The first part of our love story seemed like a teenage fairytale, two kids completely in love with blinders on. We broke up because we needed to grow, not because we fell out of love or someone did something worthy of a Taylor Swift breakup song. In my opinion, those are the hardest breakups to move on from, the ones where your heart is still completely in it but your head tells you its not right. More on that in part one.
I’ve been putting off writing this part for a few reasons. One, because it’s messy, Will and I aren’t even sure of the timeline exactly. Two, because it’s ugly, mistakes were made and the fact that we are insanely human gets painfully exposed. However, I am going to do my best to disclose the realness. We were apart, so there are two sides to this story, here’s mine.
The breakup happened in January of my senior year in high school and the next few months are a total blur. I went to school, went to soccer practice, came home and listened to the CDs Will burned over and over, wrote a text to Will, deleted it, cried myself to sleep, then did it all again the next day. We didn’t talk for months, only some really intense Myspace stalking to see if he’d fallen for some sorority chick. We weren’t together because of how we viewed Jesus, and disagreed on the details we deemed crucial for having a relationship with Him. This sent me into a tailspin really figuring out if it was worth losing our relationship over. I dove head first into my youth group and asked every question I could to anyone who would listen. I devoured scripture and sought refuge in immersing myself with other Christians who brought me closer to God. I was devout and headstrong that I’d made the right choice to stand my ground. I was “consumed with Christ” and began to feel him soften my heart and lean into the fact that I did not actually know everything there was to know about everything. Hiding my broken heart behind the bible was easy, letting the bible fix my broken heart was on a whole other level.
In March, I started dating a boy I’d met on a mission trip the previous summer. It ended pretty quickly in late April, leaving me dateless to prom. He still wanted to go with me but ya girl was feeling extremely “I don’t need no man” and decided to go stag to prove that point. The night before prom I get a text at 10PM from Bobby and Nathan, you met them in part one, telling me to come outside to hang out. I did, and well well well, who was there? Will. My heart fell out of my butt as walked over to their car, trying to look as calm as humanly possible. We all chatted like it was a completely normal thing, even though Will and I hadn’t talked in months and I still wanted to marry him, but it was cool. I was cool. We all talked for hours before I went inside to go to bed. I mean, you can’t have bags under your eyes for prom, right?? While falling asleep, I get a text from Will. “Hey, if you need a date, I’ll rent a tux and go with you.” Remembering it, it sounds like the ending scene of a John Hughes movie where the girl gets her dream prom date. However, the stubborn Shannon back then really felt like she had to go alone and prove that she really was “I am woman, hear me roar”. I went to prom alone and it was the right thing to do. I needed to know I could do it. It wasn’t until we were married that my mom told me Will texted her that night asking how I looked and if I was ok. The perfect man.
The rest of the summer, we didn’t speak again and only saw each other once in a random movie theater parking lot sighting. My heart ached for him but my stubbornness was stronger. My plan was to still go to Tech and pretend like I wouldn’t be looking for Will around every corner. Fall semester started it didn’t take long for both of us to cave and text each other. We gave into wanting to see each other, but completely ignored the huge issues we clearly still hadn’t figured out. We silently agreed not to talk about them, both of us knowing full well that they didn’t go away. The whole Fall semester was spent pretending to date and every other weekend having the “we can’t do this anymore” conversation, only to be back at it again before the next weekend. A bunch of our A&M friends came up for the Tech/A&M game and we all stayed at Will’s apartment. My friends kept asking what the heck was going on with us and I didn’t know what to tell them. I didn’t even know what the heck was going on, all I knew was that life without him in any capacity was not something I wanted.
In late October, Will went to his first Raider Awakening Retreat. This was a retreat through the Catholic Student Association, and he had the most amazing time. It opened his eyes to a lot of things about our relationship and his relationship with God. He came back so on fire, and I was terrified. I should have been so elated for him, happy that he felt the Lord tug on his heart so strongly. However, I was full of fear that he’d had a revelation that we weren’t meant to be together. He wanted to meet me at Starbucks to talk about his retreat, I didn’t eat all day and I resented him for picking a Starbucks. We first made things official in a Starbucks, why would he pick one to obviously end things with me. My hands shook and my stomach churned the whole time he spoke. He told me all that he’d experienced and how his heart had changed that weekend. I listened as he spoke gently about how strong his faith had gotten and how sure he was about everything he believed in. He then asked me, if I’d wanted to go with him on the next one. Now, this should have made my heart soar. Hearing the man of my dreams express his love for the Lord and then him inviting me to grow with him?! Ideal, right? But I freaked out. My young, stubborn, kinda selfish self took that invitation as him trying to convert me (which he wasn’t). I said some unkind things and made my exit. I texted him later that night to apologize, but we decided that there was no way this could work. We were done. Or so I thought.
We didn’t talk for all of November 2011 and most of December. I don’t remember who contacted who first but the week before school let out for Christmas Break, we attended Carol of Lights together. This Texas Tech tradition is sacred and meant to be shared with the people you love. I wanted to go with Will. We had a great time freezing our butts off and went to dinner afterward. At dinner, I knew. We were both tired of it. Tired of the back and forth, the heart break, the crushed hopes, the yo-yo of it all. We were tired. We also didn’t want to get our families involved again after al this time. Going home for break meant a lot of time with our families and we didn’t want to put them through any of it if we didn’t know where we stood. We decided that we wouldn’t call or text each other no matter how much we wanted to. It wasn’t healthy, it was never going to work, and we couldn’t force it any more. We needed to move on and find other people to spend our lives with. It broke me, but I knew we had to.
When school started again, I looked for any and every distraction I could find to help me move on, Will immersed himself in the Catholic Student Association. Will and his friends had been my community for my first few months at Tech and I found myself desperate for somewhere to belong. I had “rushed” a Christian Sorority in the Fall and didn’t get in. I truly thought those were going to be my people, but that didn’t end up being the case. Then, I’d heard through a friend of Will’s that Chi Omega was doing Spring Rush for the first time (they never did it again at my time at Tech)! I felt God tug on my heart “those are your people” he said. And the girl who swore up and down she would NEVER go greek became a part of an organization that changed her life. I also found The Wesley Foundation and cannonballed into every activity or small group they offered. It was home and I felt like I had a future beyond Will.
I met an incredible boy at The Wesley Foundation and we dated from the end of February-August of 2012. It was a relationship full of challenges and growth. I’ll forever be thankful for that. But we realized we weren’t each other’s forever person and I started my sophomore year with another heartbreak.
The whole year was a blur. I learned so much, found some passions, made some TERRIBLE decisions, dated some wrong people, made the best friends, went to therapy, and learned to stick up for myself. Most importantly, I came to realize that I was going to marry Will or no one at all. As dramatic as that sounds, it was true.
My sophomore year at Tech came to an end in May 2013. My best friends and I found a house and got the chance to move our stuff in before I left to go to Houston for the summer! Watching a movie with my roommate (shoutout Katy) two days before I was set to leave, I see Will’s name pop up on my phone. I couldn’t breathe. He was graduating in 3 days, why in the heckin bob would he be texting me?! I knew he was leaving; he got a great job and was (from what I could tell from FaceBook stalking) dating a super cute Catholic girl. SO. WHY. WAS. HE. TEXTING. ME?!? It took me an hour to open the message because I just couldn’t handle it. Confusion flooded my brain as I opened it. Are you ready?! It said:
“Hey I have two of your movies, do you want them?” LOL. I had no idea what to say, it took me another 45 minutes to respond. Through a series of messages I agreed to pick them up in the morning. Driving to his apartment, I could feel my pulse in my entire body thinking about seeing him again, even if it was just for a second. I pull up to his building, he walks to my car, I roll down my window, he hands me the movies and says “Wanna go to lunch or something?”. Y’all, when I say I almost threw up, I almost blew chunks. On the outside, I appeared to be cool and said yes.
We ate lunch and talked for hours, catching up on the last year and a half and talking about ways we’ve grown. (I learned later that he’d broken up with his girlfriend the day before this lunch.) I invited him back to my house (yikes, Shan) and we danced in my empty dining room to a song we danced to when I was 16 years old. Aaaaaaand I fell in love all over again. We spent the whole rest of the day together and I was really freaking out because what the farking fark did this all mean?! HE WAS LEAVING. I get a text at 11PM from Will inviting me over to play games with his roommates and friends. I was supposed to leave the next day to drive back to Houston, but I went anyway. We stayed up until 5am talking about all the things we were too afraid to talk about a year and a half ago. We talked about where we were willing to compromise and we got on the same page pretty damn quickly. I couldn’t believe what was happening and I was unsure of what this all meant, but I HAD to get some sleep or I was going to crash my car. We decided to regroup, keep this on the down-low, and talk more when he was back in Houston before starting his job.
The next week, we met at my house and had a really intense, logical talk. We both agreed that if we were going to do this again, we were in it for the long haul. We couldn’t keep putting our friends, family, and ourselves through this rollercoaster if it wasn’t going to be a forever thing. He confessed to feeling the same way I did for so long. It was “us” or nothing. We went down the list of things that had kept us apart for all this time and made sure those weren’t still issues. I softened and realized that I didn’t have to be so stubborn, we really could make this work. He had areas he came to see he could bend on, too. That night, we chose to make it re-official. My heart was full.
From there, the story moves pretty quickly. We got back together in June of 2013 and Will moved to Midland in later that month. The new school year started and he spent almost every weekend with me in Lubbock. The ring shopping happened in November 2013 and on December 30, 2013, the man of my dreams got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. We planned the whole wedding in 10 days and then had to wait a year and a half to get married! On June 6th, 2015 I married the most incredible human I know. We built a life I adore, and he’s given me two babies I can’t believe are ours.
I met the love of my life at 16. I was an insanely tough road to get where we are today, but I’m so grateful for each and every bump that got us here