Today was a simple and easy day. I woke up early, got ready, stuffed my clothes into my pack, made us breakfast, and we made our way from Budapest to Bratislava by way of an exceptionally comfortable and cheap FlixBus. In three hours we were in a new country and city!
I’ve been cycling through being incredibly happy and hopelessly homesick. Tyler says these moods are on six-week rotations. This last bout of depression came on fast and strong, and when it hit me, I reverted back to some self-taught tendencies of beating myself up. I’m trying to investigate why I do this, what initially prompted it in my past, and why I feed into it. I don’t have many answers for those questions, but I do know what it looks like. It is usually me hating my body and overall appearance, saying mean things about myself audibly every so often, but mostly keeping a constant internal dialogue of self-shaming. I got caught in this cycle for a little too long even though I knew it was happening and I also knew I didn’t want it to be there.
Tyler, being by my side at all times, experiences all these things with me. It takes a toll on my energy level and my overall constitution. That of course affects him as well. He always manages to remain happy, engaged, and excited by all things in front of him. I admire his ability to remain positive and delighted at all times. But when I’m sad, he is fiercely empathetic and, like an engineer, often times wants to figure out how to fix or help mend me.
I think the thing that pulled me out of this little sadness was just letting myself watch how he loves and experiences life. And also, how he loves me.
He wakes up every morning and holds on to me so tight and tells me he loves me. How he’s missed me while he’s been asleep. He says, “Another day I get to spend with you!” He listens intently to me when I speak, even when I repeat my stories and musings all the time. He watches my mouth when I talk and starts to slowly curl his own mouth into a smile just because he enjoys the moment. I love that he loves me so fully and so unreservedly. Why am I wasting time by worrying about what I look like when this marvelous man is constantly reinforcing how much he is attracted to me? There are better ways to spend my mental energy than fretting about trivialities.
In so many millions of micro things he does for me he shows me how much he cares. He picks my backpack up for me, extra high, so that it just slips onto my back without me having to lift it. Today, when the bus dropped us off, he carried my bag for me even though I had hands free.
He’s such an incredible human being and I’m gobsmacked by how lovely he is, at all times.
He is so curious, and creative, and full of imagination. He makes up little songs and stories constantly, always using accents which never sound like any one accent because he waffles between so many. He spends countless hours reading and researching things like Bitcoin and block chain, and when he has his eyes on the screen he is actively trying to press together as much of our bodies as possible wherever we’re sitting. We’re practically, and sometimes literally, on top of each other. He voraciously consumes books and you can almost see and hear the characters inside his brain when he’s imagining them because his whole face lights up with child-like wonder. He must live in this world where inter-galactic explosions are taking place in the distance and giant alien creatures are lumbering towards us on the horizon, because in moments of silence he’ll ask, “What if a giant alien creature just came out of no where and [queue mouth-made sound effect]…?!” He’s enraptured by these ideas.
He was so excited and proud of himself any time he spoke Italian while we were in Italy. And OH-MY-GOODNESS did older Italian women just eat him up. It was so incredible to watch them interact with him, and to see this adorable wag of the tail Tyler would wear when he could see that he was impressing them or entertaining them. He is so preciously in-tune to the emotions of others and it’s a constant gentle kindness that he exudes.
I’m so grateful for him. I’m so grateful for this time together — this UNBELIEVABLY wonderful time together where we spend all day attached at the hip, laughing, exploring, adventuring, snuggling. It’s a huge gift. Experiencing him experiencing the world has such a deep pureness to it. I’m learning that I don’t need these thoughts of self doubt or of shame or of abuse. I need to spend my time saying “thank you” instead of asking “what can I change?”
I feel ashamed of even acknowledging that I do these things, that I am not constantly grateful for everything around me, that I let myself get blindsided by things that really are not important at all. But, I want to get better and I think I need own up to the things that aren’t great. I can’t just put an Instagram filter on the shitty parts of my behavior and move on.
So I am loudly saying, “Thank You”. Thank you to Tyler who always pulls me out of any darkness and shows me that there is so much to laugh about and appreciate. He makes the whole world more beautiful and I’m honored to be the person he loves.