuff”. Over seven years of sharing a home together, there’s a lot less “mine” and “yours”. Most everything (except clothes…we definitely can’t share clothes…haha) is ours. I think back to that time in my life when I didn’t overthink as much and I just invited someone I cared about to live with me for a while. That one snap decision really changed my life for the better. There were SO many reasons why NOT to make that decision, but I’m glad that 20 year old me, just followed her heart and did what she wanted to do. I think back on this whole story and hope that I can be as open to love, to new possibilities, and to saying YES as much as possible in life because we are living proof that you never really know where saying yes might take you!
So that’s the story of how we moved in together! I have no idea who won the game that year, or even which teams played, but I’ll never forget that Super bowl Sunday.