Monday, January 2, 2012

From Online to in Person: The Author

I was incredibly lucky that my first meeting with someone from the internet was with The Author. We had a really fast connection and were able to literally talk all day in one form or another. We never ran out of things to talk about and being able to read an authors work and talk to them about it was pretty awesome. I got so many insights and ideas from those conversations and a lot of empowerment that I can make my dream of being an author a reality and the steps to take to get myself there. But I digress…

So on August 25, 2011 I headed out to Colorado to meet The Author. That was another big bonus is that I have lots of family in Colorado, and I grew up there, so if things had gone really south I would have been able to retreat to safety. At first I was just really excited this was all so fun and then as I slowly got closer and closer I started to panic. We had discussed what we would do if there was no chemistry and all those contingency plans but it all of a sudden became really real as I was getting off the tram and heading up the escalator to meet The Author. At first I didn’t see him but when I did I was really surprised because he didn’t look like his pictures or really what he looked like on Skype. It’s hard to explain the difference from getting to ‘know’ someone via the internet before you meet them in person, but there is a big difference and alot of things you miss when you start off a relationship through technology. All this left me feeling very awkward. It had been like a minute into our time together and I was way off balance. He actually looked a lot like one of my college buddies which was also very strange because it was not what I expected at all. So I jabbered on very awkwardly and hardly made any eye contact as we were walking thru the airport to his car. To compound all this unease I had worked that day and it was after 10pm when I arrived in Colorado which was 12pm my time. So I had had a very full day! Once we got into the car I was able to relax a little bit and to feel more natural but I was still nervously chattering and wondering how this weekend was going to turn out after all. I had been praying about coming out and felt fine about everything but those nerves were really making me second guess all that. We didn't plan anything that night so The Author dropped me off at my cousin’s house for the night and I was able to sort through how I was feeling about everything and get some much needed rest which really helped.

The next day he picked me up pretty early in the morning to start our day. Although there was still some awkwardness it wasn’t nearly as bad and we both were able to be more natural. We spent a really low key day at his place just getting to know each other and adjusting, at least in my case, to being around each other in person. We had talked about Pride and Prejudice the long BBC version before I came out and we tried it out but The Author just wasn’t interested in the film, at all. He was a good sport for trying though.

This trip I was able to relax and enjoy Colorado and the companionship of The Author. We went on a drive through the mountains which was so heavenly after being away from them for so long!

Here are a few snaps I took on my phone during our drive in the mountains.

But the most eventful excursion is when we meet up with three of my brothers and my Mom for Pho, a Vietnamese meal. It was about a 45min drive for us to get that far north from where The Author lives and I was really nervous about how this meeting was going to go. I wasn't planning on him meeting any of my family but having my brother in town from Utah and being able to see all of them was too good to pass up. So The Author graciously braved meeting them. This was almost a comical meeting because The Author is around 5'10.5" and my brothers are 6'1" and above. I didn't really think about how the height thing would come into play for The Author but as we all stood semi awkwardly outside the restaurant The Author was very noticeably the shortest of the group. I never asked him how he felt about that but after we went into the restaurant we all were very relaxed and had an enjoyable time. My family than headed to the Broncos game and on our way back I realized I had forgotten to give them some passes they needed for the game so we had to do a major U-Turn and brave the craziness of pre game traffic to meet up with my family, again. The Author was SO NICE about all the inconvenience and trouble he had to go through for this simple lunch but I semi paid him back by going and meeting his closest friends and their wives for a movie night right after the meet ups with my family. Granted they aren't his family but I knew if things worked out between us these would be the people I was around the most and that was incredibly nerve racking. I was pretty comfortable around them but it took a while for me to feel comfortable sharing with them my little jokes or opinions but by the end of the night I was comfortable with them and really enjoyed their company. They are the kind of friends that you always want and need. Great to just hang out with but there to help you no matter what. I finally understood first hand why The Author loved these friends so much.

I was there for a Sunday and we did go to Church together to his Singles Ward. Since it was a bit later I changed and finished getting ready at The Authors place. We had fun joking around and bantering but at one point he walked behind me when I was doing my makeup and he completely disappeared. I was not only taller than him but wide enough that you couldn't see him at all behind me. It freaked me out and made me feel slightly sick to my stomach. I had always grown up being bigger than everyone else. And before coming out there I knew I would be a bit taller than him but I was not prepared to be bigger than him in every way and having that visual reminder of my size in relation to his wasn't good.

We finished getting ready and drove to the church. Now Single Wards typically are just such awkward places and this ward wasn't an exception and I wasn't a fan of being there, especially since it had been years since I had attended one. However everyone was very nice and all loved The Author so everyone was very curious about me and what was going on, etc. It was some kind of luck though that I would not only be introduced to the entire Bishopric and their wives but that the Stake President, who knows The Author well, would be there too and I also would be introduced to him. It was a bit over whelming because everyone was asking questions and I knew they were wondering how serious The Author and I were and I felt very awkward. I really liked The Author and we had had a great time but I was not ready to be thinking/planning for a potential future with him. I was trying to just get to know him. Luckily we left after sacrament and spent the rest of the day hanging out with his mom which I much preferred.

All in all the trip was alot of fun and it was a great experience for me. I knew The Author had some pretty strong feelings for me so when I got back I pondered and prayed about him and continuing a relationship with him. I felt that friendship was all I could have with him and he felt differently and couldn't just be my friend so not long after this trip we went our separate ways. I'm sad that I lost such a great friend but it was for the best and I will forever be grateful of the opportunity to meet and grow with The Author and I wish him true happiness because that is what he deserves.

Me and The Author

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