Being with you is like a playground for my soul.
In your company, I don't just laugh harder or cry deeper or play with more abandon. Oh, I do those things, too but, more importantly, I speak more boldly about what I really want, and I allow myself to fully enjoy the things that I've been too shy to share with anyone else.
But it's not just my positivity that I get to unleash with you. You encourage me to experience life's dark moments as completely as the light ones. I'm given the luxury of yin and yang and the struggle for balance; I get the whole experience.
You are the only person in my life who is presented with a pure version of me, with no filter, pretense, or last-minute editing. This is why you are the most valuable person in my world.
I'll admit it took some getting used to. After years of opening myself up just to have small parts of my candid personality rejected, I'd learned to keep her under wraps; I was tired of scaring away people I cared about. I confused their lack of security with the belief that there was something inherently wrong and unlovable about myself.
It seems silly now that I would dim my own light and settle the company of anyone who couldn't appreciate the real, shiny, sparkly me, but loneliness makes fools of us all sometimes. I wish I'd known you were around the corner; I wouldn't have wasted so much time and energy censoring myself out of needless shame for people who weren't worth it.
Being with you is like a playground for my soul. When we're together, I get to let my Inner Self run around freely, playing and dancing without fear of being hurt. I'm not sure love without this freedom is really love at all.
When I'm with you, I'm not just one stock emotion that others would use to quickly sum me up. I'm not just "Always Optimistic!" or "A Born Cynic" or any other one-dimensional caricature of a whole person. Instead, I get to fully experience the gray areas that we all exist within.
With you, I get to be multifaceted and complex with how I process life and the world as I walk through it. I get to explore the fluid nature of my emotions and motivations, and I have the freedom to express myself how I need to, so long as it doesn't hurt anyone. I don't have to plug myself into a predetermined role at any given point and I'm allowed to be authentic in how I'm living from moment to moment. That's what it's like to be yourself in a relationship.
You are my safe haven in this hypercritical world that strives to corral all of us into boring uniformity and simplistic, reductive standards. Because I get to be exactly myself, I'm free to celebrate my triumphs and bemoan my failures and be a hot mess from time to time. And, as a result, I get to grow.
Every moment when I am realizing exactly who I am when we're together, I get to watch this person I finally enjoy being evolve into someone I love even more. I am amazed at what the freedom to share my ever-changing identity has done for my sense of self, and even more amazed that you are still here, cheering me on and happy to be a part of it.
My only wish is that I am able to consistently and completely return the favor.