there are a few moments in my life that i can look back on and still feel a little embarrassed. i may laugh at them, but there’s a little part inside of me that still gets embarrassed by something that i did. there’s the time i fell down the hill at church camp in front of the girls. or when i acted as captain coastal for a pep rally at coastal. or when i came in way too early on the national anthem at a basketball game in high school and everyone knew it was me.

but there’s one time that ranks as my all-time most embarrassing moment. it’s something that i’m ashamed of and can’t believe it ever happened. thinking about it still makes me cringe inside.

in october of 2008, liberty played a football game at coastal carolina. it was over fall break. i thought it’d be cool to spend the weekend at my sister’s in wilmington and just drive down to coastal for the game that day. earlier that summer, i’d promised my ex that i’d take her on that trip because her and my sister were really good friends. we broke up between the promise and the trip. we were trying to do the friends thing, and i was trying to win her back, so i kept up the promise. i told myself that because some other people were going with us that i’d be fine with it all.

that thursday night me and the ex drove down to mebane, north carolina to meet up with one of the guys that was going on the trip. we were going to stay at his house that night, meet up with the other two people the next morning, and head down to wilmington.

the drive to nc wasn’t that bad. we got along fine. when we got to the guy’s house, it was a little awkward but nothing terrible. that night one of his friends (that i knew) came over and all of us hung out with his parents. it was all fine and dandy.

the next morning we drove down to wilmington and to my sister’s apartment. we got there, everyone met each other, and all was good. we all met some other people for dinner and there were ten of us there eating together and having a good time.

while i sat there at dinner, i watched my sister and her boyfriend interact with each other. i watched my ex interact with my sister. those two relationships were exactly how relationships were supposed to work.

they were perfect.

but i didn’t have what my sister and her boyfriend had anymore.

and the girl that was great friends with my sister was my exgirlfriend now and not my girlfriend.

realizing that spiraled extremely fast into a depression that made me completely shut down. once we got back to her apartment, i spent the next three hours alone outside on her balcony. it was cold and i didn’t go inside to get a sweatshirt or anything because i didn’t want to move. my friends were all inside having a good time. my sister was having a good time. everyone was enjoying themselves.

and i was stuck outside on the balcony by myself because i literally couldn’t function.

it was by far my most embarrassing moment of all time. i couldn’t hold it together anymore and hit my low point in front of my friends, my sister, and the girl i wanted to marry.

i have this idea in my mind on what relationships are supposed to look like and what i’d like to eventually have. even though i’ve never told her, my sister’s relationship with her boyfriend is one that for the two and a half years prior to that, i’d looked at as one that i wanted to have. i knew that they had their problems, and any relationship does have problems, but what i knew was that what the two of them had was real. i knew that what they had was the forever kind of love.

at the time, that’s what i wanted more than anything in the world.

so there i was, sitting at a table at two guys grill in wilmington, north carolina looking at my sister and her boyfriend and how they had what i wanted and then next to them was the girl i wanted it with even though i knew i couldn’t have it with her.

and i couldn’t handle it.

fast forward seventeen months to today. my sister and her boyfriend just celebrated their four year anniversary and i honestly couldn’t be happier for the two of them. i spent the weekend with them a couple of weeks ago and had an incredibly good time with them. they seem to have what it was i envied a year and a half ago multiplied by ten.

the difference between now and then is that i’m not obsessed with having that anymore.

sure, i would absolutely love to meet a girl, fall in love with her (and her with me this time), get married, make little jonathans, and live happily ever after but i’m not out looking for it. i raised that feeling and that emotion to such a high level that when it wasn’t there anymore i fell so low that i didn’t know how to get back up. i hit the ground after the fall and was paralyzed and couldn’t move. worst of all, i hit that point in front of a bunch of people.

i know that quite a few of the people that read this are either still in college or just out of college. i also know that many of them are at liberty or were at liberty at one point. at our age, this idea of dating and falling in love and finding “the one” is everywhere. we get it shoved down our throats. we see the people who have it and we want it.

and it’s okay to want that.

i want what my sister and her boyfriend have. i know that when the right time comes, i’ll get my turn to experience it. the thing that we can’t do is raise that so high like i did. i tell you this story of how i locked up and shut down so that you don’t have to go through that. don’t do what i did. don’t elevate this idea of falling in love and getting married over everything else in your life. make sure to keep your priorities right.

even the best medicines have deathly effects when taken too much.

and i definitely don’t want you guys to die.

say your prayers and take your vitamins.

have a nice day.