You know, I've spent a disproportionately large part of my conscious years living in a fairytale. I am an idealist. I love that about myself. But I can't articulate the number of times I've been crushed by this attribute.
I have, for the longest time, believed in the notion of a soul mate. Although the terminology makes me sound like I'm writing for a Hallmark card, the English language doesn't have another proper word to explain what I mean. This ambiguous and trite word represents the thought that each person on this planet is destined to meet another whose energy mirrors all of their deepest values, thoughts, emotions, fears, and treasures--most of which have never before been fully recognized by anyone. And my thought, is that it is our life goal, or the meaning of life, we can say, is to find this person. To find that person, and share as much as possible with them. To adventure with them in place, and mind, and body. To share absolutely everything, especially the grimy parts. To know that regardless of where you are or what you are doing, that person is with you, because your souls are intrinsically and inextricably linked forever. From past lives, for future lives, even if you've never met in this conscious place in time.
Yes. This is what I believe. (To my future husband, if you're reading this, please don't be scared off. I promise I'll make a case for myself. And if nothing else, I can make a mean apple pie.)
So each day, I wake with those thoughts in mind. Each day, I move forward with my work, my studies, my family, my friends, my life, my hobbies, my passions, my loves. But all the while, this thought is in my heart. Where is this person? Have I already met them? Which one? When will I meet them? How will I know?
And you know what? These questions make things really damn difficult. How can we look around at the unhappy and divorced couples and still be an idealistic young woman who believes in soul mates? Do we choose to believe the romantic words of Dean Martin upon which our values of love were planted? Do we bluster through life, naively believing that our parents were wrong, our grandparents were wrong, our cousins, our friends, everyone must have it wrong. Because this love thing. This soul mate thing. I've got it down. I'm with Dean.
So I find myself, stuck in limbo. When my past relationships have ended? Catastrophic. Because I was convinced--that person was my soul mate. I shared parts of myself with them I had never shared before. Those fears, those dreams, I already told them to someone. And if they're not my soulmate. Well then what? Did I waste that mirror? The reflection staring back at me for months, years--was it time wasted? What did I do wrong? What did he do wrong? Can we go back and fix it? Will we fix it down the road? When is it too late? When will someone tell me: yes, Tawney. He is the one. Stop searching. Stop trying to make it fit. This is it.
And I watch, and wait, and wonder. Because I have no idea. There have been billions before me, and there will be billions after me. And nearly every person on this planet has felt that kind of deep and profound love for another. So why can't someone tell me the secret? Just tell me- either there is a soul mate out there for me, or there is not.
At the moment when I go to delete this whole rambling passage, I stop and think. How much crazy can I let out? How vulnerable can I be? I will surely regret pressing that 'publish' button- whether I do so tomorrow morning, or in three years. But I will go forth, and be embarrassed and vulnerable. Because I am 22, and I really firmly believe with conviction these words that pour from my heart. And this is a time and place where this type of openness is permissible, because I am still an idealist. Thank god.