Who knew that 2011 would turn out to be such a milestone in my life. Aside from that fact that I turn 30 in a mere four months time, I am also getting married within the next fortnight. I had always hoped to be wed before I entered my third decade but even this is a running quite close to the wire. With little time left of my twenties I thought it would be good to reflect on the the recent past and look forward with some trepidation to the challenges that lie ahead.
Throughout my life, people have recited the common known phrase – Everything Happens For A Reason. While I find that sometimes hard to believe, particularly in my rather naive younger years, I have come to be more accepting of whatever life throws my way and be much less reactive. I have a greater appreciation of the here and now and try not to live my live too much in the past or the future. The present is just as important.
It is interesting how we do tend to live our lives in the future. I will be happy when I am on the beach on holiday, or gain that promotion, buy that new sporty convertible or even get married. Marriage for me was always going to be watershed moment in my life. I just never thought things would come together as quickly as they have. I was willing to wait until next summer to get married but that would have been the absolute latest. However, two years ago, I had a problem, I still had not met the one.
Probably for the first time, outside my close circle of friends I am revealing (in part) my adventures in finding a partner. If my life was dramatised as a television show, it would general end like a mid season episode of The Apprentice. “Andrew Tegala’s search for a wife continues…”. While I could go into detail with various stories, I prefer to stick to just one. I went on a blind date, way back in February 2007. This was organised by a friend of a friend’s girlfriend. It was actually their colleague I was meeting. The date did not go particularly well, but I always thought it was worth trying for a second date. The first date, so I am told is the best moment to secure the second date. The negative response was fair enough but instead I got the added insult of, “Andrew, you remind me of my brother”. Yes, the very same line used by Lorraine McFly (at the time in 1955 merely Lorraine Baines) to her future son Marty. You can imagine how I felt after that comment and I was glad that I would never have to see this blind date again. I was wrong, she was invited to a subsequent house warming party a few months later. I did cryptically blog about this blind date, but my post is so ambiguous and hidden behind the metaphor of a now long departed Eastenders character that it probably only makes sense to me.
Does any of that matter now? Well of course not. I have had those experiences and they were all part of the journey. Sorry, I am starting to sound like some X-Factor finalist. Nothing could be further from the truth. Ultimately it came down to me putting myself out there and be willing to meet new people. These situations, while alien to me, were worth exploring, as I was unlikely to bump into the right person at work, or on the way to get some milk from the supermarket. I was persistent but perhaps with a lack of consistency. I would try a dating site or a speed dating event but as soon as it became obvious there was little interest or there was no follow up date, I went into hibernation. These spells would like a little as a month, to an extended period of several months. Having my confidence knocked, I would go and concentrate on other things in my life and come back to the love life later.
In 2009 while certain aspects of my life were falling apart, a chance meeting with a new face brought me a new sense of happiness. It was actually on the insistence of a friend I met only in late May, that the August meeting actually took place. A change of events or perhaps The Plan (as featured in The Adjustment Bureau) I suppose it is always easy to look back at the early dating phase through rose-tinted spectacles but I still feel, even after all this time, a warm glow. Little did I know where those first few dinner dates, lunches and even a concert at Wembley Stadium would lead to. If anything, I did my best to enjoy the experience, even if at times it was hard to keep my composure due to the undeniable issues at the office. This was compounded by my attitude to keep things to myself, rather than share my problems with the people closest around me. Perhaps with their help I would not have found myself in the predicament I did. The mantra of everything happens for a reason was a constant thought in my head as I forced into decisions which would have a major affect on my future, both short and long term.
I am sure married life will bring many challenges, it was never going to be easy and I have never thought it would be. I am nervous, scared, apprehensive but in equal measure to the joy I feel to finally be with that special someone, whom I spent almost three years of my life searching for. So here I take a big leap and start the next phase of my life. Wish me luck!