To Tyrone, on our anniversary

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We've been together for four years, now, which a friend pointed out recently is longer than most of the couples she knows -married or unmarried. Which is true for me as well since I don't think I know many people who've stuck it out as long as we have.

I watch people we know come together and fall apart and yet I look at you every day and feel this growing sense of love and excitement as our lives change and continue to intertwine until, really, it's not "my life" anymore, but "our life." I feel so incredibly lucky to be able to do that, to see you and feel that way and have it only increase over time.

I realize that what you and I have together is rare and unique, and something that a lot of people will never get to experience. I feel so fortunate to be able to have that, with you.

Over the past few years I've leaned so heavily on you, as a student with basically no money and no free time, and you've never been anything but encouraging, kind, considerate, and giving beyond the scope of anything I would have ever dared ask of you. You supported me when I made the incredibly difficult decision of leaving my safe job with the province to pursue my university education, and all throughout the three years I was a student.

I like to think that I would have had the tenacity to continue to pursue my goals on my own, but I know for certain that having you in my life made it significantly easier to do so.

I wasn't just working to make my life better, but to help build a better future for both of us.

I still am.

Back in the very early days of our relationship I was struggling to make a decision: go to school out of province, or stay in Winnipeg to go to school and invest in our relationship. I remember being scared that our relationship wouldn't work out and was talking to my mum about it, and she said "you can go to school anywhere, but you won't find a man like Tyrone anywhere else" and she was right.

Honestly, there are times when you'll be working on some new project, or describing something you read that day to me, and I'll look at you and think "I get to be with him. He loves me. How the fuck did I manage that?"

I'm still figuring that one out.

(My current guess is that I have a wicked rack, but who knows.)

Honestly, it doesn't matter as long as we love each other.

I can't picture my life without you. I would never want to. It would be missing something so vital, so central to my happiness, my motivation, and, really, what makes me who I am.

I have been, and continue to be, shaped by my love for you. You have made me a better person, a happier person, a more grounded and reflective person that I ever would have been able to become on my own.

If I've had even half the positive impact on you that you've had on me, then I'm doing okay.

I could continue. I could go on at length about how much fun I have with you every day, how entertaining and hilarious our conversations are, how adorable you are when you walk around the house in bright underwear and socks pulled up high, how you manage to be so intelligent one minute and so weird and off-the-wall the next, how excited I am to be building a life with you, how being around you makes me a better person, how falling asleep and waking up next to you are the best parts of my day.

Thank you for all of that. For bringing these things into my life and making it so much better.

I love you more than words could ever express, no matter how many long-winded blog posts I write trying to articulate it.

Happy anniversary.