This is my personal blog. This is where I explore the various pitfalls and triumphs in my life. It's a cheap form of therapy, I know...but I don't hold things back here. I don't expect you to agree with what I have to say, but everything I write here is the truth from my perspective...and I won't apologize for it. If what I say offends you, angers you, or effects you negatively in any way, my apologies. Feel free to not come back...I won't mind.

Monday, May 6, 2013

A brief introduction...a new chapter...

Wow! Has it really been more than three weeks since I've written anything? So much has happened since then but there's only one thing I want to write about today.

This blog has always been about my walkabout...not just the actual event (which I will accomplish one of these days) but also the metaphorical "walkabout"...the daily journey and struggle to find and be true to oneself. Often the examination of my life centers on my failings and the negative events of my life...but today I want to talk about the best thing to happen in my life (at least in my personal life) in a very long time.

Some of you (Facebook friends) know that I have had a status change recently...namely my relationship status. Today, it is my pleasure to introduce you (and everyone) to someone who has quickly become a huge part of my life.

I want you all to meet Brittaney...and she is my girlfriend.

(By the way, she's going to absolutely hate that I've included photos of her in this, but I think -- or rather, I know -- how absolutely beautiful she is, inside and out, and I want to show her off.)

Before I get into who she is and why I'm absolutely crazy about her, I know most people are always curious about how we met. In a word, Craigslist.

Craigslist has earned a deservedly bad reputation when it comes to personal ads. For every real reply you get to a posted personal ad, you can expect a couple dozen phishing scam-bots sending you emails trying to entice you into signing up with phony dating/hook-up sites, all trying to get the prize...your credit card number and/or personal information. But with a little luck and a lot of patience, someone as wonderful as Brittaney reads your ad and takes a chance.

I posted an ad (you can read the text of it here) almost 3 weeks ago on both the Killeen/Temple and the Waco Craigslist pages. Besides the scam-bots, there were a few responses, but only one caught my eye and heart. She was looking on behalf of someone else, who lives in the Killeen area, but decided to keep my ad (and by proxy, me) to herself. She sent me an email and I am so grateful that I replied to it. I almost didn't.

You see, Brittany lives over two hours away from me in Spring, Texas (north Houston). Long-distance relationships are hard and I wasn't sure that I wanted to deal with that. However, something in her first email touched me. It's hard to describe, but there was an earnestness and openness in her words that was both exciting and soothing at the same time.

Anyway, that evening (Wednesday, April 17...the night of the West explosion) I sat down at my computer and replied with a novel of an email. And then I didn't hear back from her. It was a little worrying because most people tend to reply pretty quickly. It didn't help that it was a long night anyway and I had to be up really early the next morning for a couple of commercial shoots.

So the next day (Thursday), I get my first shoot finished quickly and have over an hour to kill before my next one. As I'm in line at Starbucks, my phone issues a chirp, letting me know I had just received an email. It was Brittaney, with a novel of a response. I read it at least three (maybe more) times before replying...and included my phone number in the replying. She then texted me and things progressed from there...text messaging, Facebook IM, phone calls, etc.

Then, after talking for a couple weeks, I went down to Spring last Thursday and we met for the first time face-to-face and it was wonderful and magical and [insert all kinds of positive, heart-warming adjectives here]. We had breakfast and hung out all day. The hours felt like minutes and it all went by waaaaay too fast. And at the end of the day, when we parted ways, it was painful. I missed her before she was out of sight.

But I knew, from the first moment I saw her, that she was someone special...and special to me.

So let me tell you about Brittaney...

I could say a hundred things about her. She's warm and sweet. She has a knockout smile that makes me melt and bright green eyes into which I can't stop looking.

She's absolutely beautiful and I can't help but tell her every time I talk with her.

She's more than beautiful on the outside, she's beautiful within as well. She's strong and sensitive. She's forthright and honest and loving. And though she openly claims to have many "blonde moments", she's so much smarter than she gives herself credit for.

Just thinking about her makes me smile.

Moreover, Brittaney is a mom...a fantastic, loving mom...and it's the quality I admire most about her.

Brittaney is the mom to cutest little boy, Brayden (AKA "Monkey"). He's almost two-years-old, loves "Cars" (the Pixar movies), and calls me "Choo-Choo" (as in Thomas the Tank Engine).

We haven't met yet...at least face-to-face...but that's coming soon and I can't wait! We have talked on the phone and that's always fun. He also has the most infectious laugh...like even heard in the background over the phone, I can't help but join in.

So, we're committed to each other now. I'm only partially joking when I say that she'll have to chase me off with a stick because now I'm hooked.

I could go on and on...probably embarrassing myself and her (and maybe you) in the process...but I just wanted to introduce everyone to her. I'm looking forward to getting to know her and becoming more and more a part of her life and making her a part of mine. I hope all of you -- family, friends, strangers -- end up caring for as much as I do now.