A Love Letter

Be with someone who won't clip your wings.JPG

Today is my hubby’s and my one year anniversary of being married (cue the confetti cannons!) and this journal entry — if I’m honest — is partly a love letter to him and partly me telling YOU about a really important lesson that he helped me learn.  This one’s a bit long, so grab a cupcake and settle in…

A couple of years ago, Austin (my then boyfriend, now husband) and I watched the movie Maleficent and it was actually pretty great.

If you haven't seen it, Maleficent is a fairy and, early in the movie, the man she loves cuts her wings off so that he can become the next king. Oddly enough, that scene got me thinking about my own wings. I realized that in every single relationship I've ever been in, at one time or another, in subtle or not-so-subtle ways, the man I was with tried to cut my wings off.

Sidebar: I feel compelled to say that I am definitely not trying to claim that I was a perfect partner to those men — I most certainly wasn't — but that's not what this journal entry is about.

In many ways, I was complicit in much of this metaphorical wing cutting, because I allowed it to happen and because I didn't love myself enough to say "Hey, thanks but no thanks, I like 'em just fine" when it came to my wings.

But even so, the message those men sent with each wing cutting attempt was always "you're too much” or "I need you to be smaller" or "I'm more concerned about what I want and value than supporting you in being who you are.”

And that's how it had always been for me in romantic partnerships.  Until I met Austin.

Austin has never tried to cut off my wings, not even a little bit. Beyond that, he actively encourages me to soar.  Literally every day, I just feel so grateful to Austin for loving the me that I am and for letting me be big and weird and wild and sensitive and flap my wings around even when it make a mess.

He is kind and gentle, creative and playful, soulful and grounded, super quirky in the best way possible, smart as a whip, and handsome as the devil.  He supports and encourages me without fail and believes in me even when I struggle to believe in myself.

He is — without a doubt — the great love of my life.

One year ago today, I said these words to him: "I have never been much of a believer in fate and I have spent most of my life refusing to believe in fairytales — probably because deep down, I was afraid that no one could ever love me the way that I'd always hoped that I could be loved. But on the day that we met, you lit up a place inside me where before there was only darkness. Loving you is like having the entire sun inside my body. My heart was made to love your heart. You make every cliché about love true. I never used to understand what people meant about their spouses being their best friends, but now I do because you are mine. My best friend, my partner, my love, home."

So there’s the love letter part.

And now here’s the lesson:

Be with someone who won’t clip your wings.

I’m not just talking about your romantic partner.  I’m talking about anyone you allow into the circle of your life — your friends, the family members you choose to be close to, teammates, colleagues, collaborators, business buddies, your TRIBE.

You deserve to be exactly the you that you are. Introverted, zany, adventurous, passionate, pensive, deeply emotional, captivated by the mundane, enthralled with your off-the-wall hobbies, free-spirited, highly logical, a homebody, a dance-till-the-sun-comes-up maniac, soft-hearted, full of dreams…

Whoever you are, be with people who love and appreciate that person.

Because you deserve to be seen.  You deserve to be known.  And — truly — you deserve to be loved.

Katherine Block