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  • Writer's pictureelise

Chapter 25 - This time in my life was incredibly transformative...

During my junior year of college I had the opportunity to study abroad in Seville, Spain. This time in my life was so incredibly transformative, and to this day, it holds my most special memories of college. Halfway through my semester abroad, I switched host families and was assigned to a beautiful family who took me under their wing and taught me all about the Spanish food, culture, holidays and most of all, the language. They had the most fabulous 8 year old daughter named Gloria who would practice her English with me. They had two adorable dogs, Millie and Boo Boo, and a son in his late twenties who no longer lived at home, but visited often.

One day the son offered to take me and my study abroad roommate out on the town with his friends. We jumped at the opportunity to go out with the locals. They showed us to a fabulous day full of touring the city, teaching us Andalusian history, stops at their favorite cafes for café con leche (coffee with milk), an impromptu Sevillana lesson (a type of dance influenced by Flamenco), and of course to eat the best tapas in town. As we walked the streets, laughing and enjoying a magnificent day, Julio, one of the friends said to me: Tienes una sonrisa linda. I knew he saying something about my smile, but I was’t sure what he was saying about it. I asked my roommate, and she said, ‘He’s saying you have a cute smile.’ Oh…how lovely, I thought.

Fast forward 18 years to sitting in my dressing room at work when Guapo texts me, ‘Linda, you looked beautiful tonight.’ Oh how sweet he is. Is he calling me, cutie? I think he is!

And did he really tune into my show? I wonder how much of it he watched or if he just flipped through? So many questions, but for now, I just smiled at my phone, as I enjoyed his compliment and reminisced about one of the most memorable days of my college years. Never did I imagine that my ‘linda lesson’ would come full circle.

Guapo and I were now in the phase of - what’s next? We talked and texted every single day and he continued to be amazingly consistent and communicative. I could tell just by his guaranteed ‘good morning linda’ texts that this was a man I could count on, and one who made me feel important and safe.

After a few days of texting post Chicago, while according to him we were supposed to be ‘cooling off’ I received a dream text.

Him: Good morning, Linda. I’ve been looking at ideas for our next date. How is your schedule, Aug 9,10,11?

Me: Morning, guapo! I am so bummed, but I’m scheduled to work those days.

Him: Ok, I’m not even going to tell you what I have going on that weekend.

Me: Bimini?

Him: Baha Mar Nassau for a client and I’d love to bring you.

Ugh, now there’s my tropical vacay! Reading this and knowing that I couldn’t swing it made my heart shatter into little pieces like the crushed ice in the daiquiris I would be missing out on. The man of my dreams inviting me to an island I’ve never been to, for date number two - what . is . this?! I need to know all of the details, yet I don’t have the ability to stomach them, knowing I can’t go.

I decide to send him a bunch of alternate dates of when I’m available, in hopes that we can still make something work. In the back of my mind, I wonder who will get to go on this fabulous trip in place of me?

A few days go by with lovely text and phone call exchanges, but still no firm plans as to when date two will happen. Obviously, I was anxious to see him again in person, but learning more about each other prior to our next meet up was also very beneficial. Maybe he was right, maybe this was the ‘cool off, come back down to reality’ time?

I loved his consistency and I loved how invested he was in learning about me, but after a week or so, I wondered if this was perhaps turning into a pen pal situation? The ‘cool off’ period also made me wonder if he was dating in Miami? He told me he wasn’t, but often times when two single people meet, there are leftover relationships or loose ends from less serious dates to tie up, even if they are meaningless.

What I was figuring out is that long distance relationships magnify the need for major, upfront, honest communication since that’s all you have in the moment. In fact, as much as I didn’t want to admit it, I realized that although we were in near non-stop communication throughout the day and night, I still really had no idea what he does on the daily, and who else he is in touch with nor did he of me. I knew I felt a deep connection with this man, but perhaps it was too early to put all my eggs in one long distance basket.

After all, I too had some minor loose ends to tie up. Nothing serious, in fact I hadn’t dated anyone seriously in over a year, partially by choice and partially due to lack of quality inventory. However, I would go on a mediocre date here and there. Even though Guapo and I were not official, I still knew my feelings for him were stronger than my feelings for anyone I’d met in my entire life, so there was no need for me to go on dates with other people just to pass the time. Instead, I could put my energy into bettering myself, connecting with him, and spending quality time with my friends.

I thought about how much we were in contact and the depth at which we had shared about ourselves and that gave me comfort. I appreciated that he was open and forthcoming, emotionally available, and at the same time fully accepting of me and my quirks. At times, he would even seem in awe of the fact that I could so openly share my thoughts and desires.

Maybe he wasn’t used to such a big personality, maybe it excited him that I am deeply in touch with my feelings, wants and needs? Maybe he loved that I am a dreamer, a hopeless romantic and someone who refuses to settle for mediocrity or complacency in any aspect of life.

For many other people, the intensity of these qualities and my personality was interpreted as ‘too much’ or ‘too heavy,’ basically, a turn off. But for Guapo, our deep conversations about love, life, dreams, goals and philosophies didn’t scare him away, in fact, I began to notice that they were drawing us closer.

Over these weeks of constant communication, I learned that many of the dreams and goals I was working towards were in alignment with his, and it seemed as though we would in fact make a really good team. Not just that we would be able to individually grow and respect each other while in this relationship, but that we would in fact, be able to grow as a united front as well as an intertwined and deeply connected couple. I kept seeing the image of a double helix, DNA like, in my head, and this was the only way I could describe how this connection and our energy was forming into something so incredibly different than anything else I’d ever experienced. We were significant on our own, yet when we crossed paths and put our energies together, our possibilities seemed even more beautiful, substantial, powerful, and creative... What are the possibilities, I wondered? Could this actually be a real life example of the ‘limitless potential,’ that up until this point I’ve only read about in my manifestation and quantum physics books? Was this me getting ‘too deep’ and being ‘too much?’ Whatever is was, this unique connection realization made me even more eager to see him again in person. Nassau was out…for now, but should I pop down to Miami?

At last, the action I had been waiting for. Perhaps he felt the same connection I felt, or the excitement of possibility? I’m not sure, but I was very excited to read his incoming text.

Him: Please look at this plane ticket and tell me if it works for your schedule. I have to come see you in Philadelphia.

Me: Hi! Yes, it works but it’s NINETEEN days away! I can’t wait that long.

Him: Wow, yeah, no good. How about this one? It gets there on Friday.

Me: Yes, much better. Can you come earlier in the day? I’d like to take you to a concert at my favorite outdoor venue that evening.

Him: I’ll make it happen.

Music to my ears or more like candy to my eyes.

I love someone who takes charge, and there was no better answer than, ‘I’ll make it happen.’

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