Everyone wants to feel special. Everyone wants to feel loved and adored and wanted. Everyone wants to feel needed.
Three years ago tonight, I received a text message. “Hi,” it said. “It’s T. Are you still interested in getting together for dinner sometime?”
::Yes.:: I typed back immediately, surprising myself. This was a man who scared me a little (a lot.) This was a man I’d exchanged a few messages with over the previous six months. A man I knew was married and polyamorous. A man I didn’t quite understand. A man I had already backed out of a dinner date with several months before, because somehow I knew.
I knew he was a game changer.
Three years ago, tomorrow, I put on a black and white dress, and drove to the sushi restaurant near my house. He wore a deep red dress shirt. I was so nervous I wanted to throw up.
He wasn’t nervous at all.
Because I said yes, three years ago, my life changed. I am loved, that is true. But more importantly: I am loving. I am more open with my emotions. The tears I swallowed down during an abusive marriage, are allowed to surface, even at weirdest times (Like during sex. Or randomly at dinner.) I smile. I laugh, and I make him laugh. I can tell him when I’m afraid, and he never, evermocks me. He says he loves my beauty: my face without makeup, my pudgy little toes, my unruly breasts. He loves and accepts every piece of me, even the parts that scare me.
He provides me safe space to say this: I am me. And I like me. This has been his gift to me.
(And he likes me too.)