Take a Chance

I think today’s post is really for a friend.  We were talking today about taking chances in life.  We’re both alike…afraid to get stuck in a cage (aka a relationship). 

I have really been thinking about my biggest regret over this last week.  Twelve years ago, when I was around my friend’s age, I was working for one of the top law firms in the country.  It was so famous that when I told my grandfather where I worked, he exclaimed that he knew exactly who I was working for.  He was so proud that I got such a big start so quickly, right out of school, in one of the top firms in the country.  After all, this was the firm that breeded top notch political talent from Prime Ministers to White House staff appointments. 

One day back in 2000, I had just stepped onto an elevator when this guy comes running up and jumps on right as the doors were about to close.  It was just me and him in the elevator. 

I kept looking at him, thinking that this guy was the hottest guy I had ever seen in my life.  I didn’t know who he was or anything.  I just thought he was gorgeous. 

A month later, I discovered what his name was, what he did, better yet…that he was actually on the same floor as me. But at the time, I didn’t think he would ever be interested in me.  I didn’t think I was good enough for a guy like that.

He probably had some hot model girlfriend or something.  He would never be into me.

As the months went by, we’d run into each other randomly on the elevator or near the elevator banks.  I never thought I would have a chance with a guy as gorgeous as that.  Then I started to notice something…he had noticed me, as well.  He remarked one day that he loved my blue dress.  He was so nervous…he actually stuttered. 

When I went home and told my brother about it, he laughed hysterically, because I was wearing a muumuu dress.  I had to laugh too, because why would a guy LOVE that dress? 

Later, he ended up finding out where I worked on his floor and decided to start doing some work with my boss, just so he could start coming by my desk more.  He ended up having to work with me, because he was requesting projects with my boss all of the time. 

One of the other attorneys remarked to me one day that he had taken the metro with my crush and they had started talking about me.  Ends up the crush was mutual (and don’t think that attorney didn’t tell him…”You know she feels the same way.”)

All of this love in the air…and then we moved offices.  I went with my boss to build up the new office, while my crush stayed in the main office.

He would arrange meetings with clients in our Northern Virginia office, just so he could see me {my boss caught on from the start that was what was going on}.  He’d sign up for all of the events that he knew I was hosting. 

One day, at one of the events, we both stuck around for the after party.  I usually headed home before the party, but everyone told me to stick around that night. 

While we were on opposite sides of the room, with a party going on in between us, I looked over at him while he was talking to a new client.  He looked up at me at the same time and said to the client, “Hold on a minute.  I have to do something.  I’ll be right back.” 

He walked across the room, came right up to me and whispered in my ear, “Never in my life have I seen someone look at me the way you just looked at me.”  Then he kissed me.  In front of all of our clients and our office…he kissed me.

That was a move that ended up being talked about for some time, because he was then told that what he did wasn’t wise.  He got into so much trouble for it.  We were at a standstill.  The issue was that we both worked for the same company.  This was frowned upon.  No matter how many people knew that we were in love with each other…this office romance wasn’t kosher to them.

It got to be too much, that I decided this relationship was just too difficult.  I gave up.  I not only left the company, I left Washington, DC altogether. 

He came to the office on my last day there…actually, he spent the entire week there, because I was leaving.  He let me know that if I were to leave, it would mean that I would be leaving him, too.  He had thrown that card on the table…the “Don’t I Mean Something to You?”

At that time in my life, I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted to be.  I just knew I didn’t want to stay in Washington anymore.  I needed to find myself and what I wanted to do in my life.  It was just the wrong time for me.  I needed to find me.  I wasn’t ready for marriage, even though he was (he was 11 years older than me).

I spent three years in Indiana before heading off to New York City. I ended up in NYC, because that’s where the universe ultimately pushed me.  I had shown up in NYC with a broken heart, thanks to the rockstar. 

It wasn’t too long after I arrived that I thought about my old crush.  I was surprised to get a letter not too long after that from one of my old bosses in Washington.  She sent me a card with a note saying, “I thought you might want to know where he is.”  In the note, she included my old crush’s business card. 

He had left the firm right after I did.  The reason?  Just in case I changed my mind, he had developed a way out.  He left the firm so that if I did come back, we wouldn’t be haunted by our old employer.  We would be able to actually make this work.

Thinking that it was a sign from the universe, I sent him a card to let him know that I was in New York.  A few weeks later he sent a letter back to me.  He told me how shocked he was to hear from me.  He was happy to get the letter, but was sad to report that he had waited 6 months for me to come back.  I never came back.  He thought that I was never going to come back, so he married someone else and their first child was on the way.

I was gone 3 years…so I guess I should have expected something like that, right?  He was ready to get married at the time.  I just wasn’t. 

I haven’t thought much about him since that letter, but last week, while I was writing and working through the book, I had this dream about my old crush.  I kept thinking…wow…was that ever a regret.  He was the first love that I ever ran away from.

My curiousity got the better of me, so I decided to look him up (maybe he was divorced or something and we could try again).  Imagine my surprise that this Harvard graduate who graduated with the highest honors was now working for one of the top banks in the world (in a very high position), was teaching at an Ivy League school, and was still jetsetting all over the world.

His kids?  Oh, he had two…and shocker…the kids are named after the Kennedys. 

He’s still friggin perfect today as he was back then.  In a sense, he’s still everything I turned out to be 12 years later.

So if I was going to be a bird trapped in a cage…this is the guy I would have loved to have been trapped in a cage with for the rest of my life.  Why?  Because he doesn’t like being trapped either.  He likes flapping his wings and soaring around the world.  He has recent pictures from his travels to South America, China, and Europe. 

He’s still baking and cooking up a storm (a man that bakes cupcakes…you meet one…don’t ever let him go, ladies).  He’s still climbing mountains and taking photos from the top of the summit.  He’s still biking around DC…and he still makes my heart flutter like he did the first time he jumped onto the same elevator as me all those years ago.

He’s that person you regret never marrying.  You regret it for the rest of your life, because you were too stupid to know that he was what you were looking for…and what you will always be looking for.  You just didn’t know you were looking for him until it’s way too late.

He’s the reason why I decided I wasn’t getting married to the nomad. 

The deciding factor all had to do with those pictures I saw of my old crush from all over the world.  How could I marry someone that I would have a hard time taking out of the friggin desert?  How could I marry someone who didn’t want to travel all over the world, like I did?  How could I marry someone that wasn’t more like myself and wanted to name their kids after the Kennedys?

His family is never in those photos taken from all over the world.  All of the pictures say that they were at home.  It makes me think…if I had chosen him, I would be standing next to him in those photos, and not at home with the kids in Washington.  Why?  Because, like him, I would always want to see the world.

That’s the kind of man that makes you stand still.  You realize that if you’re going to run, he’ll run beside you.  If you have to figure yourself out, he’ll wait (even if it is just 6 months).  If you’re going to be stuck in a cage, you want to be stuck in that cage with him.  And if someone’s going to bake, make sure he makes a damn good cupcake…and will go into the Hello Kitty store and tell you all about the stuff he almost bought for you.

That’s the man you marry, because if you run from him…you’ll regret it for the rest of your life, because he’ll only wait for so long.

So guess who got a chapter in the book?  Apparently, he did.  When he reads it…I really wonder what will happen then.  This law professor and top bank official with a passion for running and jetsetting around the world is going to do what?  Probably nothing. 

You just keep your fingers crossed that if this guy was meant to be, maybe your paths will cross once again and it will be the right time, because you’ll know…don’t run.  Just don’t run.  You’ve learned your lesson.  He’s the one you take a chance with.


You’ll meet someone exactly like him that sends you postcards from all over the world when he’s away for a year.  Question is…are you still so stupid that you don’t notice it’s what you’ve been looking for all over again?  Do you feel de ja vu?  Because apparently in NYC…I may have just described someone here that’s just like my old crush in every single way.

About Michelle Kenneth

Michelle Kenneth is the voice behind PerfectionistWannabe.com.