A Love Story

A little less than two months ago, a major announcement at work turned my world upside down, and I wasn’t sure I’d still have a job by the end of it. A week after the announcement, I’d filed for a license to start my own editing business. Apparently the potential change was the kick in the pants I’d needed to take the leap. My husband had been constantly nudging me in the direction of pursuing this passion for years. He jokes (accurately so) that he can tell me something a million times without me listening, but as soon as someone else says the exact same thing, I listen to them. While this wasn’t a “someone” that told me what he’d been telling me all along, it was an outside influence that finally got me to do it.

As I type this, we are celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary today. I’m in the office writing this post while he’s in the next room playing a video game. Instead of making this blog post about writing, editing, or anything related, I’m writing this post about him and about us.

Our Unconventional Story

When I was young, I’d always enjoyed video games but never considered myself a gamer. I remember having a Game Boy and playing Mario and Kirby. I also played computer games as a kid, like Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego? and Math Blaster. In college, I was introduced to the world of MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role playing games) and began playing Final Fantasy XI.

In FFXI, I created a character and explored a vast world called Vana’Diel. I progressed through story, gained experience as I completed quests and killed monsters, and strove to get the best equipment in the game. Most importantly, though, I made friends. Behind every player character in the game was an actual person who existed in the “real” world. Sure, some people were jerks or trolls, but for the most part, people played because they enjoyed the game. I often spent more time with the people I met in the game than those outside of it. We worked together to achieve the same goals, or we competed for the same items.

November 15, 2009 was a regular day. I was playing FFXI and decided I wanted to kill a unique monster (called Notorious Monsters or NMs) that could drop a special item I wanted. When I arrived at the area where it spawned, there were two other people also waiting. When the NM appeared, it was immediately claimed by one of my competitors, so I had lost that chance at it. They killed the NM, then began logging out of the game. I asked in the chat if they had gotten the special item. They logged out without answering, but the other person was still there, and they responded back. We struck up a conversation and learned a little bit about each other. It turned out that we had a mutual friend in the game. He claimed the NM next and got the special item, and he offered to wait around with me so I could get it. Once we were successful, he asked if I needed help with anything else. I joked about wanting to go after a very challenging NM I wouldn’t be able to kill by myself, and he said, “Let’s do it.” We spent hours together as we waited for that NM to appear, and I was elated when I finally got the special item I had been wanting for so long.

 
Our FFXI characters, Eidyia and Shevien, on the day we met

Our FFXI characters, Eidyia and Shevien, on the day we met

 

After that, we continued to spend time together in the game. We constantly talked and learned a lot about each other. We lived in different states, were the exact same age, and both loved Homestar Runner. We started talking outside of the game on AIM, then progressed to voice chat on the computer, then phone calls, then video calls. After six months, I flew out to meet him in person. We were both nervous at first, but as soon as we saw each other, things felt natural.

 
Right after he asked me to be his girlfriend

Right after he asked me to be his girlfriend

 

We started dating officially and did the seemingly impossible—made a long-distance relationship work. Though we only saw each other twice a year in person, we spent time together in and out of FFXI. We would watch movies and TV shows together by loading the show and hitting “play” at the same time (lining it up exactly was often a pain) while on a video call.

 
Long-distance Valentine’s Day date: eating kolaches and Edible Arrangements while watching an episode of Castle

Long-distance Valentine’s Day date: eating kolaches and Edible Arrangements while watching an episode of Castle

 

Two years later, he moved to where I was, and we got an apartment together. We lived there for two years, then moved to Salt Lake City, where we’ve lived for the past five years. Along the way, we’ve bought a house, gotten married, and adopted our dog-daughter, Roxy.

 
Post-wedding selfie!

Post-wedding selfie!

 
 
Our family of three

Our family of three

 

Turning this passion into an exciting and scary adventure has reaffirmed everything I know about him, our relationship, and the reasons why I love him.

  1. He supports me through all the ups and downs.

  2. He listens to me when I’m excited, sad, or angry.

  3. He makes me laugh by just being himself, and we genuinely have fun together.

  4. He grounds me when I become an anxious, doubting mess.

  5. He celebrates with me and never seems surprised when I do well.

  6. He sees my potential when I don’t always see it in myself.

You might be thinking that this post has very little to do with writing or editing, and you’d be right. It does, however, have everything to do with my editing business. Without him (and video games), none of this would exist.

No relationship is perfect, and I love ours the way it is. Cheers to #4 and to many more.