I first saw Devan at church. It was my first Sunday in the YSA 68th ward at Belmont. I sat on the same row as her in a large auditorium. I thought, "she is beautiful is good." I mentioned to my cousin and roommate, Derek, that I thought she was pretty. He happened to meet her at FHE, and he said her name was Devan. Later he introduced us in Sunday School. She was drawing pretty flowers and shapes in her notebook, and I was making snide remarks. So, naturally, we were a good match.
Our first date was a double-date with Josh and Sadie to a pumpkin patch and corn maze. The place was pretty lame, but we enjoyed talking. I learned that she was a junior high school teacher. I like that she's older and more experienced than me. She's a good traveling companion.
We went on more dates: the Museum of Art, dinner, rock climbing, karaoke. Before she went home for Thanksgiving break I left a note on her car. She actually responded to it after the break! I left her a lot of notes after that. I went to Chicago for an interview at the beginning of December and she sent me a message wishing me the best of luck. I was surprised and grateful. On the day before her birthday we talked together and I wanted to kiss her but I didn't have the courage. Instead I gave her a note and a birthday gift and a playlist. I was hoping to talk with her over Christmas break, but she didn't feel well, so I made her a video of my Christmas break instead. I also watched her three favorite films: 500 Days of Summer, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
I was overjoyed that Devan offered to pick me up at the airport after Christmas break. That was a good day. The next day was even better. We went rock climbing, and I think I was also laid off from Banyan that day. I didn't care because dating Devan was way more important than that job. After rock climbing we were both walking up our respective stairwells to our apartments, and I asked her if she would like to hang out the next day. Then we both wanted to keep hanging out that night, so she came over and we talked on the couch for a long time. And then we kissed. It was great.
Our relationship was exciting and we spent a lot of time together. I started to become very anxious because I didn't have confidence in us. I feared commitment, and my worry fed off itself so I became even more worried. We broke up quite a few times. Devan went to Europe for a few weeks and that felt like forever. We did a lot together. We visited Anne and Spencer, and Rebbel and Riley, and my family. We went to Hawaii and Disneyland and Lagoon (twice). We did hikes and went to Color-Me-Mine and made food and cuddled. We both took the GRE and applied to grad school and got in. We got engaged and then I got scared and backed out. We quarantined separately, and then together. I decided to move to Wisconsin, and Devan stayed in Provo. I have learned a lot, and I still feel like I have infinitely more to learn. I feel peace now. The future is bright. Wherever we walk we will bring the light with us, whether that is toward each other or away to other paths. We're still learning to love.
I saw him passing the sacrament. He looked handsome, smart, and introverted. A few weeks later (just a week?) in Sunday school, his cousin (whom I met at a previous Family Home Evening activity) asked to sit by me with Robert in tow. We introduced ourselves, and during the lesson I overheard him making funny, snide remarks. I went home to Las Vegas for a long weekend and thought about him on my drive. That night (the next night?) he called me while I was sitting on our living room couch. Happy I answered, it was a number unrecognized, and I knew no one from Virginia. I knew he was smart and I felt dumb in our conversation. He asked me on a date (for that weekend?) and I was leaving to visit San Francisco. We agreed on a weekend. Leading up to our date, he asked if I could drive. Knowing it was a double date, I internally questioned why we didn’t drive with the other couple. Did he want to save a few bucks by not taking his car? Any way, I agreed and he picked me up from my apartment wearing green shorts and a gray Columbia University pullover. I noticed he had also recently gotten a haircut. We went to a pumpkin patch/corn maze. I felt a little uncomfortable not knowing Josh and Sadie (or Robert, really). On the date we talked about our interests, what we were doing in our lives, and how we liked to spend time. He brought up “The Courage to be Disliked,” pretty funny because this would continue as a large part of his life and our relationship. He asked if I wanted to go “toss” with him, Josh, and Sadie after. I declined.
He asked me on more dates. We went to the Museum of Art (where we ran into both of our families), Olive Garden, and rock climbing. On the day of our MOA date, my car got a flat. As I was fixing it, he came home from school on his bike. I told him I would probably need to reschedule our date so I could take my car in for a new tire. I was optimistic about the time it would take. We ended up rescheduling. Before Thanksgiving break he left me a note taped to my car. I thought it was really sweet, but it also slightly overwhelmed me. The note asked about the nature of our relationship. I took all week to respond with a note of my own. He had no car to tape it to, so I left it on his apartment door. We continued to go on dates and talk in my car. Before we left for Christmas break, he invited me to hang out with his cousins and do karaoke. He sang On The Radio by Regina Spektor, very confidently in the presence of his closest friends. Seeing him in this new environment, I fell in love with him. He wanted to talk over break, and I was hesitant so we didn’t. I asked to pick him up from the airport. We had a wonderful drive and chat and continued conversing once I parked in my stall at Belmont. He showed me the movie he made. It was very good and made me like him even more. He told me he watched my favorite movies over break.
In early January we went rock climbing. Upon returning home we made plans to hang out the next day. While walking back to our respective apartments, both not wanting the date to end, I asked if he wanted to continue hanging out. I ended up at his apartment. We held hands on the couch and kissed. He asked me to be his girlfriend the next day.
The year of 2019 was full of up and downs. We continued to see each other most days, learning and loving. We broke up many times and got back together each time. Doubts were easy for us to believe and we continued to give in and give up (then try again). (Should we get into details?) Fun things continued to happen: we went on trips (to Texas, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Virginia), to Color me Mine, Lagoon, Sundance Film Festival, Ikea, Seven Peaks Water Park, Disneyland, laser tag, more karaoke, back packing, hiking, yoga, and sledding. And we also cried a lot.
In 2020 we picked out our rings and split the cost 50/50 (for equality). Robert’s had a cool inscription that I can’t explain. We exchanged rings outside of a greenhouse because it was closed. We got really scared a few months in and called off the wedding. Eventually, we got back together and continue to feel better as time goes on.