Wednesday, 2 July 2008

May appear closer

I once had a teacher to whom I told the story of how I was madly in love with one of my friends, but didn't know if I should tell him.

He told me: "When you are young, you don't appreciate this kind of closeness. You think, this is nice, but it'll keep happening. But it doesn't."

Of course, I didn't tell my friend until it was too late, and we never ended up together.

And now I realise that my teacher was completely right. I have met three people in my life that I would count as soul mates. And I don't think that's cause I use the term flippantly, I think I have just been lucky. J is not one of them. But I know that he is close enough.

With J it is different. I don't love him because he reads my mind. I love him because he is his own person, he is not me, he is not inside my head. And I feel really strongly about him. Almost four years in, I still love his smell, love burying my head in his chest in the morning when we are still half asleep and my eye mask protects my soft skin from his stubbly chin. This is something that should be cared for.

I let those three people above go, quite flippantly in some cases. I don't regret it, it just wasn't meant to be with either of them. But I have learnt my lesson. You will never meet someone who is the same, who fills the gap, who makes you into the person you want to be, that you used to be when you were with that other person, who completed you.

Meeting your soulmate and losing them means you will always be a little less of yourself, that a part will be missing.

But of course, like a brain, you grow, you develop, you adapt, until that missing part is still missing, but no longer of any consequence to yourself. This hurts. I would not recommend it to anyone.

And I am tired of this adaptation, having to scramble around for ways to build a bridge across to bits of yourself that are suddenly isolated on some kind of island in your personality, having to start afresh, looking for an uninjured part of yourself to offer to the next person, because everyone deserves to meet the part of someone who has not yet been mauled by someone else.

J has not had this. Sometimes I feel sorry for him because he hasn't had this, because he hasn't ever had a soulmate, because he hasn't lost anyone this way. Because if you haven't, it's difficult to know the level of regret and loss that can be felt in retrospect, even if you know it was the right thing, the only thing, to do at the time.

He says he sometimes thinks we are soulmates. What he means, I think, is that sometimes we have real intimacy, that we laugh at the same things, or with each other, that there are moments when we don't have to speak and we just melt into each other.

These things are all true. But I don't think he's my soulmate. Nothing would make me happier than if I give him that experience that other people have given me before, of being completely understood, completely accepted.

But the first time around, it is difficult to appreciate this. You think, in my teacher's words, that it'll keep happening. But it doesn't. However, J doesn't know this. Which is why I fear for our relationship.

2 comments:

  1. How lovely to have found you again :-)

    Did you get my email, by the way?

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