Ever since high school, Dave Matthews Band has made me think of about a guy I once shared brainwaves and heart-rhythms with. When I was 15, my thoughts were dreamy and slightly intoxicated with the hope of intertwining lives. My junior year of college, my thoughts were reeling from the Other Girl, the beauty pageant winner who voided every effortless laugh I had shared with him.
We never dated, but he inspired me to write and to live music and to run in the rain. Friends thought I would never need another muse. Friends thought I got engaged on the rebound from a relational paradise lost.
But the truth is that my muse was never mine–a fact I didn’t fully accept until he chose blonde hair over red. Once sober, I realized some other facts too: that his passion for life did not connect to a solid purpose, that our similarities of thought and personality would have driven us into a hole of brilliant moodiness.
I am earnestly grateful that I ended up recognizing a blurry-eyed obsession for what it was and saying “yes” to the right man. Dan’s soul provides the solidarity I’ve always needed, and our purposes for life blend together flawlessly. He keeps me laughing, but even more, he provides the optimism to balance out what I glumly call “realism.” Our eyes sparkle simultaneously when we talk about traveling, when we walk into a concert, when we snuggle together in restaurant booths.
One year ago, for our anniversary, Dan took me to a Dave Matthews show under the Pennsylvania stars. I stood barefoot in the grass, pressed up against my husband of three years, and never once thought about the boy that got away. I was supremely happy to be with the man who loves the red glints in my hair and encourages me relentlessly to be the Me I want most to be.
Now, with our second daughter on the way and an impending move to Italy to chase our dreams, I know more deeply than ever that I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with my husband. You could probably call that a high school daydream all grown up.