When I think back on all my adventures in all the countries I’ve lived in and travelled to, the biggest, most challenging, most fulfilling adventure was meeting and falling in love with this remarkable example of a human exactly 5 years ago.
From having a whirlwind (and secret) romance in Blighty, to road tripping through India in the monsoon; from arguing over the statistics of long-distance working, to actually giving it a solid go; from watching our relationship grow over various black mirrors, to moving in, and then moving to 3 different countries together, we have managed to live through so much in such a short period of time.
Through all the arguments, the stresses, the ups and downs that come with daring to be with someone with a different passport (and all that that entails), through all the times we’ve had to start from scratch, trying to make it work in different countries with different languages and different sets of rules, we’ve made it!
He’s drawn closer to me when I’ve pushed him away. He’s encouraged me to communicate when I draw into myself. He’s always there to say “Let’s try just one more day!”, when I’ve nearly given up on us and our silly visa issues. He encourages us to have healthy debates about race, gender, politics, identity, and to evolve our points of view. He is my biggest cheerleader when I’m exploring something new or discovering something old and hidden re: my identity. He gives me the space I need to grow, watering me when I need it, and taking on the role of sunshine or silence or both, whichever I need at that moment.
No undertaking of mine is too silly for him. No personality quirk, too weird. If I want to pig out, he stocks up. If I want to watch trash, he preloads Nailed It! If I want to read, there’s a nook ready, complete with blanket and tea. He is considerate, loving, passionate and entirely without agenda. And with him, I am completely and utterly me!
I am proud to have him as my partner and my best friend. I am happy my family and friends get to know him and love him almost as deeply as I do.
Happy 5 mein Schatz! I love you.
(Artwork Commissioned from my good friend Wanwiss Paul. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org)