Other than the fact that — when I was two — I told my parents I was going to marry the basketball player Michael Jordan, I wasn’t boy-crazy growing up.
In fact, I preferred torturing them in a sense. I was a tom-boy and could out-run most of them, as well as beat them at arm wrestling. It was my greatest sense of accomplishment. I still remember how heart-broken I was when my friend Matt beat me at a race for the first time. Devastating.
My dad had raised me to be competitive… If a boy dared tell me that he didn’t want me on his team just because I was a girl, I’d tell him that if he practiced enough, maybe I’d return the favor and tell him that he played like a girl too. In highschool, I played pick-up games of football, ultimate frisbee, and soccer. I played hard and to win. My mom lived in constant fear that I’d come home with more than bruises. My dad was proud. Real proud.
The guys, on the other hand, saw me as just one of them. I was thrown into a lake on more than one occasion. Got more than my share of rough, white-washes in the snow. Was pushed into the mud during a game of football. And was allowed to join them when they got together to play crazy songs on the guitar. It was just a bunch of friends having fun, and I was having the time of my life.
…and then I went to college.
And discovered hats… and makeup… and cute jeans. And guys. The guys I had grown up with were shocked to realize that I was actually a girl. And I noticed that attention and found myself caught up in the other girl’s goals: to get engaged by senior year. Honestly, I wasn’t in such a rush to get engaged, but to find THE guy…. That didn’t sound too bad.
So I kept my eyes open and did manage to meet a few. But there was only one problem. I didn’t like them that much. They all seemed to want a girl that I wasn’t, and I found myself changing my personality a bit when I was around them in class. This one guy wanted a quiet, meek girl so I was very soft-spoken and gentle around him. This other guy wanted to be the life of the party, so I was loud. I didn’t feel real. And the one time I ate dinner with a guy, I found out that he was a creep… and he ended up getting kicked out of the college for stalking a girl. (In my defense, I never went on a date with him. I was just eating dinner alone, and he asked to eat with me. So I said ‘sure’ and that was that. I ended up eating dinner with a crazy-stalker-guy).
But to make a long story short, I became sick of the googly eyes and the nervous feelings very quickly. I wasn’t being asked out, and I was tired of wondering what was wrong with me. I was honestly tired of hearing the other freshman girls moan about how they were going to be old maids.
And so I made a vow. I would not date in college. I was so tired of the drama and the focusing on guys so much that I was missing out on my college experience. This was my life. I even saw girls change their college degrees, just to match the degrees of the guys they had crushes on. They were gambling with their futures because of a crush, and I wanted no part in it!!
So I started living the life of a happily single girl. And it wasn’t hard.
I made some of the best girl-friends a girl could ever hope for. Friendships that will last forever… that turn you into sisters. That get you through the tough-times.
That make memories you’ll never forget, like going to Disney together and being goofy in the hotel room. I wasn’t trying to impress anyone. I was just being myself and having fun.
And slowly, I discovered myself. I found out who I wanted to be and who I was now. I gained confidence in what I wanted to do with my life… and through learning what my needs and wants were, I began to slowly discover what I was looking for in a guy. And I found that guys were attracted to my confidence and to the fact that I wasn’t acting desperate for their attention. They were drawn to the fact that I was real. And the guys who weren’t interested? Well, they were obviously looking for a different girl, so we saved ourselves the heart-ache of pretending… and then just not working out. And as I remained true to who I was, I began to attract guys who liked me for who I was.
And that is when I met Nate…