Every December, I sit down to a blank, white, computer screen and try my hardest to thank the person who has had the biggest impact on my life in the last year. I do this for a couple of reasons: I think we all deserve to know how we make people feel and as a simple form of gratitude. It has always been my hope that this exercise will spread. While you don't have to write a blog post about what someone means to you, I hope you will take some time with the few remaining days we have this year to thank someone for being there. Battles are often won just by showing up and relationships are often strengthened by being present. Once again, my person of the year did that and so much more.
Now, I know it may seem like cheating to select your partner as your person of the year. If it is any consolation, I have a personal rule that will keep him from ever winning the title again. Brandon Reaves is my 2016 Person of the Year because I can't imagine my life without him. When I reflect back on my journey, there are so many decisions that could have delivered me to a different point in time. I could have buried those tugs at my heart and mind letting me know my attractions were outside "the norm." I could have married the girl I dated in college. I could have decided to stay in Oklahoma. I could have ignored the new sense of freedom and liberation I found in Seattle. I could have never downloaded a silly dating app. I could have clicked on a different profile. Each one of these decisions could have taken me someplace other than where I find myself now. Yet, here I am and I can't help, but feel proud of where I am. The person standing by my side makes all those decisions made even more special.
Brandon is my 2016 Person of the Year because I can't vividly imagine anyone else standing in his place. I can't think of anyone I would rather laugh, fight, cry, explore and grow old with. He is the first person I want to talk to about a cruel world. He is the first person who I want to bring the world's beauty to. He is the only person who I have ever been with that already felt like family. When I stare into his eyes, I see forever. I see job opportunities, our first house, travel, growing old, and someone to shield me from the pains of life. I see someone who challenges me and demands better. I see someone who can hold my secrets without judgment. I see the love of my life.
Of course, if you are viewing this from afar, you might be thinking a couple of things; that's a bit sappy or damn those sinners. All I can say, is you're right. Pouring out my heart in this manner is sappy, but I am 33 and have waited for this moment my entire life. I am finally in a place where I feel brave and bold enough to proclaim my love. I won't apologize, nor will I seek forgiveness. I have done nothing wrong. In fact, I feel as if Brandon is one of the few correct decisions I have made in my life. Plus, I have done something so basic and so human. I have loved and I continue to love within the confines of a committed relationship. I plan on continuing to do just that and all I can do is thank Brandon for his willingness to continue standing by my side.
Be good to each other,