To all the brave, true, and incredible men who I’ve had the privilege of knowing in my life, I hope you know how much you are loved.
In this time where it feels like your very morality is being questioned left and right, I hope you, Good Men (you know who you are), remember all of the women in your life who love and admire you, and who appreciate all the light you bring into the world.
Here is my own appreciation for such men in my life:
To the older boy in grade school: for letting me play soccer with the other boys, for believing in my goalie skills, and for sticking up for me when they started putting me down because, in your words, “she’s a good player.”
To my first boss: for teaching me that ladder climbing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and for reminding me that what awaits us at home is far more beneficial to our well-being than anything we do in the office, and to never forget to nurture that piece of my life.
To my co-workers: for making me feel welcome on day one and who, in an industry almost entirely dominated by men, seem to find my gender both a wonderful thing as well as something that doesn’t change how they perceive, trust, respect, and appreciate me as an individual.
To every man who has ever held a door for me: for seeing, not that I am weak, but that I am deserving of kindness.
To my energy worker: for teaching me unending compassion for myself, love for my sensitive soul, and what healthy boundaries look and feel like with another human being.
To my personal trainer: for teaching me how to respect the limits of my own body, and also how to push ever so slightly past those limits in order to expand and grow my potential.
To my creativity teacher: for showing me that I am valuable and worthy, that I’m ready for this, and that my calling is waiting for me just on the other side of bravery.
To my brother: for letting me watch him play Resident Evil at the age of 7, making me confident that I was the coolest 7-year-old girl on the block.
To my dad: for teaching me how to properly hold a knife in a fight for self defense (in typical Marine Corps fashion), and even so, reminding me that it’s often safer to be without a knife because then there’s no chance of an attacker wrestling it away, and therefore also teaching me how to box and how to throw a punch to save my life. And also, for showing me the value of unending determination and hard work, gratitude for what I already have, and hope for a better future.
To my partner: for making me laugh every single day, even when I’m down. For giving me unending respect and admiration as a partner, even especially regarding things I excel at relative to you. For being fearless in sharing your opinions, even if you know I’ll blatantly disagree. For supporting me in every way you are able, and always moving toward me, rather than away. No amount of crazy seems to scare you away. You are my rock, my safety net, and the love of my life.
Here’s to all you wonderful men. Never forget how much you’re loved.