Pawned bass guitar equipment to move to Michigan for first real girl-friend.

My Declaration of My Independence...that I'd found True Love and Happiness...

When I was 18, I only wanted to make music. Life took a detour when I met this girl who I will call "Iris" (name changed to protect privacy). At the time we were pen-pal friends and she had visited me for 6 days in June. Monday - Saturday. I was hopelessly in love and totally floored with how beautiful and fun, and awesome she was. The fact that she had only "planned" on staying at my Dad's for one day...and staying for 6 full days...must of meant she was enjoying the time we spent together.

Eventually we dropped her off at her girlfriends place that Sunday....and if memory serves me right I went along, hung out and went home after my Dad picked me up.

I couldn't get "Iris" out of my head. She was all I could think about. My parents were going through a painful divorce at the time, and that just added more friction and fuel to the relationship between my Dad and myself.

I hatched a quirky, out of left field plan to change my life. I thought I knew what was right (at the time). I took a $500. Bass Guitar my Dad bought me and an amplifier and pawned them for $85 bucks. Enough to get a one way ticket to Michigan. To be with "Iris". My reasoning? If I could show-up and lay out my plan for success, with Iris...it was a done-deal. Nothing would stop us from a full, rewarding life together.

So I showed up...explained I didn't have all the answers, but that Together we would make it work. I stayed with Iris for 16 Days I think...it was August.

It was hot, I got a job making horse-fences...not anything I would ever try again. We had a great time as a couple of teenagers...but eventually I was put on a train to return to Illinois that same August.

Iris had told me staying at her Mom's was trouble enough...and that like me, Iris' parents had split up also, and she'd decided that, to her, the most important thing in the world was security, both stability and money-wise...she was going to marry for security.

I told her I understood. We talked. And we stayed up most of the night before I boarded that train. I think we hugged and we both cried. I remember sitting on the train that day and my heart sank. It would take 18 months to mend my broken heart. I sank into a deep melancholy, where I replayed every conversation, every moment in my head to see if it would have made any difference. the short answer? : It would not have mattered.

To his credit : My Dad kept the "Declaration of My Independence" letter that I left for him on the table. And presented it to me a couple of years ago...I recognized it immediately as the letter I'd written him, to tell HIM, that I'd found TRUE LOVE and HAPPINESS!!! And that nothing was going to stop me from seeing that through to the end.

The moral of my story : Even when YOU think YOU know what YOU want...you have to have considered Everyone else involved.

I don't know if my Ex Sucks...she turned me on to Henry Rollins. She was beautiful, and realistic, and honest. And from that one experience : It took a long time to decide what I really wanted out of relationships.

I didn't just jump right in to any other relationship, right after that first heartbreak. I learned from it, it was a great growth experience. I would learn to be a better dater and not try to settle down with whatever girl happened along after "Iris".

The broken heart I was given from my time with Iris Did SUCK, however. It was a bitter-sweet pill. But I'm a better man for having gone through with it.

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