rewriting happily ever after



Who is prince charming? Disney tells us he is the man who finds the girl’s glass slipper after midnight and will stop at nothing until he finds her, saving her from her evil step-family. For me he was the handsome, funny and all around wonderful guy who I met in the dim light of Hollister, winter of ’09. He didn’t find my lost flip flop but he stole my heart. We started dating officially only a couple of days before I went to college. He asked me to be his girlfriend after making me my favorite breakfast ever: chocolate chip banana pancakes. Everything we did was fun and perfect and cute but after he moved back home and our distance grew to a grand total of 8 hours, I spent all my time missing him and waiting for our next chance to be together.

I didn’t make any friends until the second semester of my sophomore year and then I was suddenly a social butterfly. Apparently having a social life in college means drinking. But I had never consumed more than 3 wine coolers at this point in time. I didn’t understand what a tolerance was let alone my own. This wasn’t a good mix. I got myself into a bad situation where I made a giant mistake. And suddenly my world was crumbling around me and I was boyfriend-less. Except this wasn’t just any boy, he was the one I wanted to marry and spend the rest of my life with. I felt a piece of what I figured was my soul break off and float away while I cried my eyes out to my mom on the phone. Bare with me for a second I’m not going all emo, I promise, but I had to shed a little light basically on why “5 life lessons I learned in 2014” was written. I made a mistake. We’re all human and we all make mistakes, but this particular one was a doozy and it had consequences. I could have learned from my mistake and moved on, I had all my friends and family right there supporting me and ready to help pick up the pieces of my broken heart, but instead I socially drank myself further into denial. I also acted slightly crazy and often like a child which makes total sense because my parents got divorced when I was the ripe age of 5 and my therapist says I was “parentified.” Excuses, excuses I know. But at least the fact that I had this backwards spiral at age 21 makes sense. It would have been more convenient if I had figured some of this stuff out beforehand, but such is life. I have learned so much about myself in the past couple of years and I needed that. I wouldn’t be the person I am now and who finally after 23 years Iooks in the mirror and loves herself without all of this craziness. I’ve heard that’s when you can fully give yourself to someone else, when you love you. And I’m ready for that.

So I’m sure you can understand why I’m only 99% sure that I’m not dreaming right now because my prince charming and I got back together last weekend. After I had texted him for directions on how to take the PATH into NYC with my friends at the beginning of January, we started playing Trivia Crack and then I pondered for a few days on whether or not we could be friends again. I asked and got a reaction that was way more enthusiastic than expected. We started texting occasionally and then we were talking and the next thing I know we’re meeting in Philadelphia (we just picked somewhere in between where we both live) to see if we still have that spark. Walking hand in hand around the city, to the Liberty Bell and up the Rocky stairs we found that our spark was indeed still there. More like a flame, burning stronger than ever. I have been waking up with a smile on my face for weeks. And yesterday I swear I smiled for at least 8 hours. So many of our friends and family are rooting us on and sharing how happy they are for us. That’s the icing on the cake. I never in a million years thought this would ever happen.

I’m feeling incredibly lucky but it still sucks to be the bad guy. The one who broke up such a good thing. But I know I needed the lessons I learned during that time apart and we’re going to be able to overcome it. Earlier this evening I was thinking about some of the things I’ve done and how I don’t want those labels to follow me forever because although I’m not a criminal I expect better of myself than some of my actions in the past few years. I was texting my brother about it and this was his response, “no one labels you as those things, everyone labels you as the extremely nice creative successful ball of sunshine that you are.” That was quite the loaded compliment and reaffirmed how I can stop being so hard on myself all the time because I have been fighting to get to the place I want to be and to become the person I want to become and that’s something to be proud of. It’s funny because I also have done a lot of other things in the past few years I am super proud of but it’s so much easier to dwell on the hard parts.

Getting back into a relationship with someone who you already dated has completely different rules than the first time around. We had some tough stuff to talk about but we’ve figured out enough so far and there will surely be some bumps in the road just like any relationship has, but we’ve overcome so much and both learned and grown and now we get to bring all that together again. Matt and Danielle 2.0.

This fairytale didn’t get a happily ever after the first time around but that’s okay because we get to rewrite the ending.