Ten years ago to the day, I met sk. I can’t say I met the woman of my dreams because that would be lying. At that time, I had given up on finding a special someone to grow old with but if there was a gal pal out there just for me I thought she needed to be. . .well, more like me. She wouldn’t be looking forward to watching a guy named Manning take his Colts team all the way to the World Series, something sk thinks has a chance of actually happening. She would know her sports, be intelligent enough to talk about current affairs and have an opinion about them, wouldn’t know the difference between all the shades of pink but would know the differences between a bock, stout and pilsner. She’d be the kind of woman you could call up at the last-minute with tickets to the game that night and you knew she would be ready to go in fifteen minutes, tops. Sk is not that kind of woman. She is a woman beyond my dreams.
Because she’s been on my mind a lot lately, more so than usual, and with it being our anniversary, I will dedicate this blog to her. I’ve decided to create a list of the top reasons why I love sk. I do not have the energy, time or patience to write down every single reason. . .it would be way too long and include all those little idiosyncrasies we tend to overlook everyday, such as the way sk pronounces the letter “o” in some words like “oven.” It’s so cute! Trust me, it is. Also, the list is not in any particular order.
Sk is Filipina. I adore the fact that she is different from myself and the people I grew up around. For me, she embodies diversity. We are very different indeed, some people think we are opposites, but this is what I love about us. I don’t want to be with someone just like me, I have me, why would I want another me? That is very boring. I want someone who looks different, sounds different and can bring a different point of view. And, maybe more importantly, she is very proud of her nationality. She does not want to assimilate, to lose her identity.
Her tenacity. Sk has more determination than anyone else I know . She went to the US by herself at the age of 35, and refused to accept the word “no.” She knew what she wanted and did everything legally in her power to find a way to make it happen. When that avenue closed, she found another route. That’s how we found ourselves with all our possessions loaded in a moving van, our car on a trailer, two cats in their travel carriers in a new country with no place to call home. Call me a weenie, but that really scared the crap out of me. She was absolutely the only other human being I knew in our adopted country of residence. Due to her, we can now live together securely in North America. Sure, she doubts herself sometimes. She’ll wonder why something that feels so right could be so hard to obtain. Then, that’s my cue, ta-da! That’s when I get to be the sympathetic, encouraging, supportive and loving partner. I’m like the coach in the corner and sk’s my prize-fighter. Every so often she needs a breather, a few minutes to gather her bearings. I’m there with the smelling salts, wiping her face and providing encouraging words or an alternative method for her next round. Then I lovingly push her back into play.
Her mind. Woo-wee, I got me a smart one. She can intelligently discuss global current affairs. You want to know what the leading economic theorists of today are projecting for the world’s top three economies in fifty or seventy-five years from now? Ask sk. She reads a lot. (This could be another reason all by itself but I decided to include it in this category.) Not only does she read books on current affairs but also on therapy and self-healing. She is a therapist by profession and will read books to improve herself in her field because this is what she calls “fun.” I happen to have a book of hers sitting right here beside me, “EMDR The Breakthrough Therapy for Overcoming Anxiety, Stress, and Trauma” by F. Shapiro, Ph.D. and M. Silk Forrest. I can’t make up stuff like this. She actually studied and received certification in EMDR therapy this past year. But hands down, the absolute best thing about her smarts is when she is flexing those brain muscles while talking to an individual or a group about psychology or a specific type of therapy or dysfunction. She is super sexy when throwing around those big psych words. Once in a while at home she will say a word and I have to stop her to inquire if that was in fact an English word. She’ll just look at me in amazement and wonder aloud how an American with two university degrees did not know that word, not to mention the definition of said word; which she also knows and proceeds to inform me.
She is graceful. Sk is very fluid in her movements especially when dancing or showing me how she used to practice the hula when she was a little girl growing up in the tropics. I love watching her hips as she learns to salsa and how she does those little movements, like pointing her toes to extend the line of her leg, without thinking. I like to think I hold my own on the dance floor but I know I hold her back. Sometimes I prefer that she dances with a friend, that way I can watch her entirely. Sexy.
Her belief in me. Sk truly believes I can do anything as long as I set my mind to it. Anything. No one has ever told me I was smart, a smart ass, yes, but not an intelligent human being that had the ability to be successful in any area I set my mind to. Others implied it over the years but she is the only person to look me in the eye and tell me that directly. There are times in everyone’s life in which they question their goals, work or direction. If you are blessed enough to have someone beside you that has 100% belief in your capabilities you feel like you can conquer those questions or uncertainties. The path you face may be dark, others who faced that same path might not have come out of it so well, that is if they came out of it at all. But I have sk, who does not take “no” for an answer, remember? I wish everyone could know what it feels like to have someone believe in you, totally, without doubt. It’s nice, real nice.
Sk is beautiful. Did I mention how beautiful sk is? Her outside beauty is without question, it’s obvious. It’s her whole package that makes her a beautiful woman. The clothes, hair, and make-up are all nice, don’t get me wrong but put those same things on another woman and it would not have the same effect. It’s how sk holds herself with self-confidence but without coming across as conceited, the tilt of her head as she focuses all her attention on the words coming out of your mouth, the way she leans back when she laughs, the warmth in her eyes that can quickly turn to a twinkle when she glances at me and then she might sneak in a wink. It’s also the way she is not afraid to speak her mind or state her opinion without offending others or the way she tends to defend the defenseless or less thought-of members of our society. Her capacity for compassion towards those we as a society do not want to think about because it makes us uncomfortable is second to none. These things and more enhance the inherited physical beauty and transforms her into a sophisticated lovely.
She is willing to try new things. Sk just walked through the door and announced she wanted to take a class in flower arranging. Like I wrote earlier, I can’t make this stuff up. But that’s sk, she wants to experience all there is in life. There are very few activities she will not do or at least try, camping is one of them. In her defense, she tried it once before declaring her total dislike. This winter, tubing and skiing are both on our to-do list. We love to travel and hope to do more, not only exploring our new country but going abroad as well. Sk is very adventurous when it comes to trying different cuisine. There are types of food she prefers over others but she will try just about everything. In fact, I can’t think of anything she wouldn’t take one little bite of just to say she tasted it. Keep in mind, she comes from a country where they eat balut, that may help explain her fearlessness when it comes to food. She really enjoys art history so she took classes at the Art Institute of Chicago. She’s also an artist herself so we have her artwork hanging in our home. She’s expressed her desire to be a better writer. Maybe afterward or if the flower arrangement doesn’t work out she will take a writing class. This is probably the area I’m most envious of sk. I wish I could be more free and stop putting limitations on myself.
I could go on and on. She still has some wonderful qualities I adore:
Devotion to family
Her Loyalty to Loved Ones
Admiration for her Professional Work
Her Ability for Home Decorating
Her Belief in the Goodness of People
But I digress. Here’s to another ten years of laughing, learning and adventure. Happy Anniversary, sk, sinta ko (my sweetheart).