Thanksgiving is always especially poignant  for me.  I was born on the holiday in 1957.  Once every so often the two coincide, this being one of those years.  Always the best week of reflection for me.

One year ago this week I freed myself.  After being told for nearly two decades that I could never be, I officially became.  Self sufficient.  It is true that I was well kept, if unhappy.  Endured for my children as long as possible.  Reached the point where I knew I could no longer.  Knew that I must test myself as an individual, prove my self worth, to me not anyone else.  For everything I ever accomplished I was made to feel a complete and utter failure.  Daily.

It just couldn’t be so.

But it was a three year journey, not just one, that overthrew the dogma of absolute control.  November 2010 was the beginning, when I became the man deciding to stand up on his own.  Filled with fear and doubt, afraid that the constant declarations of my worthlessness were true and a life’s sentence.  Worried that the down payment I’d made back in 1985 in the cardboard jungle would be my final lot in life.

It just isn’t so.

Something happened in the meantime.  Something completely unplanned and unforeseen, by me at least. Sheepishly I’ll admit I was last to know, matters of the heart being so foreign to me (nearly a decade of celibacy will do that.)  There are always two versions (at least) of course, depends on whom is telling the tale.  One version filled with love, the other(s) probably not so much.

But this is my story.  And it is Happy Endings I’m dealing in these days.  Happiness grounded in mutual appreciation, mutual respect, mutual support.  Happy to have found a good listener and honest communicator.  Happy to have found a woman with shared dreams and goals.  Happy that through all of our individual suffering we emerged together.  With courage and wonder and determination.  Resolute that we alone shall decide our direction.  Filling our daily ledgers with joy and bliss, our nightly reports warmed by embrace and more.

Let ours then be a tale of Real Love.  Of two individuals that weren’t but now are.  We deserve to be happy and in love.  Same goes for all of us.

One year ago this week Linda and I started sharing our life together.  It has never been better.

North Country 095

Real Happiness.  Real Life.  Real Love.