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#21 Butterfly Effect/Our Origin Story- waiting for NLV

Today I thought I would tap into my annoyingly unwavering optimism and turn the tone around. Have you ever heard of the Butterfly Effect? In lamens terms, it's basically the idea that in history, one decision, no matter how small, could have a giant impact on the future. For instance, stepping on a butterfly could somehow lead to the destruction of humankind or something. Yesterday I came upon this article where people shared their butterfly effect moments in their lives, and it was much needed.

Before I catch you up on the progress of the last two weeks, I decided why don't we do a little story time with Tiffany! As I was reading the article, I remembered one of the biggest butterfly effects of my life. I realized I hadn't told you how me and Johnny met. Before I start (I can't believe I'm putting this on the internet), I ask you to allow yourself to diverge slightly and open yourself up to the modern-day romance that I will title......

"Are You Out of Your Mind?"

1 week after we met, 2012

As we start our story lets set the scene. It was 2012, and our lovable, massively impulsive character, Tiffany, had just turned 26. It is Monday in Southern California, and Tiffany is incredibly tired due to partying all weekend while celebrating her birthday. As she is getting close to leaving for the day, she receives a text from one of her girlfriends saying she wants to take me and one of our friends out for my bday...

I was so tired and wasn't going to do it but at the last minute figured why not?

Where we ended up is where this story starts to get a little different, haha. My friends convinced me to go to the local bar next to a strip club by my house. A few drinks later, we decided we would head over next door and check out the strip club, the female strip club. My one friend had never gone, so we figured it would be a good story, at least...

My friend, let's call her Sarah, decided she wanted to get cigarettes before we went into the club, so I went with her to keep an eye on her, and apparently thought it was a good idea to leave our friend Jessica (not her real name either) to hang out at the bar until we got back. When we got back, our friend Jessica comes walking up with three guys, with me and Sarah thinking, uh oh.

As the guys drew closer, one, in particular, stood out to me. Now I had forgotten to mention that I had just had a spectacularly horrible break-up and was definitely not in the mood to meet any guys...Then walked up Johnny. I remember thinking he is really cute but looks like a lot of trouble, and I do not need this right now. My friend Jessica goes to introduce us and drunkenly forgets my name. Here she is going, "this is uh...." and Johnny is staring right at me. Without thinking, I stick my hand out and go, "I'm chopped liver," and shake his hand. Johnny later told me that this was the moment he fell for me.

So these 3 guys, who are of varying ages and look nothing alike, start to tell us this story. Apparently, they were here from out of town because their grandfather died and his dying wish was for them to go to the strip club. Really?! At this point, I realized they thought we were dumb and muttered something to the effect of "oh ok these guys are jerks let's go," grabbed my friends and head inside. I had 100% written these guys off.

I Finally Met My Match

A few months after we met

We walk into the club, I go to the bathroom and am ordering some water, and before I knew it, there was the handsome trouble maker in front of me asking to take me to the bar next door and buy me a drink. Now, this wasn't my first rodeo, and I had come up with the sure-fire way to get an expensive drink from a guy, so I figured why not? It usually went like this

Guy: "What do you want to drink?"

Me: "What do I want or what are you going to buy me?

This usually set the guy to look like a total punk if he didn't order me what I asked for, which at the time was a shot of Patron (ughghg now), and always worked.

I proceeded to use my line and I had every intention of talking to this guy, who informed me that he was here working on the road, get a lot of drinks, and never talk to him again. I remember telling my friends "I'm just talking to the guy, It's not like I'm going to marry him." We ended up talking all night and really connecting. This next part, I swear to you, is completely G-rated, although it will not sound like it and totally idiotic on my part at the time.

I decide to go back to the guys' extended-stay hotel, which was right across the street, hung out with them, and ended up crashing there, but nothing happened, I swear!! I mean, I didn't know this guy! Says the person who apparently knows him well enough to go to a stranger who is not from here's place, after meeting him at a strip club (solid judgment), and thinks this is a great idea. Anyways I wake up the next day in a pair of PJs he had loaned me, and he took me to the continental breakfast at the hotel. One huge problem. He didn't tell me that he was working on the road with about 15 other guys. So as we walk into the breakfast room, here I am, wearing his pajamas, and all the guys he works with are sitting staring at us.

Well, for the next month, we were inseparable. And lucky I had a good sense of humor because I found out that his coworker at breakfast thought I was a prostitute he picked up from the bar, and that was what became the loving nickname they gave me...yep you guessed it, The Prostitute. Yay me! Even after everyone knew that nothing happened. It actually stuck for a few years until I graduated to the wife haha. After the month of being in town, he was supposed to leave and return to Oregon and probably never see me again....nope. After a month of knowing each other, I became his girlfriend, he quit his job, and we moved in together...I told you crazy!! 4 years later we were married and 2 years later our son was born.

Now I'm not saying this was easy...we have had our ups and downs over the years, and I don't think anyone, including us thought we would get this far, but here we are. As you can see, it is a tricky story to tell people when they ask how we met, haha, but anyone who knows us knows we are not conventional, so how we met wouldn't have been either. This was one of my Butterfly Effect moments. If I hadn't had a break-up, my friend had never convinced me to go out on a Monday to a strip club, I would never have met the guy who happened to be here temporarily working and staying at the hotel across the street. Plus, all the things that happened on his end to make this happened. We wouldn't have had the best kid ever and probably would not be going to Spain.

Where Are We Now in the Visa Process?

Wedding Day 2016

So this long, drawn-out story has led us to my silver lining perspective. I am trying to hold onto the belief that maybe all of these setbacks are some Butterfly Effect. Maybe there is some cosmic reason we have not been able to go to Spain that may seem bad now but will lead to something amazing. I have not always had an easy time in life, but what I have found I that during the journey, nothing makes sense, and just when you are at your worst, bloody and crawling, you drag yourself across the finish line and discover that it all worked out after all.

With that, I will give you a quick catch-up over the last couple of weeks. We still haven't heard about our Visa, but we think that means it's been approved. We are just waiting for it to process. We discovered that trying to get a Visa processed during the month Spain shuts down (August) and when everyone is last minute getting their student visas, means we have 6-8 weeks before we get our visas. We canceled our flight on the 23rd and just took plane credit. We decided to schedule our flight once visas are in hand (it only took 3 rescheduled flights to figure that gem out).

Due to August being the time everyone takes vacations in Spain, our lawyer was out from the 9th to the 23rd. We spoke to her on Monday, and you won't believe it, she is quitting and her last day was yesterday, Friday the 27...She is connecting us with another lawyer, and I wish her all the best, just more crappy timing for us. As yesterday came to an end, and we realized there would be no word from the consulate and our lawyer was gone, I was feeling pretty crummy, and that is when I stumbled on my Butterfly Effect article.

Just Keep Swimming

Jackson 2 months old, 2018

So, if you are in a time of your life where it feels like everything you are doing right now is like shit hitting the fan. You don't feel smart enough, strong enough, or lucky enough to get what you want. Please do everything you can to not throw in the towel and give up. You only run out of time if you are not alive to keep going. I have received negative comments about me giving people false hope. They have said this move isn't that easy; there are too many obstacles (money, language, work, etc.). What I say to them 1st is you obviously haven't read my blog because I don't know hopeful I'm making this trip haha. What I say second to them and now to you is: Why can't it be me, why can't it be them. People move there; people find jobs, learn the language, find ways to survive, and am I or are they any less capable than those people? Why can't we be the ones who take the leap and make it. The only thing that stops us is the fear of failure that is drummed into our heads by all the small minds that stop us from even starting.

Not sure what our future holds, when we are getting the visa, or when we will get the big aha that shows us why this all worked out, but what I do know is that nothing and no one is going to stand in my way anymore from living an amazing life. I mean, if I can meet my future at a strip club, if I can do absolutely everything you should not do and find a way to make it work, this is nothing!

Here is the article that I read; hopefully, it will help you find your Butterfly Effect and reframe whatever crappy thing you're going through too!

In the meantime, keep hanging in there with us, and we hope it helps you along your journey; if it is helping or just giving you some enjoyment, please share and subscribe!

written 08/28/2021

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