One year ago today, I met Ed for the first time.
For years I'd seen him pop on to the IRC channel I've been frequenting since I was 20. We were never online much at the same time: We'd say hello; once or twice we had private instant message conversations, but nothing deep. A few months prior to our meeting in person, we worked our way up to chatting every night on Skype or IRC, restricting ourselves to the venues that gave us options that wouldn't keep C. awake or require me to go outside to talk.
C. and I had gone to the Vendy Awards that Saturday; the next day he was to fly off to I-can't-remember-anymore-which-tech-conference. I dropped C. off at the airport in the morning; in the afternoon, I drove back to pick up Ed. I wasn't really expecting anything to happen other than to hang out with a friend whom I'd known for awhile.
Things changed quickly after Ed went back to Utah a few days later. I felt shaken in unexpected ways that I won't get into here; suffice it to say, I felt I owed it to C. to end our relationship.
I stayed with C. for about another month before we ended things. I do not regret my relationship with C., of course, but I wish I had handled so many things very differently, mostly how we talked and communicated and how I ended things. At the time I had done all I could think of doing to avoid a breakup; now, about a year later, I see how I could have done things differently throughout the relationship, which is not to say it likely shouldn't have ended much sooner. (Perhaps if it had ended much sooner, a lot of the pain could have been avoided.) I don't know if "moody" is the right word for the situation; perhaps "contemplative and sad" is more apt for how I feel when I still think about the last year or two of my time with C.
In the year since I've met Ed, so much has changed. I had lived in Long Island for about nine years; I moved back to Pennsylvania, effectively showing up on my parents' doorstep with no warning. I worked briefly for a daycare, then taught (and technically still do) at a community college. Ed and I got engaged, I moved to Utah, and we're planning a wedding in Pennsylvania.
It's still a bit of an emotional roller coaster. Knowing that I made the right decision (but having done it wrong) doesn't make it much easier. I'll never forget some of the looks C. gave me when I left him - but I'm certain that Ed is the right man for me to spend my life with.