I used to joke with my husband that I was like a kite in our relationship. He on the other hand was the guy on the ground with a roll of string in his hand. Under this model he was the one who kept things stable. When I start getting too high he reeled me in, and when I needed a boost he sends me outward.
This is the story I told myself for many years and for the most part it was true. As a creative sort, assigned a slew of mental illnesses, I had been told I would always need someone grounded and stable to reel me in from time to time.
This model worked for many years, and in some ways it still does, but it became problematic when I would feel the need to tug on that string and see just how far it could go. This just ended in sadness and frustration and resentment on both our parts.
So a few weeks ago I decided to rewrite our story.
In the new version my husband and I are on the beach. Once again he is the one with the kite and I am the kite itself, susceptible to breezes and shifts in the wind.
As I fly high, I spot on the skyline a bird—an osprey, flying towards us. I admire its strength, its focus, and its sense of freedom, but it causes me to wonder. Could I too be more than just sticks, paper, and string?
As this thought passes through my mind the chord between he and I dissolves, fragments of string scattering in the breeze. I am scared, because I have been attached to a string all of my life. Aren’t I just a kite? I can’t do this on my own.
I panic as this man I love is getting farther and father away as I drift alone down the coast… but then something happens.
I feel myself changing, my support braces begin to crack, my flimsy paper tears and I feel myself shifting, muscles forming, bones developing, wings spreading outward. As the wind blows, I lift up, flap and dive. I am no longer a kite, but a beautiful osprey.
I fly against the breeze to where my husband stands alone. I give him a nod. He is not concerned.
He knows I will return.
As this new being, I am my own agent. I am an explorer, a master of sky, sea, and land. I am now in control during the strong winds and the gentle breezes and though I am free I have not forgotten the man below. I picture myself finishing my journey, returning home, bringing gifts. In my talons I hold a white sea shell, with a small hole in it, symbolic of our love that is both perfect and imperfect simultaneously.
In honor of this story I have envisioned in my mind, in real life when I go for a walk on the beach I always return with a white sea shell with a whole in it. He’s got quite a collection growing on his desk. I have even tattooed a little osprey on my arm, wings outstretched wide, open and free.
How lucky I am that I have found a loving partner who understands the importance to me of being able to fly down that coast alone…and you know, maybe he is equally as lucky to have found an adventurer, a lover of the sky who will always understand the importance of coming home.