- Senior Year in High School -
I have been blessed because God revealed to me very early in life what my calling was. Since 8th grade, I knew I wanted to be a physician. My parents and I started talking about college plans the fall semester of my senior year. They had always envisioned me going to UT Arlington and living at home. Being a normal teenager, I wanted to go away to school and get out "on my own," with mom and dad helping me to fund this adventure of course. We debated on this issue for weeks. Lucky for me, my best friend's mom met with my parents and helped them to see the light- that going away to school would be very helpful in my development as an adult. Translation: Bye, bye Arlington!
- How I became an Aggie -
For some reason, Texas A&M was the only school my parents really considered as an option. On my senior college day, they drove down to College Station to tour Aggieland while I was stuck in Arlington taking a test. They fell in love with the place! It was settled. I would become an Aggie. I was afraid that they would both try and enroll themselves. I still owe my mom for filling out my application for me. don't worry, I did my own essay.
- College Station -
Finding my niche at A&M didn't take long. I got involved in several organizations, my favorite being Fish Camp. What a unique and awesome experience. I met some of the most interesting, outgoing and loyal individuals that I am lucky to call friends. The most rewarding Fish Camp experience hands down was becoming a co-chair for Camp Boenig . My partner Jeff McDonnell and I selected 24 counselors. Together we would take on Lakeview, introducing our freshman to all of the traditions and camaraderie that make A&M so unique. And it was finally my turn for Dueling Watermelons!!
- The Crush -
And if you haven't guessed it, Luke was one of my 24 counselors. From the beginning, I knew he was the strong, silent type who was dependable and would complete whatever task he was given. He didn't say much, so when he did talk people listened. He had great timing, delivering his one liners and making us all laugh. But the funniest thing would happen whenever I tried to talk to Luke- I would freeze up. Me, the girl who could talk to a wall, had finally met someone that left her tongue tied and groping for things to say. I felt shy and awkward. I think our longest conversation was two minutes. However, I was still in denial about my feelings for Luke.
- At Lakeview -
My conversation skills improved over the next five to six months, and I interacted a lot with Luke at Fish Camp. Now for those of you who aren't familiar with Fish Camp, relationships between camp counselors and co-chairs are frowned upon. They don't want things to get out of control before we even meet the freshmen. But I found plenty of time to dote on Luke, making him sandwiches along with his freshman who was a finicky eater.
- Spilling the Beans -
I will never forget the moment of realization. I was watching Luke perform our Back Street Boy skit from the back of the camp room with Jeff as he videotaped. Luke was Kevin, who happened to be my favorite member of the group (I know- I am such a teenie bopper!). I lean over to Jeff and whisper how ironic it is that Luke is Kevin because of my crush on Luke. At that moment, I notice that I had spoken directly into the microphone- awkward!! Lucky for me, this will forever be preserved on our camp video.
- Life After Camp -
Once camp was over, dating was no longer taboo. It didn't take long for us to start dating (we are so "undefined") and we've never looked back.
- Senior Year in High School -
If you're wondering how Kristy and I never met in High School, both living just off 1-20 and only 20 minutes apart. It's probably due to the fact that we had pretty much nothing in common. I was a band nerd; Kristy was a cheer-leader. I was more introverted, and well you know her. I was still trying to grow into my head and expand my whopping 145 lb frame; she was making boys cry and falling through glass tables. But we did have a few things in common, we both were state competitors in what we did and we were both under one roof cheering on our respective volleyball teams at the Martin vs. Duncanville playoff game. Of course Duncanville mopped the floor with Martin (thanks to a now WNBA pro name Tamika Catchings), so bad in fact, that neither of us noticed the other.
- How I Became An Aggie -
I was blessed by God to have absolutely no idea what I wanted to do early in my life. And when it came to making a college decision I went by the one thing I believe every prospective college student should strongly consider, how good is the current football program? So when I got wait-listed by Notre Dame, I was all out of options. Luckily, back in the day, Texas A&M automatically admitted anybody in the top 10% of their high school class who could lick a stamp and find a mailbox. Well I was in and I didn't even have to pretend to like burnt orange!
- College Station -
I don't know that I ever did find my 'niche' in college, but in the beginning I sure did want to shed the insecurities of high school.
Particularly my social skills. or lack thereof. This drove me to interview for quite a few organizations and by God's grace I actually made it into a couple (for the record my batting average was a consistant .500 .pretty good for baseball!) In any case, these events did lead me to find myself a counselor in Kristy (then Wino)'s camp.
- The Crush -
Apparently I did make her tongue-tied because I don't remember that we even really talked until the summer months just before camp. And that was mostly due to the shear amount of hours we spent working in such close proximity that a few words couldn't be helped. However, we did hang out enough times before camp (her best friend and my best friend were also in a camp together) that I told a friend, Kristy would be mine. (not until after camp, of course!) Kristy then proceeded to make it really easy by confessing her love for me on video tape. to be watched, rewound, rewatched, re-rewound, re-rewatched, etc.. by everybody at the after-camp party, thanks to her understanding co-chair partner, Jeff.
- The Good, Bad and ..Ugly? -
I'd love to say we rode off into the proverbial sunset to live 'happily-ever-after'. But fairy-tale characters apparently aren't as selfish as I am. We definitely had our good times, our bad times and unfortunately some ugly times. In fact, a couple times we almost weren't a 'we'.
Thank God for God, because it wasn't until He grabbed me, slapped me around a bit and woke me up that I was able to shift my attention from Kristy to Him. From that point on, Kristy and my relationship started a total 180. I no longer saw my future limited to a white-picket fence, steady job, 1.2 kids and boooooring. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that life, it's just not mine! Not my dream nore my purpose. To me, that kind of future makes me want to purchase a gun and two bullets.just in case the first one doesn't quite get the job done! (Alright, maybe that's a bit harsh...but to me a life without purpose or achieving my purpose is no life at all!) I finally wasn't looking to Kristy for my happiness. Instead, I now saw her as intended; as someone who makes me better and helps me go farther then I can go alone (and vise versa). Someone who will help me achieve my dreams and not someone who will snuff them out.
I don't want to speak for her, but soon after my change I watched the same change take place in her. We have such a great relationship now! Still far from perfect, and you can't avoid the bad, but at least any ugly is gone. Kristy is an amazing spirit, and I can't wait to see how far we go in life because I know it's gonna be miles farther then I could ever go by myself!