This is a little tale about my sweetheart. It’s also about learning how to love, how to forgive, and how to say yes to the things that may not be so popular. Contrary to what you may be thinking, this entry actually isn’t about the movie drama Sleepless In Seattle, but instead, a short tell-all about my very own love story.
Readers welcome to my love life.
To date, I have been in a relationship for nearly 2 years — next month on July 11, 2017, we’ll officially hit the big milestone. I have to say, making it this far is beyond me. I haven’t had the best of luck in this area in the past. I credit the duration of our partnership to quite a few things, but I have to say that maturity has been the catalyst. Now before you start to think that our relationship has been all sunshine and rainbows, let me stop you. It’s been quite the contrary. We’ve had our share of hiccups, to say the least. However, what I’ve learned is that these bumps in the road have actually defined our love and affection for one another. It’s pretty funny how you grow to appreciate someone you’ve struggled with. So let’s take it from the top; where it all began.
I’ve told you all about how I fell in love with Trei Palmore, but what I haven’t shared with you is when I knew he was the one.
Last December, we’d hit rock bottom. Our honeymoon phase had vanished and we were just going through the motions. You know how the story goes, we’d just gotten too comfortable. We were on the heels of many life-changing events. I had graduated college a few months prior and so had he, I signed a lease for an apartment of my own and started my first full-time job. We were outgrowing friendships, and feeling lost in our identities. Frankly, were under a great deal of stress as individuals. So naturally, our stress quickly spilled into our relationship. And like the young couple that we are, we weren’t too great at balancing all of the change. The arguing had hit an all-time high and things didn’t feel so magical. We started having our doubts if we could ride the storm and make this thing work. So after a very challenging disagreement, I made the hardest decision of our relationship – I suggested that we take some time to reevaluate and I broke it off…
Months went on as we struggled to take some time to think things through. For a while, we blamed one another. Then we blamed ourselves. Until one day we just stopped pointing fingers and did some honest self-reflection. Trei decided to move back to Washington for a while to be close to the ones who know him best – his family. Just when I thought that this was the end of our love story, it was actually the beginning.
His absence left a gaping hole in my heart. Watching him board his plane was the most painful experience I’d had with love to date. I’ve never cried so hard. But I didn’t know why. I had done the right thing by walking away from a relationship that had lost its sparkle…right?
I thought that the time apart was what we needed, but I couldn’t help but feel that I had just let my love walk away.
By this time, the holidays were just around the corner and Trei wanted one gift for Christmas. Me. (How adorably cliché of him right?). So with no hesitation, I packed my bags and flew to Washington. I had no plan, no agenda, and no idea what outcome I wanted from this journey but I guess it was just love calling.
Now let me rewind a bit to add another layer to this story. The break up scarred many more people than just the two of us. It had hurt our families and many people we had called friends. Many were no longer supportive due to the events that took place. So let’s just say, I didn’t have a roaring crowd cheering me on as I boarded my flight to the Pacific Northwest. Like with most family and friends, they only want what’s best for us, but often times they stand in the way of what we truly want. And despite the lack of faith, I knew in my heart that Trei and I had something special and I was determined to find out.
So without looking back, I went to see my man.
I will never forget the embrace we shared when he saw me in the terminal. We hadn’t seen each other in weeks and our connection could have moved mountains. The entire airport erupted when we kissed. In that moment, nothing else mattered. I questioned nothing as he held me in his arms. His hugs have always fit me like a glove. We didn’t have a care in the world what people were thinking or what our friends would say, we were right where we needed to be.
We left our past behind us and ventured into the cloudy city. That evening, we had the most authentic, raw, and unfiltered conversation. We were open and vulnerable as we tried to articulate what made our bond so special. It didn’t make any sense, and we were crazy about each other; just the right mix of things that create the fiercest relationships. I had been so guilty of thinking about everyone else in our relationship. I was so concerned with what others thought of us; their opinions and their feelings. But in the midst of pleasing everyone else, I’d forgotten what I wanted. What did Paige want?
I wanted a real love. Not like the ones in the Disney movies. Come on girls, we all know that the Cinderella story isn’t real by now right?
So for the first time in my adult life, I put my fear aside and thought with my gut. Real love doesn’t start or end with a magical gaze or a horse-drawn carriage. Instead, its woven by hard times laughs from the depths of your stomach, arguments that sometimes make you cry, and the understanding that you’ll do whatever it takes to keep your relationship healthy. But it’s sometimes about second chances and the fearlessness of starting over. I took a leap of faith and let love win.
And I haven’t regretted it a day since.
Our trip to Seattle rekindled our love and redefined us as a couple. We were able to mature as young adults and decide that love isn’t all roses. It’s about the difficult times and about focusing on the two people in the relationship.
Trei is, and will always be my very best friend, my voice of reason, and sometimes my tough love when I need a push. He’s seen the ugly cry. Yeah, the one with red puffy eyes and makeup running down my cheeks. He truly makes me feel like the only woman in the world. Not because he tells me I’m beautiful 500+ times a day, but because I have no shame in looking like a homeless person with him…and I still feel like a princess. I feel the freedom to look and behave as my truest self without fear of judgment or rejection. He is my safe place and my comfort in this crazy life. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I want to strangle him. But it never lasts too long 😉
He’s been there through my first car accident, my first day of college, and my last. He’s been my rock through my parent’s divorce after 27 years. My comedian, my pillow, and my daily talk show. He is my right hand. He fills in the glue that fills in the cracks. My strength when I’m weak and my teacher in areas of opportunity. I wouldn’t want this adventure with anyone else. Trei is the man who I want to have endless adventures with, struggle with and grow with, and build a life with.
I never thought that Trei would be that person and like a truck, his love hit me. He is the best thing that I never knew I needed. Friends, let me just share with you that the best love stories aren’t written by Walt Disney. They are written by two people who are willing to test the limits, challenge the status quo, and will go above all to be the best of themselves for the one they love.
Trei Anthony Lawrence Palmore is all of these things to me and many more. But I’ll spare you the rest. For those of you who are still looking, stop. I don’t wish that you find your knight in shining armor because honey, that man isn’t real. I hope that one day, he finds you. If you’re crazy enough to have a love story like me, you don’t have to look too far. He’s probably right in front of you.
Seattle was the canvas for my fairytale. What’s yours?