I wrote this to my ex today for his birthday. I’ve been planning to start writing thank you letters to all the people in my life. This seemed an apt place to start.
In honor of your 33rd, I wanted to list a handful of things I like, appreciate, admire and/or am thankful for about you.
1 – Your tenacity. You hit every challenge like you’re jumping over a truck – it might be tough, and involve a few tumbles, but you’re absolutely convinced that if you just go for it enough times you’ll make it over eventually. That fucking rocks.
2 – Your way with words. You have a lyrical gift, and an intense intellectual approach to your poetry that is nothing short of amazing.
3 – Your artistic vision. You bring the same intellectual approach as with your writing, but then hit it off with color and form that grab people’s attention…and that have so many layers if only they look harder.
4 – Your openmindedness. In the course of my knowing you, you have become an advocate of natural childbirth, cosleeping, babywearing, cooking from scratch, and other less child-friendly things LOL. All things that were all a stretch for you years ago, and are now second nature.
5 – Our children. Oh, what a gift I have had from you there. Words cannot express.
6 – Your dedication to fitness. As I struggle with consistency in my workouts, I look to you as an example of how to fit in fitness even in the most tight schedule.
7 – Your commitment to being a great father. Though we may differ in our opinions of how exactly that is defined, your commitment to your ideals is always clear to anyone.
8 – Your embracing of nongender norms…like wearing skirts! Not only do they look great on you, but the fact that doing so fucks with “traditional” gender expectation is just awesome. You’re fearless in that regard, and it’s wonderful.
9 – Right along with that is your willingness to allow the kids to do both “girly” and “nongirly” stuff. Not everyone can manage that mental shift, but after that fated conversation we had, you truly did, and made me prouder than I can possibly explain.
10 – You once stood up to your mom for me. ’nuff said.
11 – From you I have learned to put myself in another viewpoint with every discussion. The most difficult and yet valuable lesson to learn from loving someone so different from yourself is to understand why they see things the way they do. I would not be able to see others viewpoints nearly as well as I can without the many years of practice I’ve had with you.
12 – From you I first discovered that I am polyamorous, long before I understood what it meant. Precisely because of our early rocky start, I learned through experience that love and monogamy are not exclusive; that when you cheated on me it did not mean that the love was gone but merely that there were issues we had to address. From you I learned that I could love more than one person, that love is expansive, and that I carry that love inside of me, regardless.
13 – I am thankful for your support during the birth of each kid, but particularly with Eva. With your support I had the most powerful experience of my life, one which you affected in ways I am not sure you understand. But I do, and I thank you.
14 – From you I have learned that anger can be put aside for love, even in the most heated situation. I don’t always succeed, but I know from my history with you that it CAN be done, and that every argument need not end in tears if we can only recognize that at heart, we do care for each other. I admire how often you succeed in pulling back from anger when you could easily allow yourself to be swept away.
15 – You are damn sexy. It kind of goes without saying :-p but I’ll say it anyway.
16 – You have a great deal of compassion, even when you think you don’t. It’s untrue – you do, and I see it all the time.
17 – From you I have learned and finally understood that a room is like a mind. This is a gift you have given me.
18 – Your ambition inspires me to push myself harder. Whenever I hear Madonna’s song “Push”, I think of you – that is exactly what you do for me.
19 – From you I have learned that I need to be strong for myself, that I need to hold on to my own power and be careful not to give it away, even to someone who loves and cares for me deeply. This is an incredibly valuable lesson.
20 – I admire your willingness to see your own weaknesses even when it is difficult to do so.
21 – Your fashion sense. What’s not to love? 🙂 I especially appreciate that you learned to Dress Appropriately – whatever that may call for.
22 – I love your playfulness. It would be easy for you to be Mr. Serious, but it is never a fear. If I forget that, I need only watch you with the kids.
23 – I am grateful that you were willing to take risks with me in D/s. It was an amazing experience and taught me a great deal.
24 – I appreciate your honesty. Though at times it is painful, you have taken on my view that honesty is of primary importance, no matter the difficulty, and you are, in my view, a better person for it.
25 – I admire and respect your discipline.
26 – You can be a fabulous teacher. With the kids, with your parkour students, and I am sure with others, you display a patience and ability to make others feel comfortable that you should be quite proud of.
27 – Your humility. For all your many talents, you are always humble, and seem surprised when people admire you. You shouldn’t be surprised – you definitely deserve it – but it is lovely that it does not go to your head.
28 – Your loyalty and supportiveness. I have appreciated both for many years now. Even when you disagree with me, you always support my choices. It is a rare gem.
29 – Your love of physics. It’s just awesome. 🙂
30 – Dancing…oh the dancing. I really adore going out dancing with you.
31 – Your willingness to try all the weird food I’ve hoisted on you through the years. Mmmmm green smoothies.
32 – Your tenderness. So many of the things you are known for are in the Tough Strong Brave category, but when I watch you with the kids, I can see your soft-hearted center, and it fills me with joy. I can see in the kids that they take some of that from you.
33 – Your intensity. Sometimes it is difficult to deal with, your unwillingness to do things halfway, but I admire it nonetheless. Everything you do, you do with a passion.
Happy birthday. You gave me wings when I could not fly, and opened my heart further than I thought possible. You taught me to look after myself, to fight when needed, and to believe in my own abilities. You encouraged me to dance when I was afraid, to perform more, and that I had something people would want to watch. You gave me two of the most amazing, beautiful and intelligent children I have ever met, and work with me to raise them in a way we will both be proud of. I am grateful to you for so many things, this list is but a short glimpse. I am eternally thankful for your influence in my life. May your 33rd year bring you much clarity, great joy, and the financial freedom that you have been seeking. I love you.