Photographer: Matt Clayton
8 years ago Mr. Branflake and I started dating in the summer knowing that come Fall he would go back to school two states away in Utah. As summer came to an end we had to decide: break up and carry on with our lives, have me move out to Utah and follow him, have him transfer to a school in California, or try a long distance relationship. In his eyes, if we went the long distance route our relationship's chances of surviving were slim (he is the most pragmatic and logical person on earth). In my eyes, there was no one else I wanted to marry but him.
By this point we had only been dating for, um, maybe two months. I knew I wanted to marry Mr. Branflake. He, as boys typically are, was a little unsure although he knew he loved me and was the first to tell me so.
So I picked up all my bags and moved to Utah. I left behind an awesome job as a behavior therapist, my family, my friends, and my schooling. But I didn't mind because I knew he was the man for me.
I know what you're thinking: This does not sound like the smart, independent, sassy pants Branflake we all know. And you're right- I am a totally different person than I was eight years ago. I moved away without even a ring on my finger or a promise of marriage. Heck, I didn't even have a job lined up for me in Utah. But I did have an apartment lined up (thank goodness).
It could have easily turned out very badly.
But I told him "Don't worry. If it doesn't pan out between us then I'll just move back to California or find me another man out in Utah." I, at least, did have a plan b and c.
I viewed this as an adventure and just like any adventure there would be highs and lows and unexpected encounters. Looking back, one might have thought my life was horrible. I was juggling four part time low paying jobs, my roommates were crazy (CRAZY!) and most nights I didn't see Mr. Branflake until about ten at night after his classes were done. But I was happy, really happy. I have no explanation other than that I loved an adventure and I knew one day I would look back and just laugh at the absurdity of it all.
Okay, that's not entirely true. I was also convinced that if I stayed long enough I'd eventually get a proposal. I did (obviously) but I cringe to think I was that girl who gave up everything for love. I don't know if it's romantic or weak (or maybe both) but it is what it is and it turned out wonderfully. He is the epitome of the perfect guy.
Seriously, if you don't think Mr. Branflake is the sweetest guy ever you need to read this and this and this and this.
Have you ever given up everything for love?
How did it turn out?