I've been awake for hours after I should have long ago been sleeping, pacing the kitchen floor in between cups of strong coffee or sitting, staring straight ahead into nothingness. My mind feels full of static, unable to decipher my own thoughts, surrounded by white noise. You have been away for days in which I have proceeded with my usual routine. I have to admit that it is somewhat nice to have this space. I don't get a chance to feel completely independent very often, and because there is the comfort of knowing you will return, I can enjoy the time to myself. Still, I find it hard to sleep without you beside me. Our 22nd anniversary is coming up in exactly a week, and after over half of my life spent with you, you are like an extension of myself...the mirror in which I look into for approval, the person I seek out to reassure myself that I am loved. You aren't here to lock the doors and keep me safe, and that is how I've always felt with you from the very beginning. You are my safety net, and when I've fallen, you are always there to help me get back on my feet. I'm in this place of change and growth, and although everything else around me feels tenuous and uncertain, there is always one thing that I am sure of, and that is you.