when you stop looking.

To everyone who assisted in the missing inspiration hunt, thank you. After posting my missing person thing report, I began a solo search party of my own. I looked in the pantry, under our bed, near the back of the closet, and even in my left shoe. It was sadly, nowhere to be found. But then, lo and behold, I looked in the comments.

And all was right with the world again.

Fellow blogger Sari simply stated, "it will hit you when you stop looking." I read that comment and laughed, for it instantly spurred my inspiration for this post. So thank you Sari—I officially owe you frozen yogurt.

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Is it just me, or do we spend our entire lives searching? Searching for meaning, for love, the perfect job, an unreachable sense of fulfillment?

When I was a little girl, all I wanted to do was fall in love. I watched Ariel and Eric, Jasmin and Aladdin, Cinderella and Prince Charming (did he have a real name?)....ride off into the sunset together, as my eyes glazed over with envy. I wanted that, and I wanted it immediately. Some of you may remember I occasionally struggle with impatience.

Naturally, at age six, the search for love began.

I looked everywhere. I looked for it in the one who held my hand on the playground during recess. I looked for it in the one who bought me a purple necklace at Outdoor Ed. I looked for it in the one who gave me my first kiss, who was also the first one who broke my heart. I looked for it in the one who lied to me, and I looked for it in the one who lived too far away. I even looked for it in the one who was my best friend. No matter how diligent I was in my search, finding love seemed hopeless.

And then, I stopped looking.

I had just graduated from high school, and was spending a warm summer night at the county fair with a friend, who happened to introduce me to my very first funnel cake. After chatting for a bit, we hopped in his car and he told me he needed to stop by his buddy's house to drop off a video game.

"Fine by me," I replied.

Little did I know, that was going to be the night I would meet the one. He was wearing blue basketball shorts with a white t-shirt, and his hair was messy. He smiled at me and said "nice to meet you" while I shyly smiled back. His computer was turned on, and I quickly noticed him sign into AIM (remember instant messenger?). I not-so-slyly memorized his screen name before saying goodbye.

I returned home and rushed upstairs to hop into bed with my laptop. My internet could not sign onto AIM fast enough. After 20 whole seconds of torture, my little buddy list finally popped up and after quickly adding him, I saw he was logged on. I can't remember what I said to him, but I'm sure it was something equally clever and dorky. We talked for a while that night. And the night after that. And the night after that.

Two weeks later he kissed me. A week after that, he asked me to be his girlfriend under the fireworks. Three months later, he whispered he loved me and a year after that, he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife.

After three years together, I put on a pretty dress and promised to love him forever.

I don't know what you're searching for, but chances are, you just need to stop looking to find it.

Image Courtesy: 1