Jenna Evans

The "Us" Project | Ruby & Lee

Jenna EvansComment
Jenna Evans

What's your history?

“After Christmas break I just had this feeling that I should text Ruby specifically, I’d just gotten out of a relationship in October though, and wasn’t really looking for anything up to this point, not wanting to invest in anything mentally or physically, but I had that thought to reach out.” Lee

"Yeah, I had never really thought of Lee that way either until January when I went to one of the Okkah concerts. I tagged along with some friends to see them perform. Lee was drumming and he just looked so good up there. I suddenly thought, 'Maybe I could love Lee? But no no, Lee is just my friend.' Slowly but surely over the next couple months, we started to talk more, spend a little more one on one time. I kept thinking, ‘Maybe I’m making this up in my head, but I don’t think he’s this way with other girls.’ I didn’t feel this need to talk about it, I just wanted to go with it.” Ruby

"This one time during all of this Ruby and I were being especially cuddly, I made eye contact with her roommate across the room, and I immediately thought, ‘Ah, People know!” Lee

"It was Valentines Day, we had a bunch of people over. Afterword, Lee stuck around to help me clean up, then he gave me a hug and left and I walked back to the kitchen. But then the door loudly creaked open and just Lee's head said, 'Ruby, I have a crush on you.' And I was like 'You do?? I have a crush on you too.' And he says, 'Okay!' and shuts the door!" Ruby

“I didn’t wanna kiss her on valentines day, but I wanted her to know.” Lee

"So after we kept spending time together and a couple weeks later someone called me on the phone to ask me out, I turned to Lee, covered the mouth piece and said ‘What do I say?’ Lee replied, ‘Just tell him no.’ but I needed a reason why. Lee said ‘Tell him you have a boyfriend...’" Ruby

Jenna Evans

Your Favorite Quality in her? 

“I’ve never had anyone believe in me so much, not even myself. We’re not talking about believing in my music, my art, she believes in ME, as a human being. She’s determined for me to succeed. Ruby is the most determined person I have ever met; If Ruby wants something she gets it. Giving up is never even a thought, it doesn’t even whisper on the wind. That’s part of what’s so exciting about the future is I know that whatever we decide on, no matter how much I whine, Ruby will be there and she’s gonna help me get it.” Lee

Jenna Evans Photography

How are you involved in the community? 

“Lee's probably most involved through OKKAH and the music they make, most recently a backyard benefit concert for refugees. They play at the Yoga Underground weekly, 3B yoga will occasionally invite them up to do their summer solstice, you guys are currently working on a yoga album of music too.” Ruby

“When we do get together and make music it’s pretty incredible. Hopefully, we’ll be able to turn some heads, that’s a goal I have as a musician: keep going and help where I can. Music is where I want to become even more involved in this community.” Lee

“This community is so great because people give what they have and it makes up for such a difference in the individual's life, Lee’s car broke down but people immediately donated their tools and skills. What would have cost several thousand, cost several thousand less, that’s what I love about this area, people give what they have.“ Ruby

 

Jenna Evans

So what's your secret?

“We took an unusual amount of time apart to try and decide if we wanted to get married. We realized that we leaned on each other very heavily, two heavy buildings leaning on each other— someday they are gonna crumble.” Ruby

“It’s interesting with the timing of this project because both of us have just started to learn who we really are as individuals. When we started dating both of us had some major life changes, Ruby specifically experienced her parents splitting up and soon after her mom introduced us to a book called ‘Real Love’. It’s a community that is built up to help people work and process through some of these bigger struggles, and we both were going through some.” Lee

“It was incredible to see my mom go through these changes and find healing. When I first started it was extremely difficult to face some of the truths in my life. It’s so uncomfortable for someone to hold up that mirror and point out the issues you avoid every day. It’s great to talk to someone though, tell them where you’re at that day, so when you fall into these old behaviors someone is there to say, 'That’s ok.'. And they aren’t disappointed or upset, not trying to fix it just accepting. Lee has seen this all now, he’s seen the ugliest part of my life. When the façade of my happy self and family came crashing down— I had to take a step back and build from ground zero, and I mean we are still building. We got ourselves on our own feet, and now we’re just coming together for the next part. It’s definitely been a unique journey. But, a very thoughtful and intentional one.” Ruby

“It’s similar to therapy paired with reading, but the whole concept is ‘Unconditional Love’— how to receive and give it, removing expectations, and learning what that is. Essentially Charity broken down. It was interesting because when we started to date I knew Ruby was someone I could spend my life with. I knew that, but I slowly began to see the same issues that would come up in other relationships I’d had— the same problems that had surfaced again and again were back. I began to realize it was me, there was something that I didn’t know, something that needed to be figured out.  We both were on a downward spiral, as individuals. Even though everyone loved us, everyone was stoked “Ruby and Lee are the cutest?” But we weren’t happy as individuals, and I knew that, and Ruby knew that. But when we came together we would trade in order to fill that void of individual emptiness. Being able to say, We are not going to be in contact, for who knows maybe a year maybe two years, maybe forever. And being able to come to terms with maybe it’s not the best thing for me to be with Ruby, and if I don’t end up with Ruby then that’s the best thing, I’ll have everything that I need. That’s okay. I started spending six hours a day, all the time I would have spent with Ruby, I didn’t fill it with anything else other than reading, reflecting, and talking to people in the 'Real Love' Community. There were people in that community that were able to give love, that way I could fill up and be okay. It’s so great cause when you’re empty you can call them and get what you need. After going through this process it’s really changed my life, it’s wild. It’s a paradigm shift, changing your view and being able to see people, life, love in a completely different light— how to take responsibility for yourself” Lee

"So this process apart started out as indefinite, but after three months of really focusing in on these concepts, working with our coaches and the community, we collectively came to the conclusion that Lee and I were ready to meet up again. We flew out to Georgia to meet up, talk to the Author and spent the weekend sharing questions and insights. Near the end, the author pointed out that we’d both been working really hard, and though that work wasn’t finished we should think about getting married— we agreed with him, thought about it, and two months later we were." Ruby

"We’re still learning about our individual vibes, our individual happiness comes first and then after that it’s ‘What do we want together.’ And nothing comes in-between that, not our families, not future children, not jobs, not school, nothing. Right now, it's kinda ‘What’s next?’ We got each other, and now we need to figure out what else we want.” Lee

Jenna Evans

What have you learned as newly weds?

“You take care of yourself first, and then you can share what’s left over with your spouse. Lee is number one before work or school. But if there is extra after I take care of Lee I then give to the community. You want to be able to willingly and freely give, not because we have to.” Ruby

“Something that was hard for me was to learn that I’m not responsible for Ruby’s happiness, she is responsible for that on her own. After that, you can freely give it. Then there is no obligation or expectation; we can just enjoy it together when it’s there.” Lee

Jenna Evans

How do you embrace individuality?

“I used to be only motivated out of fear, fear of my family, fear of what other people thought. It led me to simplify, get off social media and center myself. Ruby is so good at pointing out when I’m acting out of fear. Almost any emotion that results out of something other than joy is based out of fear. I don’t necessarily know who I am because I’m still learning that. But the biggest part of embracing my individuality is figuring out who I am. I remember the first time I sat and was completely void of fear, it was only for a few minutes— but it was so cool.” Lee

How are you different?

“Ruby is super efficient, she gets it done. I am very methodical and slow, Ruby just goes. I’m more emotional, while Ruby is a lot more logical. When we first started dating we were worried we were too similar, people pleasers, forgetful. But as we came into ourselves we realized how different we are.” Lee

“Sometimes I go too fast though and I’m missing things, Lee helps me slow down appreciate things. Lee stops he see’s things. I miss so much.” Ruby

Lifestyle Couples

What is religion’s roll in your relationship?

“I think we’re still figuring it out. We pray, we express what we are grateful for. I’ve learned God doesn’t love us with conditions; humans aren’t perfect so they can’t represent him. But yeah, we’re figuring it out. We’re okay with the unknown.” Ruby

“God doesn’t require us to do anything to earn his love, and if he did then we wouldn’t exist. He’s the perfect example of unconditional love.” Lee

Couples Portrait

Who's a power couple you look to?

 “Matt and JuJu, my mom and her new husband. They both went through really hard long marriages. Thousands and thousands on consoling, hundreds on books, then they were both brave enough to leave. It was a very painful thing, but it was a good thing for their situations. It takes two partners that are open to change. They ended up eloping, which was hard on me at the time, but as I got to know him I realized why they did what they did. They are so happy, so in love, and finally living their lives after such hard paths. They are examples of Real Love, they showed us hard work and change.” Ruby

“And I have Ruby because of them, because of that.” Lee

Couples Photography