What is a defining moment in your life?
This question is interesting because not only is it deeply personal it is also very easy to answer.
I could choose from many childhood adventures, college shenanigans, or career frustrations. But the one thing that most significantly changed my life was a split-second decision that happened approximately five years ago., and while I can’t say for certain–I assume it was in fact, a Tuesday.
I had been a member of Match.com for months, and being your typical dorky, unattractive male, with not much of a personality–well, it was almost time to call it quits and pick up another cat.
Match began to offer Stir Events, wherein for an added fee you could attend a themed speed-dating event. Many of these were not really my scene, and could be pricey. One event in particular was to attend a rope climbing/zip-line challenge course at a local park. This did pique my interest because int the worst case scenario, I would still be able to claim to have done something that I have never tried before.
Getting up the guts
I needed to prepare. I like my hands, and know that ropes can be hard to handle, so I purchased a brand-new pair of tactical leather gloves from a local police/fire/nursing uniform store.
On the day of the event, I was so incredibly nervous that I arrived two hours early and waited in my car as the anxiety began to build. I weighed the pros and cons of leaving early and whether I could get my money back. Maybe I could fake an illness?
Eventually, with a push from the universe, I got out of my car and walked up to a group of people standing near the park entrance. There were two men, both of whom I cannot remember, and one woman about my age–also carrying a brand-new pair of tactical leather gloves. We made our introductions and headed into the course with the other event-goers who slowly began to trickle in.
Climbing to new heights
The course itself was constructed with small platforms in trees, 40-50 feet in the air connected by rope challenges to other platforms. Each trial had a challenge, such as walking a tightrope to the next platform and the zip-lining back to ground near the ladder to the next challenge. It was actually fun. The only issue was that the platforms could only hold 2-3 people at a time so it was very difficult to actually used the event for its intended speed-dating purpose. I was paired with a beautiful blonde girl named Allison*. Allison was scared of heights and needed encouragement. Naturally being the kindhearted, red-blooded man that I am I offered a hug and kiss for luck at every opportunity. Together we battled through the remaining challenges until it happened: one battle that we could not overcome–a sudden spring thunderstorm. The course staff closed the course and herded us back to our cars. I gave Allison a friendly hug goodbye and promised to call her soon to set up a real date.
That very evening I found Allison’s Match profile and sent her a message letting her know what a great time I had and that I would love to see her again. And of course, being your typical dorky, unattractive male with not much of a personality–I never heard from Allison again.
Becoming the new normal
But the strangest thing happened. Weeks later–just days before I planed to cancel my account and, of course, add another cat to the pile. My Match.com inbox lit up with message. The only other girl who remembered to bring gloves to a rope course, and whom I only spoke 3-4 words to at most. She found me. She had been looking for me. And in two months we will be celebrating our third wedding anniversary.
Every day I am ever grateful for having her in my life. For having someone who understands the imperfect me, and being okay with growing together-changing each other in the greatest ways-and dorking out together.
she is my amazing.