I found love at an unexpected time in my life.
I won't go into the intimate details, but I was a mess during my freshman year of college. I had a fixed mentality that I had to be single to maintain my freedom and independence, and that a relationship would only tie me down and not allow me to have fun. As a result, I partied too much, studied too little, and participated in "promiscuous" activities. As the year progressed, my mental health declined, but I put it on the back burner and partied even more. Things got worse when I realized that the men I was seeing only saw me as an object- not a human being. Near the end of the school year, I realized that I deserved better. Thus began my journey on finding love, which in hindsight, was a miserable failure. My summer was filled with disappointments, broken promises, cheating, and getting dumped right as I went away to start my sophomore year.
After I was dumped, my mental health was at an all time low. I had no motivation for school, extracurriculars or friends. I told myself that I was going to hold off on the soul searching for awhile, and focus on myself.
My plans were foiled when I met him.
Honestly, I wasn't sure if anything was going to come of our budding relationship. Of course, I liked him and thought he was cute, but my brain was telling me, "Be cautious! You can't get hurt again!" When he asked me out on our first date, I wasn't sure how to respond. I hesitantly said yes, and when he picked me up, I seemed standoffish. Our first date, for a lack of a better word, was awkward. He asked to hold my hand on the way there, and I timidly accepted. I wasn't use to men treating me in this way, and I think that became abundantly clear as the date progressed. The date didn't help me realize what I wanted; in fact, it made me feel even more confused. I didn't know what to do, or even if I wanted to be with him at all, but he persisted. We kept hanging out, going on dates- until all of a sudden, he began keeping a toothbrush at my apartment. It all happened so fast, but I'm glad it did. I found love at an unexpected time in my life, but sometimes, the best time to find someone is when you aren't looking.
He helped me turn my life around. I stopped killing myself with alcohol, drugs, and useless partying. I stopped letting people treat me as objects, I stopped letting my "friends" treat me like shit. Instead, I began doing my homework, studying, and getting A's in all of my classes. My cumulative GPA shot up from a 2.2 to a 3.2 in less than a year, which I am pretty proud of. There are many things that have contributed to such a high GPA switch, but I think that having him around helped me to stay on track.
He also got me more involved in politics and social issues. Before, I didn't really care about the environment or even who was in charge of our country. Now, I find myself more passionately involved in the things that matter, and I've seen myself become more of an advocate in a variety of causes for those who may not have voices. As a result, I've become more involved at school and may even create my own organization this upcoming year.
He's my biggest supporter, and one of the greatest influences in my life. I look up to him, because he works hard for everything he has. He studies his butt off every night while working two jobs and going to school, not to mention the various clubs and activities where he donates the rest of his time.
He saved me.
As cliche as that sounds, it is the truth. He helped to bring me back from the brink of disaster. My mental illness will always be there, but he helps me to feel less alone and depressed whenever I'm feeling low. He helped me to feel better about myself, stay on track with school, and to find a real, true love- which I've never felt before in my life. He treats me the way I deserve to be treated. Never before have I had someone call me beautiful or pretty without me reminding him, or bring me flowers after a rough day. Our love is the kind of love that people write about in books. It's the kind of love that keep me going, even on the darkest of days. Even after seven months together, I still get as excited as ever when I see him. Somehow, we still find new and interesting things to talk about, even though we are up each other's asses 24/7. He makes me feel like I matter, and most importantly, he makes me feel unconditionally loved.
Thank you. Thank you for helping me to reach my fullest potential every single day. Thank you for making me a better person. Thank you for helping me to stabilize my mental health. Thank you for caring for me, loving me, and helping me to grow. Some may think it's stupid that I've invested so much in another person, but those people probably do not know what it feels like to be completely loved, and to completely love someone back.