I’m in love and it’s fantastic.
I’m talking about the kind where you hear the love songs on the radio and you finally know what they’re talking about. The ones where you always used to think, “my god this is cheesy. Change the channel.” Now, you’re singing “Silly Love Songs,” right on down the highway.
I’ve been with my wife for about six years now. We aren’t young.
I wish we’d found each other sooner, so we’d have lived this through our 20s and 30s. But really, would it have been the same? I doubt it.
I really cherish what we have, probably because I spent two adult decades not having it. And this isn’t at all meant to trash or criticize anyone I’ve had a relationship with prior. Not at all. I’m of the mind that relationships that end aren’t “failed” marriages or “failed” relationships, they are just relationships that end. You learned, you moved on. They could be successful in fact. They just were successful relationships that ended when they needed to.
That to say, I had never met my real “mate” before I met my wife. The person who really “gets” you and knows what you’re thinking before you say it and who actually understands it and relates to it. The person you likewise understand. The person you can talk to for hours and never get tired of it. A person who you just enjoy being around, no matter where or what you’re doing, even just doing a tedious chore. The person who is really almost effortless to be in a relationship with. The person who when you disagree with them, you don’t “fight,” you just disagree. That’s it. That’s all. I finally met that person. A person who energizes me on every possible level.
And I appreciate it so very much, because for the longest time of my life, I never even thought that was possible. For much of my young life, I even denied myself the chance or opportunity. I thought even that I was probably disgusting, gross, and wretched in the eyes of the Almighty Creator who I thought had fashioned me on this planet. I knew from a young age that my dreams of finding a mate suitable for my comfort zone was going to draw the distaste of many in my Southern region. Even I didn’t think I could go that path — surely a life of being ostracized, ridiculed for wanting to be, so well, obscene. Another female? So, I opted for safety. And melancholy. And a life that wasn’t me. For a long time. Until depression nearly overtook me.
So, today, living in freedom, full of joy, happiness, and legally married in the state I live in (another milestone I wasn’t sure I’d ever see), to a most beautiful woman who gets me, loves me, makes me laugh, and who, for whatever reason, wants to be with me, I have so much gratitude to the Universe and yes, to the Creator who made me just like I am and just like I’ve always been, I am in love with few restraints. There are no mistakes here.
I am unapologetically in love. I am cheesy. I sing the Silly Love Songs. I am full of joy. I am proud to live in a place that recognizes equality and a Constitution that offers all people the right to pursue happiness.
And that isn’t all. When I decided to pursue joy, it became a “thing.” When I have needed to leave jobs because they no longer served me, I left. When I needed to humble myself in the process, I humbled myself. When I needed to choose happiness or a paycheck, I took happiness. I’m not done with that. I bought the horse.
And I see others around me finding joy in their lives as well and such joy almost always has to be expressed, like a light shining.
And I am sure that irritates the people who sit in their miserable marriages with their miserable spouses in their miserable jobs at their miserable churches barking at everyone around them and judging the others, still talking about how cheesy the love songs are and how no one wants to hear about how in love someone is. How no one wants to see another picture of someone’s wedding gown or hear another story about so-and-so’s new little baby.
I can only pray that one day they experience true joy in their life and learn to sing along.
(A professional newspaper journalist for 20 years, Kumari Kelly is now a licensed massage therapist in Florida, nationally certified massage therapy educator and licensed practical nurse working in labor and delivery)