To my best friend, my better half, my dinner date, my pillow, my cheerleader, and my confidant:
How one year has come and gone is beyond me. Time speeds so quickly; in the blink of an eye I went from barely smiling, negative thoughts galore and insecurities, to this moment. It seems like 12 months have zoomed by in half the time, but it seems as if this has been my reality for so much longer. I can hardly remember what it’s like to not have you in my life.
One of my favorite memories from this past year is, in fact, a moment before we even went on our first date. I want you to recall that, during our first days of talking, I had just been out of a week-long stay in hospital. And I found solace in talking to you. I remember it being banter at first, until I realised I felt more than a friendship, and asked you to hang out.
I would like to end our first year together with an act of old-fashioned romance. (You know I’m into that crap).
First and foremost, I want to start off with an apology. I am sorry for my faults, my shortcomings and my insecurities. I am sorry for my wall that had been built up in the beginning, making it hard to let you into my heart. I am sorry for disappointing you over and over again with broken promises.
Secondly, I want to say thank you. Thank you for not giving up on me. Thank you for proving me wrong. Thank you for showing me not only how much you love me, but also how much you appreciate me every single day, from the moment I wake up to the moment I close my eyes. Thank you for always believing in me, even when I don’t believe in myself.
Thirdly, and most importantly, I love you. Truly, madly, deeply.
There is so much that I want to say, but I have no idea how to categorize it and shorten it into something that would encompass the infinite-seeming lengths of what I feel for you. So much has happened in just this one year, but having the constant comfort of you by my side has made me feel like I can do anything. I have more hope and expectations for myself now than ever before. I have always wanted to pave for myself the best life possible, but I am so humbled to have you here—that having you here has made me see beyond myself. My goals are now yours, and your goals are now mine, and I am not ashamed of saying that I would prefer to build a life with you than to try to strive for greatness on my own. I see us as a power couple. I see us as the couple that everyone wants to be. I see us spending our lives pushing each other further, neither of us satisfied until the other is ahead.
I think many people don’t understand what real romance is. Anyone can buy flowers, candy and jewelry, but you have taught me that the truly romantic things in life are those little things you do every day to show you care and that you are thinking of me. It is going out of your way to make me happy; the way you hold my hand when you know I’m scared, the way you tell me I’m beautiful, even if my hair is a mess and I have no makeup on (which is almost all the time). Romance is putting your favorite game on pause so I can tell you about my day and laughing at my jokes—even the really lame ones (most of them). Romance isn’t about buying, it’s about giving. True romance is in the gestures.
Once upon a time, I was very afraid that I would not be able to recognize love when it found me. Though I knew, I hardly even realized that I’ve been preparing myself for this. Every lesson I’ve learned, and every day dream I’ve had of you before I even knew who you were, has brought me to this moment where I can hardly keep my eyes dry long enough to get to the next sentence. Being in love and being loved feels so good.
I have received more love, caring and consideration from you in 12 months than I have from most people that I’ve known my entire life. Loving you is being 10 years old again, scaling a tree with my eyes bright and skyward, wanting only to get higher and higher, without a thought of how I would get back down. They say that you should treat others how you wish to be treated, and this is so true in that the very love you have given me is what I have used to love you in return. Your love—intense, yet playful, innocent and pure—fills me with peace, contentment and tranquility. Something I’ve been looking for all my life. It is always just enough. I can only hope that the love I have for you can give the love that you have given me justice. I will spend the rest of my life trying to make sure that it does.
You are the finest, loveliest, tenderest, funniest, cutest, and most beautifully intelligent and smart person I have ever known—and even that is an understatement.