Throughout my life I have always been somewhat of a rule-breaker. It probably started at a time before I can even remember. At first, it would be simple deviations from the rule book such as staying up reading when I had been told to go to sleep. These deviations then became gradually more commonplace, turning up to school with a short skirt, having pink hair, or even not turning up at all.
And then I got encephalitis.
Having encephalitis may have changed me in many ways, but my need to break rules stayed strong and true throughout my recovery, and even to this very day.
“I am afraid that we can not allow you to go skydiving, as there has been no one else with your illness to have done it before”
So, of course, I jumped 15,000ft out of a plane and thoroughly enjoyed it.
“It is not possible for someone who has suffered your illness and on the medication you are on to run more than 16 miles. Promise me you will stop before 20 miles”
And so, obviously, I ran (and walked) the entire 26.2 miles to the finish line, all by myself, with my sister there to congratulate me at the end.
“You will never be able to be the person you were before your illness, your comprehension and intelligence will never be the same again”
And with that, I started blogging. I got my blogs published weekly in a local newspaper and proved to the world that not only am I back to being me, I am a better version of myself than I was before.
But now it comes to the rules that I thought I would never break. The rules about love. Those rules that you have embedded into you from a young age. Those rules that are not, under any circumstance, to be broken.
So, of course, I broke them all.
I met a boy on a season (first rule – season things never last).
I got drunk and stayed with the boy on the first night (second rule is the three date rule).
We moved into an apartment together two weeks later (third rule – don’t move things too fast).
We told each other we loved each other within a month (rule four – not open yourself up to get hurt too early on).
He came home from his summer season and lived with me in Devon (rule five – don’t move your spouse in with the in laws too soon).
We started working together at The Dartbridge, he was a chef and I was a waitress (rule six – do not work together, especially in the hospitality sector).
We made plans for the next nine months and booked flights to Australia (rule seven – try not to think too far into the future and put pressure on the relationship).
We openly talk about marriage and children and about spending the rest of our lives together (rule eight – never say out loud how much you want to just settle down and have babies).
As you can see, I broke all the rules, and more, and I couldn’t be happier.
That’s the thing about breaking the rules, who is to say that those rules apply to you? For some people, going through life and adhering to what is socially acceptable works. For me it doesn’t.
As I sit writing this, I know that I have the man I have always been looking for right next to me.
Some people may say that we rushed into it, that everything is going too fast but I couldn’t disagree more.
If there is one thing that encephalitis has taught me it is that life is precious.
If you are lucky enough to fall in love at first sight then why not grab the bull by the horns? – metaphorically speaking of course…
Breaking these rules is what has made my life, my life, and thanks to Ben I now know that rules about love are just there to be broken.