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Second Chance - A Love Story

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

You keep asking, so here it is! Many of you want to hear the deets of my new found love story. It's actually VERY cute! Enjoy this leisure read, where you will probably learn absolutely nothing, but you can relax and get lost in a love story. ;)

He was "the new guy" in town! Every one of us girls were pining over him. Who was it? Who was the lucky girl that might have a chance to snag Cory Gannon?

He was very handsome, very cool, and very confident.

Of course I wanted in! I don't remember exactly how it happened (Cory is better at remembering how it all when down), but what I do know, is that he chose me!

I was his very first girlfriend upon moving to our small little Colorado town when we were 11 years old!

It was ALL the cuteness. I bet you can picture it: Holding hands at school (with fingers interlaced). Dates to the carnival, winning stuffed animals for me. Soaking in the scent of his alluring Curve cologne. Talking on the phone until our parents made us hang up. A first kiss on the front porch, not wanting to say goodbye. All the cute little butterflies that an 11-year-old could feel!

Shortly after our new little romance, our courtship was halted by an opportunity for me to take a crack at acting. After a Hollywood Showcase in Denver, with only 2 weeks notice, my newly signed Agent and Manager moved my mom and I to California to begin my acting career.

Cory and I planned to stay together, but there was no Facetime, no Social Media, no emails, not even cell phones! Mom had a car phone with that silly cord that my Agent and Manager insisted we needed. We didn't have GPS or Mapquest... we drove to and from auditions using a literal Atlas road map to navigate!

I took the stuffy with me that he won at the carnival, as many pictures as I had from my disposable camera, and a brand new bottle of Curve to remember his smell. I remember spraying the stuffed animal once a week or so to refresh the Cory-scent. We were able to talk on the phone a couple times a week. Then once a week. Then it faded to not at all.

Neither of us can even remember officially "breaking up". My guess is that it just got pushed to the back-burner. I didn't date anyone while I was there, so it wasn't that I was moving on. I just was incredibly busy. School, drill team, auditions, repeat. That was my life. I barely had time for friends or family. Obviously that lifestyle wore on me as a then 12-year-old and I began to ache for normalcy. My family and I examined the opportunity cost and decided that the entertainment world, at least in this way, was not for me at that age. I wanted to play sports and be a kid.

We moved back home 6 months later.

When I saw Cory again, I was riding my bike to town. He was going the opposite direction. Let's just say I wasn't very coordinated on my bike... and he noticed. I was so excited to see him! After all, I was back! Maybe we can pick up where we left off? I didn't expect it to be assumed, but I was definitely excited to see if it was an option. I waved excitedly, "Hi Cory!"

He did a cool, confident nod and kind of chuckled.

The next time I saw him, I said, "Hey! I saw you the other day riding your bike!"

He said, "Yeah, " and then proceeded to mimic my uncoordinated biking posture, riding over the washboard dirt path.

That was it?

That was all he had to say?

Well... ok. He must have another girlfriend? Or maybe he's upset with me for not calling him when I got back. Why didn't I call him? When had we even lost touch? It all felt like a blur. All I knew for sure, was that he was no longer interested. That opportunity had passed. My heart sunk a little that day.

Fast forward, 24 years later... I get a message on Instagram (thank God for Social Media!), "Hey, I know this is totally out of the blue, but I saw you were golfing and I love to golf. If you ever want someone to go with, hit me up."

Uh...... YEAH! My response was, "I DOOOOOOOO" (LOL)

We met up a month later at a local golf course and as I arrived I was nervous as all get-out. It helped my nerves a little bit to know that I had just come from a photo shoot. So I was all dolled up, full makeup, hair extensions, and my new visor. I felt pretty confident.

When I saw him, I almost didn't recognize him! When we first dated, and all throughout high school, he had long curly hair that fell over his eyes, baggy pants, graphic tees, and a "chill-artsy" vibe. This was NOT who stood in front of me! He showed up that day in Underarmor shorts, a golf polo, short hair, trimmed beard and a ballcap! I've never seen him wear a ballcap once in my life!

He looked HOT!

I was like, oh crap.... don't flirt, don't flirt, don't flirt. The truth was, I was NOT ready to date. I was already coming out of some failed dating attempts and I was not ready for the emotional hassle of another one. So I promised myself before I even went on that golf-outing that I was NOT going to date him, and we were NOT going to flirt!

We were successful that first time. It was like we were old friends. We just chatted about life and its lessons, what we were up to these days, how we got into golfing, etc. It was so nice! Neither of us flirted or put pressure on each other to be anything but ourselves.

I loved our outing so much, I wanted another... and another... and another.

So, yeah. I didn't make it three tee-times without wanting more of Cory than just a golf-buddy. I started flirting pretty heavily that third time. But, before making any minor commitments, I made sure he KNEW that I had four kids and a very high-conflict situation involving a past relationship, and tried everything I could to scare him away. After all, I was not ready to get another broken heart any time soon. But he didn't scare. He just kept asking me to golf, and then finally, on a real date.

Since that first real date, the rest has been history.

I have to say that after my last relationship, I was done with any sort of heart-strings. I didn't believe that love was real. I didn't believe in healthy relationships. I didn't believe that I'd EVER want to date again, let alone be married. So, I had settled on just being a single mom, loving on my kids, and focusing on my career.

Cory proved all of that way wrong! I have never in my life experienced something so real. His love for me seeps into the air around us. It's something that can be physically felt by others. I don't know how many people have looked at me with love in their eyes after being around us and said, "Wow... he REALLY loves you."

So many things make this magical. We both have been hurt and have had to navigate our way through self-discovery. We are unapologetically ourselves. We don't change for each other. We love each other exactly the way we are. We have expectations only for ourselves, and can hold ourselves accountable for the kind of person we want to be. We communicate often and well. We can admit when we are wrong and work to fix it. And my favorite part... we LAUGH!

I can't even tell you what a dream this has been. He checks all the boxes, and apparently so do I.

What I learned from this: Never settle. Always find yourself before you look for someone else. Trust your gut. Follow your instincts. Choose love.

All I can say is, my 11-year-old heart is very happy!

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