This probably makes me a cliche but I have always waited for a knight in shining armor to rescue me … from me. As a young child and then a troubled teenager, living in a head full of dreams and a home riveted by trauma, there was always a crack of hope in the darkness within, letting a light I could not precisely distinguish trickle in. Through all of the motions of surviving adolescence, dating, painful, reluctant intimacy, a “should be” eleven year marriage, a controversial relationship with church and femaleness, throughout this infinite turmoil, a small voice inside my heart always whispered: there’s something out there for you, don’t give up, keep looking!

I remember the first day I laid eyes on her. She was eating in the school cafeteria, new to the environment, shy, out of place really, alone. I remember what she wore, the way she looked in my direction when I came into the room. I would not be able to say what made my heart skip a beat, why my eyes stopped on hers in a room were tens of people I actually knew were sharing lunch. I was going to understand later why – she is and has always been my Home.

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the day we could no longer hide our love from ourselves and decided to let this reality live outside of ourselves as well. It would maybe be corny to say that she is the love of my life, that she helped me save myself, that she continues to do that every minute of every day, that she is the smartest, kindest, most honest person I know, wholeheartedly present for me every single step of the way. And these are no small feats. But there is something else I celebrate today: ten years of finding myself.

“To be loved, we need to be known,” goes a wonderful song I have discovered lately. Nothing in life is by chance, if you stop to really reflect. I have said many times that what had me believe her love for me was the real deal, was her first and foremost knowing everything there was to know about me. And still wanting to be with me. And somehow, against all odds at the time, against so many voices telling us we are broken, selfish, unnatural and a fluke, we found each other and loved each other not in spite of ourselves but precisely because of who we were – individually and together. And when the fugue of falling in love transformed into the landing in love, I started to give myself an actual chance. If someone else, outside of me, could know me so well and still love me so much, maybe I could try that for myself as well.

My love, returning me to myself was and continues to be the very best gift that you have offered me and our beautiful son. Someone once told me that relationships should never resemble the letter A as we should not lean on each other for comfort, that they should resemble the letter H as we should ground ourselves on our own two feet and hold hands going forward. That is us! Though the light of love has been present throughout my existence in that crack of hope, it was only you who made a believer of me and helped me see it shine. I feel so happy and grateful to have landed in love with you. If you’re a bird, I’m a bird!

Beyond always!

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