Another 365 days has passed. Just like it did yesterday. And the day before that.
Feeling the same amount of gratitude. Taking the same amount of time to reflect as I do every day.
I don’t have any profound words for you all for the new year and I won't make any grand predictions about what kind of year it will be. But I do have a story I want to share.
Maybe about 10 years ago or so I got a message from the most highs that my 31st year was going to be a big year for me—which I took to mean my best one yet. Tried as I might to not look forward to it too much or create any expectation, I couldn’t. I told a few people over the years, and tried to remain impervious, but when 31 came around I was definitely expecting something. So when I started to approach the halfway mark and saw that not only did nothing “great” happen but actually something horrible did.. I thought ok maybe that “something big” was actually negative.
I acknowledged it for what it was—a bad thing that didn’t have to happen. I wasn’t going to treat it as another negative thing that “happened for a reason” or to make me stronger or better. And thankfully my mechanisms have grown significantly from all my practices so I could acknowledge without attaching or becoming. Still, I felt disappointed, underneath it all, about this big reveal of 31 and the lack of grandeur that came with it after all these years of wondering.
Little did I know, something great was indeed waiting just around the corner. About 2 weeks away. Something that has made me realise that all the cliches about love are true (and that's why they're cliches). That when you meet him or her, you just know. That they can be your best friend. That you’ll love being around each other all the time. That you’ll feel you can work through anything and everything together. That it’s all-consuming. That it gives you wings and courage and fills you up completely.
Before, I could never fathom spending my life with someone. I never understood how people could be around another person all the time, and be so sure about them. I always had so many questions and fears. So much uncertainty.
But now, finally, I understood — no, experienced, what it means to have no doubts. To know, right away.
This is it.
I found my person in my 31st year. Our eyes met not across a room but across a street, a crowd of people gathered at an oceanfront concert that we both dragged ourselves to in the 11th hour. Me, in that red top. Him in black. The beginning. The end. And everything in between.
It wasn’t his physical appearance that drew me to him, though I enjoyed looking at him. It was a recognition. I literally stopped in my path when I looked up and saw him, and I stared. More than once. I looked at him for longer than it was socially acceptable, not even turning away when I noticed him noticing. I knew him.
My heart pounded in my chest. I had no idea what would come of it then, and now that I do, the rest of what happened at 31 seems irrelevant. I’m grateful that it all led me here, to him. And even more grateful that nothing else before this worked out. I’m grateful I never settled. I’m grateful I kept pushing the limits of what is acceptable and what isn’t. I’m grateful for that deep feeling inside that always told me “this isn’t what it’s supposed to feel like”. And I’m grateful I never ignored it.
I gave myself a chance to experience a love that I deserve, that I’ve always been worthy of. A love I’ve never seen before but one I knew had to be out there.
And I welcome it with open arms.
It doesn’t have to be hard work. It doesn’t have to be a compromise of values. It doesn’t have to be shutting up to keep the peace. Or having to be in defence mode constantly. It doesn’t have to be one-sided effort or incessant miscommunication and passive aggression. It doesn’t have to be gaslighting or arguments about nothing. Or wondering why I'm not good enough. Or looking at other relationships longingly and thinking “why can’t I have that”.
It never had to be.
Love is many things, but destructive isn’t one of them.
Thank you for showing me the way. And for letting me live out the possibility of actually being happier than I ever thought I could be.