Today, I’m just going to write a love letter to the person, and the love, who has transformed my life. Though perhaps a better way to say it would be that he has put his faith and love into me and supported me as I transform my own life. Without losing hope, without judgment, without criticism. Just with love.
This is to my boyfriend on our one year anniversary. If you feel yourself gagging or rolling your eyes, click away now, reader, the mushiness only gets worse.
First of all, it’s weird for me to have a one-year anniversary. It’s a new concept, since I’ve never had one before. I know. Judge me all you will, lord knows I’ve judged myself enough for that. In all my 28 years of my socially-awkward, strangely-introverted-for-an-extrovert-life, I’ve never had a one year anniversary before. Shoot, I’ve never even had a six month anniversary before.
No, my past “relationships” normally went one of three ways:
- Go on one date. Not happening.
- Date for three months. Not happening.
- Want to date. Not happening.
It sounds simple, but each relationship resembled more of an emotional rollercoaster that bounced and bumped wildly off the tracks while going much faster than it should. Definitely not up to code, should probably have undergone an inspection prior to dating, uh, I mean, riding, the rollercoaster and ended in a crash-course collision with my own insecurities, PTSD, and a huge, messy, stinking heap of self-judgement.
All except this one.
This one relationship with the most beautiful, kind-hearted, loving, thoughtful and supportive man I could never have imagined I would find, but finally believed myself capable of calling my own. The man who chooses me, who couldn’t pass me up, who cares for me and cares for himself and cares for others. A man who is the strongest I’ve ever met but through a deep, internal, kind strength, focused on healthy boundaries and a moral center and not through a pushy, outward and fake representation of the word. A man who proves to me, every day, that I can trust him, and who works hard to build and maintain that trust, because he knows how precious it is.
A man who holds my heart with care. Who treasures it. If we had a family motto it would be “I take care of you and you take care of me” because that’s who we are and that’s what we do and that’s what we say to each other each and every time we help each other out. Because that’s who we are and that’s our representation of love: balanced and without expectation, other than to be supported in our generosity.
He holds me to my highest standards without a hint of cruelty behind his expectations or actions. Through love and steadfastness, he encourages me to do my best and helps me guide myself with patience along the journey.
How do I write about my love for him? It is strong and true and more real than anything I have yet felt. It is not a distant memory, dreamed into existence. It is not a thought, flitting away at the slightest distraction. It exists – daily, constantly, at every moment. Real and unimagined.
I see the proof of it in the morning. I carry it with me throughout my day. I cradle it close to me at night. It feels like nothing I ever though it would, and the calm that comes with that notion does my soul good.
For too long I lived in turmoil, seeking shelter from life’s storm in any rickety shack or cardboard box that would house me. Now I have a comfortable home in which I lay my soul. My heart rejoices at the shelter it has found.
The years of effort, the years of self-searching, the years spent delving into the deep, dark places of myself and searching for healing and the ability to connect through healthy relationship has finally manifested to its fullest and most beautiful quality.
Thank you, my love, for bringing hope for relationships back into my vocabulary.
Today, I feel nothing but gratitude. Gratitude for my life, just as it is. Gratitude for you, my love, just as you are. And most importantly, gratitude for us. Just as we are, and just as we will grow to be.
The moral of the story? The ingredients for a happy relationship are beer and cheese. Okay, so maybe not literally, but it works for us.