I'm ENGAGED! It's still SO weird to say those words out loud. Last Sunday, December 13, 2015 - my partner of 3.5 years who I've written about many times, asked me to marry him! I was 100% completely caught off guard in that moment. I say in that moment, because Fer and I have been talking about marriage for awhile. We knew our relationship was headed in that direction. In the last few months we went ring shopping a few times and I tried on some diamonds. He knew exactly what style I wanted, but the rest was up to him. I wanted to believe it would happen soon because the shopping was so fun and it made it kind of real, but I didn't really know how or when he planned to ask.
For some background information, I am a planner. If Fer and I do anything it has been planned by me. I plan and organize all of our vacations, book our flights, and find the best deals. He is too laid back to deal with it all. That's why I was convinced he would never be able to surprise me or plan anything crazy for our engagement. I figured I would know because I'm an investigator and planner. Well, it turns out I was wrong!
I also had absolutely no expectations for the proposal. That's not to say I doubted Fer, it's just not in his nature to do a crazy proposal and that's fine by me. I told him I don't care how he did it. It could be in the morning when we wake up in bed for all I care; the important thing is he would be asking me to marry him and that's the exciting moment!
Fast forward to the Eagles game - I purchased tickets in early October for our favorite football team as a birthday gift for Fer. We had gone to Eagles games in 2012 and 2013, but didn't get to make it to a game last year. I knew how badly Fer wanted to see them play live, so I went out of my way to get this special birthday gift for him. Little did I know, as soon as I did that he started making his own plan! He had been talking on the phone and emailing Lincoln Financial Field's staff who helped him set up this whole amazing proposal. On Monday before last weekend, I received an email saying I won free sideline passes to the Eagles Bills game and that all I had to do was call to claim them. Well I almost ruined the surprise by calling and grilling the ticket office about whether or not these passes were a scam, but they assured me they were real! We took off for our short weekend in Philly and I didn't think much about a proposal. It had crossed my mind, but I thought if it were to happen it would be on Saturday night while we were out to a nice dinner. Sunday morning when we took off on the subway for the game, I assumed this wasn't an engagement weekend and that was ok, I was going to enjoy the game.
We got our sideline passes and were escorted onto the roped off area on the field where we watched the teams warm up. After about an hour, Swoop (the Philadelphia Eagles mascot) came over to the area where we were (with many other people) and points at me. I thought, "Oh cool, Swoop wants a picture!" He lifted the rope and I crawled under. As soon as I did, he ripped my backwards hat off my head and covered my face with his wing. At this time I just thought he was being silly and taking a funny picture of me! Then he took his wing away from his face and there was my love down on one knee - asking me if I would make his birthday present complete by marrying him. I was completely blown away. I was dumbfounded, in shock, happy, excited, and absolutely elated, and of course I said YES!
The most amazing part of this love story is how I got here. Over the last week I've had to reflect on this amazing proposal, and my life in general, one thing that is true is that I wouldn't have any of this if I didn't decide to embark on a journey of recovery from addiction 2.5 years ago. It's amazing how a decision I thought was small at the time, has triggered so many great outcomes for my life. Recovery has been my shining light that has guided me each and every day to better myself, to grow, to learn, to be open and honest, to accept life on life's terms. Like I've said many times before, recovery has taught me how to love and be loved.
There was a long time when I never thought I'd get married. The truth is, in my days of active addiction, I wasn't looking for love and partnership. I was looking for attention, obsession, and drama from men. I had a backwards view about what love was. I thought a man displaying jealousy meant he cared about me. I thought a man wanting to have sex with me meant that I was desirable and worthy. I desperately needed a man, while love is about wanting, not needing. I equated possessiveness and arguments to passion and love and I never realized this was toxic and wrong.
I self-sabotaged a lot of my relationships. I was always thinking "let me hurt him before he hurts me." The concept of even being close enough to someone to marry them and be with them forever, seemed like something out of the movies, something that wasn't for me. It used to give me anxiety, thinking about being with one person forever.
Then I met Fer. And like I've mentioned before, our partnership wasn't always as good as it is now. It started out like all of my toxic relationships do, because I was the toxic one. But getting sober allowed me to work on myself. Recovery has been the key to excluding the immature desperation, drama, and distorted views of love that had previously tainted my love life. It has allowed me to truly see my worth. It has given me the opportunity to learn how to love myself and realize I can be a good partner. It helps that Fer accepts me exactly as I am. He loves me unconditionally, supports me in everything, and gives me the freedom to be who I am.
I find in so many relationships one partner is trying desperately to change the other. If only he would do this, say this, buy this etc. What I've found is that you have to love your partner exactly as they are - imperfect and flawed, or it will never work. A relationship really is a partnership - two whole people coming together and sharing their lives. After all, we're all just looking for someone whose baggage goes with ours.
I've never been so sure about something in my life. Nothing makes more sense to me than sharing my life with my best friend. Celebrating our partnership and making it legal under the law is just the next step in our evolution as life partners.
Thank you Fer for loving me, for sharing every beautiful day of your life with me, for choosing this life adventure with me, and most for all, for just being who you are! Te amo con todo mi alma.
Our engagement was featured on the Philadelphia local news, you can watch it here.