Some of you don't know the story of where we began and might think something along the lines of, "Well that was quick."
Honestly it really wasn't. The story of me and Ian began five years ago at BYU-Idaho...
I signed up for my first film seminar class and my first screenwriting class in the winter of 2010. I walked into the film seminar class and was vaguely aware of a cute guy with glasses and perfectly swooped hair. The teacher started his schpeal on movies and began to ridicule Jurassic Park and its ending with the T. Rex who saves the day. Well, I wasn't going to stand for that so I raised my hand and made a snarky comment defending the epicness of Jurassic Park and decided that this teacher was kind of an idiot, so I got up soon after speaking my mind and left the class. I wasn't going to put up with a teacher who had no respect for Jurassic Park and early Speilberg movies! So I snuck out, thinking no one noticed my absence.
Little did I know, that the guy with glasses and perfectly swooped hair did notice me and my absence and had wanted to talk to me after the class ended.
Fast forward a few days later when I walked into the screenwriting class that same week. It was a nighttime class starting around 7:00 and ending at about 9:30 once a week. As I walked in the classroom, I scanned the room for any attractive guys I could sit next too, when my eyes landed on that same adorably boyish guy with glasses and swooped hair. I made my way over to him, sat in the desk right next to him and I think said something like "Is this the screenwriting class?" To which he responded something along the lines of "I hope so."
Since then, our screenwriting teacher, Sister Gilbert, put us in every collaborating group for the rest of the semester. But as luck would have it, every time we tried to plan a critique group session during the week, me and Ian were the only ones who showed up. I had thought that maybe it was on purpose and that Ian was trying to hit on me/ask me out but I was surprised to realize he genuinely wanted to talk about screenwriting and movies. This made me even more interested in him because of how genuine and unassuming he was.
Soon our collaboration group get togethers would be less about movies and scripts and more about life in general; what we liked and didn't like, failed relationships, our aspirations for the future and so on and so forth.
But, obviously, we didn't date right away. Ian was interested in someone and to be honest, I was still pretty young and immature. In spite of us dating other people, for whatever reason, we still remained close friends and we always ended up talking for hours and hours on end, whether it was on the phone or via facebook.
Fast forward to 2013.
|my mission farewell in Utah, April 2013|
I decided that, through impressions at church and personal prayers, that Heavenly Father wanted me to go on a mission. I told no one I was going other than my mom and my bishop for the longest time.
The only other person I told was Ian.
The night I told him that I was going on a mission was the night he told me that he loved me. Needless to say, I was shocked and a little annoyed but he backed up his thought by telling me that the Lord needed me right now. And that I belonged to Heavenly Father for the next 18 months.
Our friendship deepened more as I drew closer to my return to Georgia before my mission in Brazil and we "dated" in the weeks that followed until then. However I knew that he was a good-looking guy and doubted that he'd "wait" for me for a year and a half. You could maybe call that pessimism but I just call that realism. I wasn't going to get my hopes up on a guy that I'd been in love with for the past three years. Yet in my heart of hearts I always felt drawn to him and he was and still is quite literally my best friend.
I left on my mission August 21st and for the first four months of my mission I heard sporadically from Ian. I wasn't too bothered by this, mostly because I assumed he was dating other people but I enjoyed when I did get the occasional email from him.
Soon, into my fifth month I started hearing from him more often, and then I would get an email in my inbox every week. I won't share the specifics of the emails and letters here, mostly because they are special but suffices to say that he told me he was waiting for me and that I had all the qualities he wanted in a future wife.
Still, I was dubious. Not that I doubted him so much as I doubted the many attractive girls who were in Utah and filled his social/family therapy classes. But every email for the next year strengthened my faith that maybe he was serious. Many of my missionary companions were more convinced than I that I would marry him as soon as I got off the plane.
A few days after I was released as a missionary at the end of February, I had my first phone call from Ian. Even though I was incredibly skittish and strange being a newly returned missionary, he was very patient and understanding as I tried to figure out if he was really who I wanted to date and marry. The only issue was, I was in Georgia without much funds, and he was in Utah finishing up his undergrad.
From about March to April we essentially dated long distance. As much as I tried convincing myself and him that we needed to date in the same state and date for a while before things got serious, it came to a point where I didn't want to wait anymore. With each FaceTime call it grew harder and harder to not be talking with him and to be so far away from him.
Finally, I got a job interview for the dream job of mine (the Liahona magazine) and didn't tell Ian I was flying out for it. He just assumed they were phone interviews. With the help of one of my best girl friends, Stacey, I flew in and stayed at her place and she drove me to my interviews. That night, after my interviews were done, Stacey drove me to his house and we waited for him to get home off of his internship. When I saw him rounding the corner to go up the stairs to his apartment I yelled his name and nearly scared the crap out of him. When he realized who I was, I'll never forget the look on his face as long as I live. It was like a man who'd been denied water for days and had finally gotten a waterfall.
He hugged me and didn't kiss me (though he was worried about making Stacey uncomfortable) and for the next few days we just enjoyed being with each other for the first time in a long time.