At 19, I decided to transfer to a new college. To leave Omaha and return to my homeland. To figure out what I wanted, grow into myself, and make mistakes I would later learn from. That meant leaving the only boyfriend I'd ever had.
At the airport, we stopped in the tiny food court and Steve bought me a Krispy Kreme donut. We stared at each other from across the table as if it were the last time we'd ever see each other. I was as sad as a 19-year-old without life experiences could be, yet determined not to cry.
He held my hand as we walked towards the TSA checkpoint. We hugged goodbye and I rustled around for my ID to busy myself and think of anything but crying. As I handed my boarding pass and driver's license to the TSA woman, Steve yelled from up the terminal, "I'm going to marry you someday, Pelesky!" My tears broke free.
Four years, a college degree, other boyfriends and a baby later, he did. What I didn't know in 2002, those life experiences later taught me: that I had already met my perfect match. Something he already knew, I had to learn the long way. Sometimes it takes knowing what you don't want to figure out what you do.
A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it.
-Jean de La Fontaine