A few weeks ago, I shared Part One of our story. (Yeah - love story. That's right!) If you haven't read it yet, hop on over and read it before you read part two.
In part one, Mark and I met at a camp for people with disabilities. I met his whole family, and loved them. But Mark and I didn't really connect until the last night of camp, because of a hilarious girl camper with down syndrome.
I call part two "The In-Between". (You'll see later why I call it this.)
|via Silver Jeans Co|
This is also the time where our friendship actually grew, but through unconventional means.
After camp, everyone who worked that summer got a group e-mail about something. And somehow through that, Mark got my e-mail address and e-mailed me just to say hey or something. There might have been a specific reason, but I don't really remember why.
We both e-mailed back and forth for the rest of the summer. It was seriously just friendly, though. Maybe a little of e-mail flirting, but just for fun. Both of us were dating other people, and we were ultimately just interested in each other's lives. The guy I was dating at the time started calling him "Jurgen" after the German soccer player/manager, Jurgen Klinsmann, since they have basically the same last name.
Anyway, Mark and I became friends on Facebook and on Myspace (back in 2006, when Myspace was AWESOME). We continuously made funny comments on each other's posts and pictures for a while. We found out that our birthdays were two days apart and jokingly said that during one birthday, we should go skydiving together (I had made a Myspace post about my bucket list, which included going skydiving). We also made faux-plans to do everything else on my bucket list together, never actually intending any of it to happen.
We called each other on our birthdays to say happy birthday, and later that summer, I went to another camp to work. He wrote me a few e-mails while I was there, the last one asking for prayer because he and his girlfriend of 3ish years had broken up. I said I would, and we kinda lost contact when school started back up.
Meanwhile, I broke up with my then-boyfriend, and a month later started dating someone else. Heh.
In October, I let Mark know that I'd be driving through his town, and asked if he wanted to have lunch. I met him at a McDonald's parking lot right off the highway, walked out, and recieved the best hug ever. (Mark's a good hugger, everyone agrees.) I got into to his car, and we went to a local Mexican restaurant. I remember being self-conscious about what I was wearing.
I don't think there was one silent moment from the moment I got into his car until the moment I got back into mine after lunch. However, it was Mark doing allllll the talking. I remember thinking, "Man, he talks SO much!" I don't think I got a word in. :)
The next month, I hounded him about missing the camp retreat, even though the rest of his family had come.
Around Christmas, I break up with the guy I was dating, while Mark gets back together with his old girlfriend. At the beginning of the spring semester, Mark fractures his foot, and has to miss a lot of school.
We lose contact a bit after this. You know, busy semester, Mark's foot...all the normal excuses. (But I think the real reason we lost contact was that Mark had started dating the same girl again, and was determined to make it work this time.)
At the end of the semester (May 2007), I get an e-mail from Mark. He explains that because of his foot injury at the beginning of the semester, he missed too many classes (2-3 weeks worth), and got a C in calculus when he needed a B. He couldn't afford taking it over again, and also just couldn't afford the private college he was attending anymore. He said he decided to change his major from math to recreational therapy, and wanted to go to Texas State. He said that I was the only person he knew that was currently at Texas State, so he wanted to ask me about it.
I about freaked out, because recreational therapy was my major, which I told him. I also let him know that recreational therapy was a perfect major for him. I then sold Texas State to him like crazy, my main selling point being the ultimate frisbee team (of which he later joined).
Around this time, I had also started dating someone else.
Though we were dating other people, I was excited for him to come to Texas State. There's nothing like camp friends! And I knew he would have a good time at Texas State, so I was just happy for him.
Camp was about to start the next month, and I was going to be on the leadership team with one of Mark's sisters, Kim, who is also one of my best friends (we had kept in close contact, more than Mark and I had, throughout the year). Mark tells me he is not planning on coming to camp at all, and so I think I'll just see him the next semester when he starts school at Texas State.
Little did I know, a whirlwind of a summer was about to start.
END OF PART TWO! I know that these little things might not seem important to the story, but to us, these in-between moments mean everything. I feel if even one of these things hadn't happened, I would be telling you a different story. Maybe even a story without Mark in it!
The in-between is about ups and downs, hot and cold, and is a roller coaster of confusion sometimes. But these memories are SO worth it. If you are in a weird tandem moment, or in the midst of twilight in a relationship (or any other aspect of your life), have hope. But also, just keep going. The weird, tangled mess of the in-between (if it is trying OR even boring) will be filled with lessons you will be SO GLAD you went through.
Can't wait to get to the next part of the story with you!!