Matthew is 37 years old today.
It's the 3rd birthday we've celebrated together. Hilariously enough, Facebook recently reminded me that we reached our 3 Year Friendiversary.
We've had two weddings, made one child, buried one parent, and gave birth to one business in those three short years.
It's a lot.
This morning as I was reflecting on just how much my life has changed since Matthew waltzed into it so unexpectedly I thought about all he has taught me.
It's also a lot.
This man who grew up in a postcard perfect town, with a graduating class of 69 people, who earned two state champions as a wrestler, has a wildly perfect family with 4 parents and 7 variations of brothers and sisters, earned two degrees from two colleges, has lived in more random places than I can count (but I think the oddest is the yoga studio where he exchanged rent for carpentry work), once attended a two-week silent meditation retreat (and enjoyed it), thinks black licorice is a perfectly acceptable flavor for ice cream, studied abroad in Thailand for a year (and can still speak it fluently), has been in a few rock bands, snorkels for fun in our very cold Puget Sound, can play more than a few instruments really well, and sings when he's making cheese.
Yes this man has taught me a lot.
In no particular order:
Mainstream and generic are ugly words. If someone calls you a weirdo, take it as a compliment.
It's okay to just have watermelon for dinner, but it's better if you pair it with a nice feta.
If horses make you happy, buy the damn horse.
Spending any amount of time in a job that doesn't feed your soul should be considered a sin.
Nap. As often as you can.
That voice inside of you, the one that tells you to lose 5 pounds, or are clumsy, or accident-prone, or bad with people...shut it up.
Meditate. In a closed off room, away from everything or in the middle of the chaos of your life (earplugs are helpful here). Make time to connect with your body.
It's okay to eat ice cream first thing in the morning. But it's better to make a milkshake with raw goat milk.
If someone comes to you with a problem that feels very big to them, treat it that way. They came to you because they trust you and it's that trust that will help them realize their problems are small because they have you.
Do yoga every day. If the word yoga intimidates you then call it stretching.
Fill your world with music. Music you make yourself or music from others.
Sing. Loudly. Even if you sound like a cat in heat.
If someone offers you a new food, try it.
There's no such thing as an ugly crying face. Stop saying it. And if you need to cry. Cry.
You are perfect. Just the way you are. Anyone who told you otherwise was trying to make you less of a person. People who are "less than" are easier to keep pinned down.
DON'T LET THEM.
Guilt is a weird, and normally unnecessary emotion. Mommy guilt especially. Because...
YOU ARE ENOUGH.
In fact. You're more than enough.
Life is hard. And good. And beautiful. And pure. Surround yourself with people who think the same.
Be kind to yourself.
Be kind to others.
And last but not least, that whisper inside of you, the one that was easier to hear when you were younger, try to listen. It's that person, who wasn't scared or afraid of failing, that will lead you to great things. And if those things turn out to be not so great, that's okay too. Because you will always be able to look back and say, "I gave it my all" instead of "I wish I'd at least tried."
Happy Birthday My Love. I am immeasurably blessed that you are my person.