Quincy and I met at an LGBTQ student organization meeting during our second week at MTSU in 2013. She loves to tell this story because she says I was rude to her the first time we met, but in my reality, I was really shy, and she was really cute. Her friends kind of pushed her down the row I was sitting in, and I proceeded to barely speak to her for the duration of the meeting, only answering her questions as needed. Thankfully Quincy is persistent and was not about to let me ignore her, so she sat by me again the next week, and we swapped Instagrams. That’s how she used to get cute girls’ contact info back then.
What is your favorite memory together?
A: I will always remember the first time we exchanged ‘I love you’s.’ We had not been dating long. We were sitting in my car, and she had climbed over the console to sit in my lap. As I held her there, I was overwhelmed by my feelings for her and I immediately thought about telling her I loved her.
Maybe four seconds later, she looked up at me and said: “Is there something you want to say to me?” I looked back at her, stunned and annoyed that she knew what I was thinking. Which meant I was out of time and couldn’t continue my mental pros and cons list. So anyway, I confessed that I loved her. She said something like I know, and she loved me too. I guess you could say the rest is history.
Q: There are so many to choose from! My favorite memories involve Ashleigh surprising me with a thoughtful trip or mini getaway, and laughing throughout most of it – once you read why maybe you’ll laugh too! Ashleigh is type A personality (ambitious, goal-oriented, organized) , through and through, but the universe tends to be type B (basically the complete opposite), making it nearly impossible for things to go as planned. From planning romantic hotel stays on New Year’s Day and the front desk computer malfunctioning causing us to watch the ball drop in the hotel lobby with the clerk, to thinking she booked a lodge in Estes Park, Colorado only to realize that she actually booked it in a small mountain town almost 2 hours away.
Things typically don’t go as planned for us, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome together?
A: The past. Our history is long and, at times, very messy. I broke her heart more than once, and that’s a topic that we always leave open for discussion because there’s no other way to face challenges and make changes without communication and freedom of expression. I owned up to a lot of bad decisions and personal faults. That was hard to do for a long time, because the home I grew up in was full of people not owning up to their mistakes. I learned, through a lot of self-reflection and loneliness, that I was hurting the one person I truly loved. Quincy had a lot of growing to do as well, but growing together and being open and honest is an integral part of our relationship, and that’s how we get through the hard stuff.
Tell us your favorite thing about one another.
A: My favorite thing about Quincy is their spirit. She carries this positive, loving aura with her everywhere she goes. Even on the hard days. She inspires me to be more caring and mindful of my attitude towards life’s challenges. Her positivity contributes to what makes our house a home, and I love all the laughter we share on a daily basis.
Q: I don’t do well with the “one favorite” limitation. I love that I was the first to call her Ash and it stuck. I love the way her hands fit into mine. Her intelligence and ambition are so sexy. She keeps chivalry alive. I love that I don’t like routine, but I love routine with her. I love how goofy we are together and that we are only really funny when we’re with each other. I love that holidays have become less stress-inducing for me because Ashleigh’s sweet family is now my family too. I love that I get to love a hopeless (now hopeful?) romantic.
What’s in the future for you both?
A: Our future is open to basically whatever.
We are both trying to pin down our passion, but we are actively striving to enjoy where we are in our careers. We want to get married, of course, but we aren’t in a hurry. Our life together has really just begun, and we want to embrace every phase of our relationship. We are both from the south, so we’re looking forward to exploring more of the natural beauty that the western United States has to offer. As long as my life continues to intertwine with hers, I’m not going to be picky about what the future holds.
I’m just enjoying looking over at her from the passenger seat and holding her hand through the journey.
Photography Bailey Cross Photography