I don’t know how but somehow I caught myself a mountain man artist. Who knew such a combo existed? He can handle himself in the backcountry, chases after bears and can see the delicate beauty in the sun reflecting off of a flower.
Fun fact. I dated a lot of losers before I met Andrew. My family still laughs at it. Don’t get me wrong, there were a couple great guys in the mix, but for the most part I thought it was fun to drag my spirit through the dirt. When I love, I love big and that combined with the classic “I don’t think I deserve any better so I’ll take this guy” syndrome is a dangerous mix. I would pour my heart and soul out to a fella and there was always this moment: “Oh, this is who you really are??” They would get scared by my intensity and run far far away. I honestly can’t blame them. They would run if I didn’t cut to the chase first. “Oh this is going so good! It must be bad!! I’m ending it!”
I know that God really wanted me and Andrew together because we met in the most random way – next door neighbors. I noticed him right away, his dark skin, heavy beard and bright eyes made him stand out from the other Dallas guys. Andrew had a thick crazy beard before it was cool to have a beard. He’s convinced he started the trend, haha.
His dirty Tahoe would be parked all day then it would disappear for a month and come back covered from top to tire in mud. Not that I was creepily stalking him or anything… me? Intense? Noooo.
We started a conversation over a Clap Your Hands Say Yeah album and the rest was history. We were friends for three and a half years before we started dating. That was just enough time for me to fall heavy for him, hear he’s not ready to date, so fall even harder, then I got all girl power and cut him off for a year to “fiiind myself”, then I called him out of the blue, we grabbed dinner, talked about everything under the sun, might have kissed a wee bit then he disappeared into the mountains again. He came back restored. I madly journaled on.
Our intense friendship and dating is not a story that will make it into a Disney movie. There was rejection, fear of commitment, obsessiveness, unhealthy emotional ties and much more. But in the midst of our mess, there was a constant foundation of honesty. I could tell him anything. And I did. And he wasn’t scared. More so, he was intrigued about my brain and it’s dysfunctions. He wanted details and would listen for hours on end. The few years passed by and our friendship deepened.
God saw the mess we were creating, as per my usual, but He chose to redeem it. He chose to heal old wounds, solidify our commitment and take tender care of our souls.
I can’t imagine my life without my best friend and helper by my side. He’s tender with me, forgiving, challenges me creatively and makes me laugh silly girlie laughs. Somehow he is still not scared by my brain, still wants to talk late into the night, and my favorite addition, he wants me by his side on his mountain man adventures.
It wasn’t always this way. The mountains are his retreat for his mind. His creativity is rejuvenated and his soul is nourished. And it’s his much needed alone time. But over the years, as our friendship has grown, I have been brought into the inner circle of “alone time.” Driving with him through a mountain pass, leaves chasing our car, winding around the bend, this is where I feel at home.
We’re going to his home away from home, Wyoming, in less than a week. It’s winter, stinkin’ cold, and I know this will test my mountain lady skills. Thankfully we have some tremendous sponsors for the trip who have supplied us with hardcore -40 degree sleeping bags and a super snow tent. Thank you Nemo!
A complete beach girl myself, I don’t do cold. So this trip will definitely push my outdoor boundaries. I can’t imagine tinkling in the snow. So cold.
But I’ve found that if Andrew is leading, I’m always up for an experience and never disappointed. And it might involve a bear.
We have both drastically changed over the years but one thing has always been a constant – our restless spirits. So here’s to chasing the light, wandering alone together and freezing our hineys off!