best friends forever?: lessons on friendship (part III)
wish list: 28 things to do before i turn 29

10 life lessons from the one i love

Last year around this time, I wrote about the 30 lessons I'd learned from love (check out Part I and Part II if you haven't already). Clearly I'd learned a lot last year, but this year I've learned even more -- all from that same special someone who is celebrating his birthday today. (Happy birthday!!) In addition to learning so much from being in love, I've learned so much from him as a person. In some ways we are similar, but in many ways we are different and seeing (and living with!) these differences has actually been incredibly inspiring for me. Though he may not realize it (and I don't show/tell him as often I should), he does inspire me to be a better person. He might not realize it, but below is a list of ten things he has taught me through his actions. These are things I aspire to be (and sometimes am!), and I'm so fortunate to have someone in my life who inspires me on a daily basis. Hopefully reading these 10 lessons will inspire you as well!

10 Lessons I've Learned From My Love

1. Be patient.
He is one of the most patient people I know. He takes his time getting things right and doesn't rush himself (or me!). I'm certainly not the easiest person to get along with at times, but he is always patient with me. As I've mentioned in previous posts, patience is something I'd really like to have more of in my life so it's wonderful to be around someone who inspires me with his own patience.

2. Be present. When he's doing a task or having a conversation, he's in it. Unlike me, who is often thinking about the next thing or rushing off to do something else, he really knows how to stay present and focused on what he's doing. Being with someone who gives you his full attention and really stays in the moment is a gift -- and one that I'm very thankful for!

3. Be generous. He is one of the most giving people I know. Whether it's giving up some of his stuff to make room for my mounds of clothing or being willing to help me with whatever creative project is currently on my radar (thanks again for hanging those frames!), he's always generous with what he has, whether it be time, money, or things. Such a great quality to possess!

4. Be thoughtful. Not long ago, I mentioned that I wished I was going to see Britney Spears in concert. The next day he had purchased tickets for me and a friend! It was such a thoughtful gesture and it's only one of many acts of thoughtfulness (including attending the Taylor Swift concert with me). He really cares about and considers others, and that's such a great way to live.

5. Be flexible. In the time we've been together, he's been able to experience some of the ups and downs of me. He's been able to ride the roller coaster, going with the flow and being flexible when plans (even big ones!) change or disappear. Flexibility is something I want to see more of in me, and I'm grateful to have someone around me who inspires me with his go-with-the-flow attitude.

6. Be supportive. Very few people in my life are as supportive as he is. I have a few great cheerleaders, but he's up there as one of the best. Supportiveness isn't always the easy quality to possess, but the way he does it makes it seem effortless. Not only is he supportive of me, but I also witness the ways he's supportive of others -- coworkers, family members, etc. -- and it's truly inspiring.

7. Be interested. No matter what we're discussing, he's always interested. When I talk to him about things I know must be boring, he always acts (and I honestly believe he is) interested in what I'm saying. And he does this with everyone he talks to. He gives his undivided attention and focuses on others, which is a quality that constantly reminds me of what a good person he is.

8. Be yourself. He's not afraid to just be who he is -- a quality I honestly admire more and more in people as I get older. Life is too short to pretend to be someone you're not, and his ability to be himself is one of my favorite qualities about him. It's also one of the greatest lessons he's taught me: when you're yourself, the right people will love you for who you are.

9. Be open. Anyone who knows me knows that an open mind is a requirement for being a part of my life. I'm always finding new obsessions and new "favorites." (Wolves top the list at the moment.) Through it all, he's able to take my likes and dislikes with an open mind (no easy feat!). If he can be accepting of me, he can be open-minded with anyone -- an inspiring trait indeed!

10. Be loving. Hands down, he is one of the most loving people I know. And not just with me. He's loving toward his family, and even to my little pup, Bella. He performs acts of love on a daily basis and he speaks lovingly as well. If there's one thing I want to be, it's a loving person and I'm thankful to have a constant source of love in my life.

As I've stressed frequently, it's so important to choose who you surround yourself with wisely. The people you see on a daily basis and spend a great deal of time with can have a major impact on your life. I've been fortunate enough to have found someone who inspires me and who, by just being himself, makes me want to be a better person. It's because of that (and so many reasons!) that I love him and I hope he has the happiest of birthdays today. Happy, happy birthday!


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