It's crazy to think about a little over ten years ago when I didn't know my now husband, Jon. I was a completely different person then. A fresh implant from the MidWest smack dab in the heart of Los Angeles. Working two jobs, making new friends and if I'm totally being honest, crying myself to sleep every night.
Moving so far away from home at 18 years old was way harder than I ever imagined it would be and the rose tinted glasses soon wore off. I was homesick for my family and all the familiarities that I'd left behind but I knew if I gave up on surviving on my own in a new city, I would never forgive myself. Not to mention I had that inner voice telling me that even if I went back, I would be in a similar situation of finding my place in the world. So I stuck it out, worked over 40 hours on the regular and met as many people as I could along the way.
One day my roommate asked me if I wanted to join them at their high school reunion in Oregon and since I'd never been I enthusiastically said yes. Little did I know that the drive to Oregon from LA was 15+ hours, ha! But needless to say, we arrived in Oregon and I was smitten by the fresh air, friendly people and natural beauty everywhere. Throughout the weekend I met loads of people but there's one I'll never forget, and I bet you can guess who that was!
Love at first sight was quite literally the last way that Jon and I would describe the first time we met. He was a popular alumni of this high school, surrounded by friends, telling inside jokes and was a natural in the spotlight. Our mutual friend introduced us and it was a very simple, "Hi! - Hi!" ... and that was it! (The funniest thing is that I got the impression that he was a little too confident for my liking, which is actually one of his qualities that I love and admire most about him now - ha!) We were around each other doing group activities almost the entire weekend but left as mere acquaintances and thought nothing of it. Jon went back to New York City and I went back to LA and continued on with life as we knew it.
Almost ten years later I arrived at a rooftop birthday party for a friend in LA and to my surprise, Jon was there. I had no idea he was going to be there or that he was on the West Coast at all. I saw him from afar at first and after a little bit of socializing around the party we ended up next to each other and we got to talking. Immediately I noticed changes from the first time we had met. There was a confidence within him but at a totally different level. He gave off a calm, mature, interested in others vibe and ...he was looking real good. I'm pretty sure he was wearing a denim button down with black jeans and looked like he just stepped out of a Mr. Porter ad. Yet again, Jon and I went our separate ways.
Thank goodness for social media, Jon's picture popped up on my phone the next day and it got me thinking: what was up with this guy?! Who was he? What's his story? Was he living in NY or on the West Coast now? Was he a monopoly dater destined to be a bachelor? Or a mature, handsome catch?
I normally wouldn't have made it a priority to ask around about a guy but I had to know! One of my really good friends had known Jon almost his whole life so I knew she would have all the inside details. As she told me about him, I started ticking off my mental check list of 'must-have-qualities' and she said the craziest thing. That we would be perfect together. I couldn't believe it but my instincts told me that she was right. She played the ultimate match maker and within the hour Jon and I were deep in texting land (and full of butterflies on my end!!).
Jon had recently moved from NY to the Bay Area for a job in tech so he was going to be on the West Coast permanently. We made plans to meet up the following weekend when Jon was going to be back in LA (which Jon later told me he flew down just to take me out - talk about swoon!).
We texted every day that week and it felt so natural yet exhilarating. Saturday came around and I had sooooo many butterflies. We had changed our coffee date to a legitimate dinner date and as I walked out of the door to meet him outside, I was hoping he couldn't see my heart pounding out of my chest. I was so nervous but in the best way.
From the moment we sat down at dinner we didn't stop talking and halfway through, Jon so effortlessly took my hand and told me what a great time he was having. It's going to sound so bananas but I knew then that I was going to love Jon forever. His fun, light hearted energy mixed with his intelligence and confidence plus is insanely good style took hold of me and has never left.
After a year of doing long distance back and forth from LA to SF Jon proposed on my 30th birthday in Malibu and then we got married the following year. It's so wild to think about just ten years ago or even five years ago, and how we had absolutely no idea that we would end up together. And I'm so glad that we didn't try to date back then! We were such different people and still figuring out who we were and what was important to us then. I may not have always felt like life was leading me to the love of my life but hindsight is 20-20.
It's so much easier to look back and things and see how the puzzle goes together after you've seen all the pieces. If I could tell my younger self one thing I would say, "Relax and enjoy!". I spent way too much time worrying if everything would work out until I realized that I'm the one in charge of my destiny even if I don't have all the answers.
As February and Valentine's Day approaches I wanted to share my love story because no matter where you're at in life - independent and doing your solo journey, starting a new relationship, married to work or struggling to find that missing piece; I want you to know that love is out there even if it doesn't always seem like it.
I created my newest piece as a reminder that love is within us all no matter what stage of life you're in and every time it's worn, I want the Love Lock Necklace to symbolize that for you.
I hope you've enjoyed reading about my love story and I'd love to hear yours in the comments below!
*Photography by Amanda K Photo