My Funny Valentine


Twenty two years ago we were on a “I wouldn’t want you to think I was asking you out FOR Valentine’s Day, but why don’t you come over and I’ll make you dinner ON that day” date (he actually said that — or similar).

It was a fabulous night, complete with a kiss by the sink as I helped wash dishes — all minus the dance and the goof, but, don’t you worry, that came quick, ha.

Today, we’re more direct (and even more goofy) and much of it is because so much real love and life has happened that’s helped to bond us and motivate us to keep turning on the light (saying yes to personal or individual growth being 🔑).

This was fun to do last night (turned on the camera with no plan for how the dance would go, but did try to learn the lyrics (it’s Love Never Felt So Good by MJ & JT, in case it got muted by FB in some countries) a couple nights ago—if you make it to the end of the video, you’ll see a clip of us trying to do that before bed) AND — I love that we’ve also seen each other through all the days that make you weak at the knees, either because you’re weakest at the moment (weak knees) or you’re the one carrying the weakest (also weak knees).

That he knows the full, real me (part of her is here in this video) and that I genuinely know the real him (ditto) is a privilege, life-affirming, even creative.

It’s all real —

I’ve seen him throw up in a planter when the news of my brother was shared with us that early morning in Miami, he took extra time off work to help me weather post-partum depression while living overseas (rough seas for this new mama), I‘ve seen him through three job losses, he’s been there while I grew confused and stuffed some of my grief, or throughout the many new and painful normals in my family (still going), through me texting or calling him at work (again and again) telling him how I almost accidentally called my Mom again or how much I was pained that day by my family unit deteriorating after the deaths…I’ve seen how quiet he gets when he’s worried about his Dad’s health and how deeply it pains him to have to make tough decisions that affect people he appreciates because of financials at work (again, how quiet he gets)…we’ve seen each other sweat before, during and after eight moves with two being international, as well as throughout 10 years of not knowing what was wrong with Nolan neurologically in sleep or with my arm or his heart incident or or or…

(And that’s it) You can create what you want to be part of at every unexpected shuffle OR leave it up to chance, to the wind, to…?

As with all couples, everything from that first San Francisco date to the dance here to the stained cry face or faces, to the impatience because of grief, the stress because of having a job or not having one or any other bruised or skinned knee situation, is real and real love.

It’s not solely the sweet (or sweet-looking), but the sweat that is worthy of being touched or of being looked at with a smile, again and again — and of being talked about more, given a platform to stand on, both publicly and privately…

It’s ultimately what feels most healing (because it’s honest), what feels bonding & sexy (ode to shared vulnerability), and what feels purposeful (because diamonds ~> formed under pressure).


Make happiness your business by creating your authentic brand…enjoy your business, enjoy your life!

Life is good,




Michelle Ghilotti
Success Designer, Brand Activator & Social Entrepreneur 

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