I’ve never really liked the word soulmate.
Some may claim it’s because I haven’t met mine but I would argue that there is no such thing. A soulmate, by definition, is someone who is perfectly, identically, and spiritually aligned with your soul. Your everything because something you share, sparks fly the second you lay eyes on one another, and your interests, you values, your ideas are all in sync. If they are not matching, they at least compliment one another, and they fit the space that was never filled before.
Oh and of course, you can only have one. Soulmates don’t come in packs of 4 for a better-bang-for-your-buck deal and you can’t get a month-by-month subscription that you can cancel for a small fee. Nope, you only get one shot, one make-it-or-break-it decision, and you only have one individual who gets this special title.
And, frankly, that’s pretty limiting.
Over the weekend, I had a few friends in town – one I’ve known for over five years through the good, the bad, and all of it, and one who is the founder of a magazine that I’ve worked for since my sophomore year of college, but I had never actually met her in person until this weekend.
Both of these ladies I consider my soulmates. Along with a handful of other people, including old boyfriends and guys I dated (or made out with) for barely six weeks. And my mom. The list goes on-and-on –and I’ve always believed a person gets more than one soulmate in a lifetime.
Somehow seeing my old friend and meeting this new friend, who are both so full of beauty, integrity, wisdom, and vivid sincerity, solidified my thoughts towards soulmates (which, by the way, is taken from American writer, Richard Bach): a soulmate is the one who makes life come to life.
And the people who light up your life –they include more than a romantic interest. They include more than someone we go to bed with and more than someone we wonder how their last name will fit with our first.
You may not feel butterflies with a best friend, but you’ll feel that feeling –the incredible, incomparable notion that something is just right. That this person was meant to come into your life, meant to teach you something, and meant to be part of your happiness.
C and I were sitting across the table at this lovely restaurant, sipping champagne and wine, and catching up on years’ worth of stories and memories –and something just clicked. Deep inside of me, I felt like the stars had aligned, and this woman was sent to me to guide me, mentor me, and advise me. And of course, for me to listen to as well. Even though we had never had cocktails, as we were then, we had shared so many delicate and private details about our lives and struggles –and more often than not, we both knew exactly what to say to one another to ease the pain.
And then, there was my friend, R, who is a few years younger than me, but ten times stronger. We walked, arm-in-arm, with a few beers lagging behind us, as the chilly city fall air blowing against us, and something else clicked. I had been talking, analyzing, dreaming, doodling, and writing about living in Manhattan ever since I’ve known this girl. She gave me a sweatshirt and mints that said “New York” on them when I graduated from high school, created countless mixed CDs about city-living, made me posters, and given me encouragement when nothing else seemed to be a fix. And here she was, walking with me on our way to Columbus Circle to catch the train that would take her to my NYC apartment. It’s like again, the universe decided to lend a hand and put some pieces together.
I couldn’t imagine my life without either of these women. And they do make my life come alive. Just like my mother does. Just like my puppy Suzie, for that matter.
So what’s this talk about a soulmate by happily-ever-after definition? Why are we so hung up on finding that one person, when we can have several? Surrender those thoughts of a singular soulmate – and let those lovely ladies you adore so much to light up your life.
(To be overly cliché, isn’t it Carrie from Sex & the City (yes, I love this show, total confession that I will never try to hide) –who says “our girlfriends are our soulmates and guys are just who we have fun with.”)