11/29/03:  I’ve been at ISU for almost a whole semester now and its been going okay. Right now my parents and I are in the car driving back home. We went to visit my brother for Thanksgiving – he lives in Nashville. I suppose I should tell you about Carson. This guy is seriously the love of my life. We met during the first weekend that I was at ISU, back in mid-August. We have actually been dating for the past two months and six days…yes, I know what you’re thinking. There’s no way I can be in love with him after such a short time. I didn’t want to believe it either, but it just happened. The only other person I’ve had similar feelings for was Jordan. Speaking of Jordan, we didn’t talk or see each other for about 7 or 8 months, then I randomly stopped by his house a few days ago. It was kind of a goodbye because he’s just about to leave for the Marines. Jordan was such a huge part of my life for a long time and it hurts that we weren’t able to at least stay friends. Oh well. After seeing him, I realized we are two completely different people now and Carson is truly the guy for me. I think one reason I love him so much is because he is one of the few people that can even begin to understand me. I have never been in the situation before where I have to deal with a long distance relationship some of the time. I’ve been home for a week because of Thanksgiving, and Carson came from Chicago (Buffalo Grove) to my house on Sunday around 4:00 PM and left Tuesday around 6:00 PM. I think this trip and being around him nonstop for the past couple days has really helped us get to know each other better. We got closer and our relationship feels stronger. Let’s take my friend Cara and her boyfriend, for example. They have been going out on and off for about a year now and she tells me she loves him. Honestly, she never sees him. He lives back at home and we are at ISU, plus he has a job where he works like 20 hours a day. He even moved to Texas for a few months at one point. They don’t even talk on the phone all that much, but it’s okay for them to love each other because it’s almost been a year. So then think about me living five minutes away from Carson at ISU. We see each other pretty much every day and I stay the night there a lot of the time. We have spent more time together already than Cara and her boyfriend have, so my point is, how long you’ve been with someone isn’t everything. When I’m away from Carson, it’s incredible how much I miss him. I want to tell my parents, or whoever happens to be around me, all about Chris and how much I love him, but I can’t because no one understands. They say it’s too soon for the word love.  All because of the time thing. That just makes me want to be with him even more because he’s the only one who understands how I feel. It’s not easy to be in a relationship where you don’t feel exactly the same way the other person does. Sometimes one likes the other person more and that can be why it doesn’t work out. But with Carson, I know we feel exactly the same way about each other. I can remember the night he left my house just a few days ago after staying over two nights. Right when he pulled out of my driveway, I started feeling so lonely and empty inside. I hate that. He’s said this before about me and I’ll say it now, but I really feel like more when I’m with him. If he isn’t my soulmate, I don’t know who the hell could be. And yes, I realize I said the whole soulmate thing about Jordan too, but it’s definitely different this time. Even from the first few weeks we were together, I knew Carson was someone I could trust and would watch out for me at parties or whatever the situation was. There aren’t many guys like that in college. I could go on and on about how great of a guy he is. He goes to church every Sunday, even if he has to walk two miles in the snow. I don’t know many college students who would do that. I can’t even tell you how depressed I was at the beginning of the school year. I didn’t know anyone and Cara and I weren’t getting along. I felt like I had no one. All the friends I had in high school went to different colleges and were long gone. I didn’t like being an hour away from home and my cat. So one night, I prayed to God and told him how much I needed someone to be there for me or else I wasn’t going to make it. Later during the week is when Carson and I hung out for the first time alone and really hit it off. On Thanksgiving this year, I was especially thankful for Carson. School is really stressful, but at least I have him to help me through it. After he stayed at my house, we both agreed that is exactly how we want to spend the rest of our lives. Just being together whenever possible. I would go into the guest room to wake him up in the morning and snuggle with him, then we would drive around and stop anywhere if we needed something. Then we would go back to my parents’ house, cook dinner, and watch movies until we couldn’t keep our eyes open anymore. Then I would tuck him in bed, say I love you and goodnight. Well here we are at the last page of another diary. It’s hard to write in a car, so that’s all I’m going to say. I just can’t wait to get back to ISU tomorrow so I can see Carson!

Commentary: I think I talk more about this in the next diary entry, but my best friend and I attempted to be roommates once we arrived at ISU. Long story short, it didn’t work out. That first semester of college was one of the most difficult periods of my life. I was drinking and partying a little too much, my grades were suffering, my best friend and I weren’t getting along, and overall, I was making some pretty bad choices. I was confused about what I wanted to do with my life and wasn’t even sure if college was the right place for me. Fortunately, I met Carson the first weekend of college and can honestly say that without him, I would have never graduated. I don’t even think I would’ve made it to my sophomore year. I will always be grateful for our relationship and him pulling me out of a really dark place.