It was my 28th birthday. We traveled so my husband, Graham, and I could hike to the top of one of our favorite spots at sunrise that morning. We sat side by side, as time seemingly stood still, and took in the breathtaking view. I thought about the new year of life ahead of me. I felt a peace I hadn’t felt in a while, and I experienced what he and I call “happy tears” after several surprises including champagne glasses and mimosa makings he pulled out of his back pack, a beautiful engraved necklace, and a hand written card that read…
“You are a wild soul. You are meant to defy this world, not be a part of it. You choose to be you and never fold to the expectations of others. You always ask why and reject all unsatisfactory answers. You look to expand the realm of possibility and change definitions. Society, people, culture, have no effect on your way of life. You are a fountain of curiosity. You say ‘f*** the rules’. You always choose to be kind over mean-spirited, understanding instead of making assumptions, opposite of everyone else. If you find yourself doing things like everyone else, you stop to ask if you can do it differently. Continue to be wild, because your soul is meant to be free.”
In this moment I knew all over again just how lucky I got, nearly 11 years prior, to find love with this incredible human being. In that moment, reading his words, I was overwhelmed to feel so… seen… so wholly understood. And through all my growing and changing he’s never stopped seeing me for who I am in each moment in time… juxtaposed against all the incrementally adjusted versions of my being that he’s witnessed along the way… and all the while somehow clearly seeing all my future self’s potential. I only know a small handful of people who have experienced a similar feeling of being so deeply understood by another human being. And I can honestly say it’s one of the most beautiful gifts you can give… taking the time to really understand someone… to see how their soul dances.
You see, Graham wrote these words because he saw me… clearer than I allowed myself to see me at that time… and he recognized something even before I could acknowledge it myself.
I had felt trapped in a box that, although in phenomenal company with him by my side, just didn’t fit. Graham being empathetic, I know he felt this with me. My heart is one that seeks out love and meaningful connection sometimes against my conscious will. I had over recent months fallen in love with one of my best friends, and while I acknowledged we cared deeply for one another, I rationalized and convinced myself we were just “friends who love each other”. We weren’t “in love”… we couldn’t be. Society teaches us that if you fall in love with a second person, you must not have truly loved the first. I was married and still madly in love with my husband. So I couldn’t quite fathom that I’d fallen in love with someone else. Somehow Graham realized I was in love with this other person… still believed I was in love with him and… after questioning EVERYTHING… after painfully soul searching and rethinking everything from relationships to the meaning of life… he chose compassion. He had the kindness to stop and just see me… and love me enough to say “be free”.