I noticed him the minute I walked into the building on my first day. He had brought some patients down to the cafeteria for lunch, and he was standing there talking to one of them when I saw him. I've never been one to base first impressions on looks or a person's reputation - honestly, the first thing that peaked my interest was his facial expressions when he was talking. (The looks and his good name were just a bonus in the end!) He was so animated...and he had the patient's complete attention. They both seemed to be enjoying whatever conversation they were having, and all I could think was, "I wish he was working on my floor!" I immediately wanted to learn how to do that.
Much to my surprise, 15 minutes later he walked into the office of the unit I was assigned to and introduced himself as a counselor on the floor. He told me he'd been working there for a few years and he especially liked working with the adolescent population. After just 5 minutes of talking to him, I had decided I was going to cling to him like a barnacle for the rest of the rotation and pick his brain until I knew everything there was to know about working in adolescent psych. Over the next few months, that was exactly what I did.
I was so lucky with my clinical assignment - I was put on a unit full of employees who were there because they loved the job. The staff worked as a well-oiled machine, and I desperately wanted to be a part of it. I tried to gain as much knowledge as possible from my experience there, and I definitely didn't leave disappointed.
On my last day of the rotation, I was beyond sad. I didn't want to move on to our next assignment (I cannot express how much I wasn't looking forward to med surg...) and spent most of the morning in a fog, dreading the moment I would leave that unit for the last time. I had met so many wonderful people there - I couldn't fathom enjoying another clinical like that.
My husband was working on my last shift. He was about to go on his lunch break and I was going to be gone by the time he came back. He came up to me and started rambling on about "if you ever need a reference" and "good luck in school" and then he handed me a little folded up piece of paper with his phone number on it. I was completely confused...this confident man I had been watching for the past few months was suddenly stumbling over his words and couldn't quite meet my eyes when he was talking to me. I had no idea why he seemed so uncomfortable, and it wasn't until after he was gone that I figured it out. (One of the other staff members actually had to spell it out for me.) I called him the next day and scheduled our first date.
During those first few weeks, I was deliriously happy. (Still am!) I didn't know that relationships could be like that. We had so much common, and we shared the same views on the things that were most important to me. It was surreal the way he seemed to be made just for me. He was a combination of everything I wanted in a partner - even the weird quirky parts that I never thought I'd find.
We've been together for over 4 years now, married for a little over 1. There is not a day that goes by that I don't thank the universe for giving him to me. I feel like I'm finally whole. I have everything I ever dreamed of, and I am so grateful.
My advice to everyone is this - don't settle. You never know where or when you'll run into the person who suddenly makes your world come into focus.
I hope everyone gets the chance to love someone this much at least once in their lifetime.