Serendipity

Serendipity: the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.

This is the story and the serendipitous way that my husband and I met and came to be. For this, I will need to take you back to October 1989 when my mother was giving birth to me and my husbands mom was my moms labor and delivery nurse. It’s that real. We have come to the conclusion that we had to have been around each other our whole lives and never noticed each other. From playing soccer when we were 5 years old to high school events. It’s like we just passed by each other and never actually connected. Finally, June 27, 2009 I met my future husband and didn’t even like him. He was a troll (loser in beer pong) doing push ups under a beer pong table because he was THAT guy. I had RBF (Resting Bitch Face) to the extreme back then so I hit him with that and didn’t think twice. Throughout the night and quite a few Rolling Rocks later I ended up really hitting it off with him. I honestly don’t really remember much from the rest of the evening, but I definitely remember the morning after…

I wasn’t really into dating or talking to guys at that point in my life. I was more interested in partying and having the most fun possible. I laid in bed thinking of a strategy to get out of the bed and grab my stuff without waking him up. So I did my best and ran out the door to my car only to find out that I had left my cell phone IN THE ROOM of a house I had never been to other than that night. Here I am at 6am on a Sunday walking that walk of shame back into the house and down the quiet hall to the bedroom I had just had a one night stand in. I was mortified. I reach for my phone thinking, “I’m so awesome, I’m totally going to get away with this.” Then as I turn to walk out of the bedroom door he says, “You’re not even going to give me your number?”

We ended up spending the next few months hanging out, he went off to boot camp, and eventually about 8 months later he got stationed in Italy for two years. TWO YEARS. Back then I was young and dumb. I thought he would definitely forget about me and I would never see him again. I could NEVER let him know how I truly felt about him even though we were spending almost everyday together since he had gotten back from boot camp. The night before he left for Italy he wasn’t going to come say goodbye and I took that seriously so personal. Now that I think about it, he probably just wanted to hang with his family and I was his girlfriend at the time so it’s not like we were never going to see each other again. (He came over anyway) We had planned to Skype whenever we could and talk as much as possible but in my 20 year old brain I was literally thinking of all the ways this could end… other Italian girls he could be with instead of me or how long distance relationships never work.

Fast forward two weeks, I saw pictures of him with some girls on a bridge and it looked like he was into them. I KNEW he was playing me. By the way, he was a major flirt aka man whore back then and I was a huge bitch. To everyone. I ended up sabotaging everything which I later came to find out was due to my abandonment issues stemming from childhood. That’s a whole other topic in itself. There are many other negative things that transpired from that incident and it really is something I do regret. I later found out that he really did liked me a lot and was actually just meeting those girls. We ended things in a pretty nasty way and we both went about our lives. I moved to San Francisco to attend culinary school at the California Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Bleu. He was a Navy Corpsman working in an ER on base in Italy. Life was great for both of us.

I had started seeing someone who I had met on a dating site called POF (Plenty of Fish). I know… a dating site… I was new to San Francisco and dating for that matter. I had to start somewhere. I ended up being with this person for two years. During our time together in San Francisco it was amazing. I was falling in love. He went to the same culinary school as me. He was a year ahead of me so I was learning so many things from him and I definitely utilized that to advance in all my classes. I have always been very into school. My then significant other was also very into school so I pretty much had decided I had met “the one” and I was going to marry him.

My now husband, Chris, was in Italy living his best life partying, sleeping with women, playing softball, and traveling. He was seriously living his BEST LIFE. It had to have been about three months since we had stopped talking and cut each other out of our lives when I received a text from a weird random number. It was Chris. He was seeing how I was doing and what I had been up to since we split. I didn’t know at the time that this would be an ongoing pattern with us for about 5 years. We reconnected just at the time that I was really falling in love with this other guy. Great timing right? Timing was always our issue. We could never get it right. We spent the next few months Skyping and texting a lot. A LOT. I was Skyping him after I got out of class at 10pm PST which was 7am in Italy. We would talk for hours. Well, until my now boyfriend who was LIVING WITH ME got home from work around 2am PST. Chris basically became my best friend. I couldn’t wait to talk to him every night.

In September of 2011, I had decided to drop out of culinary school and move to Riverside, CA with that one guy I met in culinary school. Yeah, we stayed together. He had just graduated culinary school and convinced me that moving to his parents in Riverside would be a really great opportunity for us to save money and possibly work in a restaurant in Los Angeles. I dropped out of culinary school and became a sous chef in Los Angeles. I had the skills and I loved every minute of my time working there but something was just not right. I wasn’t fulfilled. I was really missing home. I wasn’t feeling connected to my boyfriend. I was still texting Chris every now and again to catch up. I then decided in January 2012 to move home. Well not really home, more like an hour away from home in a bigger city. I became a kitchen manager there for a really hot new sports bar. That was the beginning of a downward spiral for me.

It’s now March 2012, I had a great job, my boyfriend moved back in with me which I thought was the ultimate gesture since he was really comfortable living with his parents still. *Eye roll* I got a text from Chris saying he was coming home and he was going to be stationed at 29 Palms. Oh my god. I was so torn by this. I new Chris was the person I was going to end up with but timing was never right. Was it right this time? Was I going to break up with my boyfriend so I could try and make it work with this guy who doesn’t have his priorities straight, who parties like an animal and who had a huge appetite for all things women? I broke up with my boyfriend because I knew I wasn’t happy anymore if I was thinking about Chris this way. It was the hardest most saddest thing I ever had to do. It was basically like I was living with my best friend and being roommates instead of intimate partners. It had to be done.

Chris and I didn’t get together yet mostly because I had a new love interest soon after I had broken up with my culinary school boyfriend and Chris was again living his best life in Southern California and gearing up for deployment to Afghanistan. It was a guy I worked with at the sports bar. He was security and he had this swagger about him. The way he talked to me, the way he looked at me, the way he danced with me and he was also very into partying just like me. Dating him was the absolute worst thing I had ever decided to do and if I could turn back time I would most definitely change that. Fuck saying things like, “it was a learning experience,” or “I grew and became a different person and found myself.” I did, however, grow and find myself after spending two years with an overbearing, egotistical, narcissistic, abusive prick and then fleeing from his grasp with the help of my mom and some friends.

It is now May 2014. I officially moved home. Like home home. My moms house. If you have ever had to move home after you fucked your whole life up, you know it is the worst feeling having to move back in with your parents and start over. I had a lot of mental issues the months following the break up and I turned to drinking a lot. Chris was about to get out of the military and move home in August. In July 2014, I was arrested for a DUI. It was rock bottom. I was lost. I was thriving in my work life as a shift manager at Panera Bread. In my personal life, I was a mess. I turned everything around and figured my shit out. Got my DUI stuff taken down to a wet and reckless charge and I had completed all of the drug and alcohol classes. I was ready for a fresh start.

August 2014. Enter Christopher Durbin. We drank our lives away for about two months and one night we were showering together and I pushed him in a drunken anger and he almost fell and cracked his head on my toilet so he was done. He was really upset and the rest of the night was kind of a blur. He woke up bright and early the next day, grabbed his handle of Sailor Jerrys and he was out. I knew he was done for real. I had to make more changes and stop the drinking. I have a history of alcoholism in my family and its always been easy for me to just drink a twelve pack to myself. I had switch locations at work to my store in my hometown so I didn’t have to commute an hour for work anymore. I had stopped drinking. I had lost about 20lbs. I was living my best life.

New Years 2015. Chris texted me saying Happy New Years and I sent him a picture back of me flipping him off. It was like love at first text. I was a giddy little girl and I wanted to see him so badly. I had no idea what I was about to see. On January 5th, my great-grandmother’s birthday, he invited me over to his very small studio apartment. He was about 50lbs heavier and basically looked like shit. I knew something was wrong. I asked him what happened. He laughed. We have always had this matter of fact type relationship where we could just be ourselves. Little did I know he was dealing with PTSD from Afghanistan and he really didn’t want to live anymore. He ended up taking a whole bottle of my Xanax. (Needed the good stuff from my breakup with the prick.) He took them all, passed out in his bathtub and slept for about 18 hours.

I didn’t even know he had done that until about a year later. He now tells people I saved him. That I’m the one who brought purpose and meaning back to his life. I don’t know if I should take all the credit for his reasoning to stay in this world but I am really happy that he didn’t leave me. We became officially Facebook official *eye roll* May 19, 2015. Geez… that was a long story. It doesn’t end there though… We got engaged Dec 2015. We got married on July 2016. I quit my job and became self-employed in January 2017. I had our first baby girl on April 2017. We had our second baby girl Feb 2019. Chris is now apart of a group called the Veterans Cannabis Group. They help veterans get the medical attention they need, the medical marijuana they need, and try and get them employed. So many veterans can’t figure out how to transition back into civilian life after they had their whole life structured for them in the military. Especially if they had deployed and have PTSD. They need the proper counseling and less prescription drugs to get addicted to. Chris has a plan to get veteran retreats up and running in the next year or two so he can really help veterans get to where they need to be mentally. Time feels like it is flying by. We have had ups and downs and so many changes with both of us. Our marriage isn’t perfect but we try every day. We have had a long crazy ride getting to where we are now but I wouldn’t change any part of our journey. The universe works in mysterious ways and I really do believe we are soul mates. It took us forever to figure it out.

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