Former wild child here so this is a hard one to narrow down, BUT Krystal Wade is hosting a Wildest Moments contest for the release of her new book, Wilde's Meadow.
And she wants to know our wildest LIFE-CHANGING moment, in celebration of her third book in the Wilde series. Like I said, I've never been deprived of wild moments, but most were spontaneous whimsy that didn't actually change my life.
Which led me to this one moment I'm going to share with you, because it made me into a better, stronger person. Sorry it's long.
When I was 21 I moved back to my hometown from college town and met someone, fell in love, and began a relationship. This guy, whom I'll call Bronx (since that's where he was originally from) was the kind of guy that is what I call magnetic. His charisma, his wit, his humor, his looks, his style. Everything about him was compelling. I fell hard, and we continued a three year relationship that I wish I could say was a bed of roses.
It was far from it. Bronx liked to flake out on the spur of the moment. He was young, like me, but also self-absorbed, and even though the stunts he'd pull could've been from mere immaturity, they were the kind of stunts that hurt and made me question what it was I wanted and needed in a relationship. Every day.
Ah, but love is so fickle and stubborn, isn't it?? It didn't matter what Bronx did to hurt me, I always found a way to forgive and get past it. I wanted it to work. I loved him, and I loved being with him. I was willing to sacrifice some of my convictions in order to have him in my life because he was that magnetic.
He proposed to me, at Thanksgiving, many years ago, and I accepted. We were engaged and I had a diamond ring. I was ecstatic. It all appeared to be working out and I was going to get to marry my guy. Except, every time I'd mention setting a date, he'd change the subject. Or shrug. After a few months, I began to understand that the engagement ring was not a beginning of a life together, but instead, a kind of layaway plan in exchange for my loyalty. He gave me a ring to keep me around while he went off and did his own thing. I came last. Our relationship came last. There were never any wedding plans.
I was utterly confused. This was supposed to be the happiest time of my life and instead, I spent most evenings alone in tears. I was 23 at the time (so young when I look back at it now) and I should've been at the top of my game. I was doubting everything about myself because the guy who asked me to marry him didn't really want me around. Oh, he'd call and stop by, as if he were doing me a great favor, but there was no depth to it.
I wondered what was wrong with me. How could I be better? What should I do to fix whatever mistakes I'd made? How could I change to suit him better? I didn't understand it was him and not me that needed some adjusting. The final straw was when my birthday rolled around and he never called. That was it. He'd been elusive for months before then, but that was the real eye-opener. I was done.
So there I was: heartbroken and with zero confidence. Something had to change, and fast. In my wildest moment(s) of clarity, I took off the ring, put it away, and booked myself a trip to Europe. My family thought I was nuts, but I didn't care. I left it all behind and flew to Italy alone where I spent two weeks touring the country and re-discovering myself. Rome, Florence, Venice, Tuscany ... showed me there was so much beauty in the world and to stop feeling sorry for myself. I soaked in all the art and culture and architecture and it repaired what was broken inside me.
That trip was a self-defining experience that gave me back the strength and confidence Bronx had whittled away. This was all way before that book Eat, Pray, Love came out so it had nothing to do with that... pure coincidence.
When I came home, I was refreshed and renewed and %100 completely over Bronx. I didn't hear from him again until months later when he showed up un-announced to get the ring back. Yeah, the one he told me to keep. What a sleaze.
As luck would have it, I met the man I WOULD marry about a year later and he is everything I wanted and needed in a husband. Thankfully, I never married Bronx as I'm sure it would've resulted in a divorce and ever more unhappiness. These things have a way of working out.
Thanks so much for sharing my wildest moment with me. Do you have one to share? There's still time to enter the contest and help spread the word about Krystal's book! Click on the picture above to learn more. Or tell me about something in the comments. I love hearing from you!