Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been very focused on making a “soul mate wish list”. It’s an exercise that I’ve done in the past, but I wanted to start fresh this time.
I created a similar list before my last relationship, and the relationship that I got fulfilled many of the criteria on the list. But that relationship didn’t make me completely happy. So clearly there were some things missing and misplaced on that old list. My thought was that if I revised that old list, I’d still be caught up in the vision of the old relationship and trying to figure out what didn’t work then and combat it. Instead, I wanted a completely clean slate.
So a couple of weeks ago, I started to work on this new imagining. I would tear scraps of paper out of journals, notebooks, Post-It pads anytime I had a brainstorm. That led to a multitude of little notes following me around, stuck into my purse, my wallet, shopping bags…anywhere you can imagine. I hope I’ve found them all!
As I’ve worked on this list, I’m astonished to see how different it is now than it would have been nine months ago…even six months ago. There are things on my list now that I spent my whole life thinking I didn’t want.
For example – my last relationship was predicated on the fact that neither of us wanted to get married or have babies. I had grown up with a pretty funky example of what marriage was and it didn’t look like anything I wanted to try. A couple months ago, one night – out of the blue – I realized that I actually DO desire to get married. Having the big white dress isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, but making a commitment by pledging our love in a sacred ceremony while surrounded by people who love us…well, that is a dealbreaker now. Color me astonished.
For the record, I still don’t want to have babies. But I’m a willing and available auntie for all my friends who do!
Another example of something that has changed – a few days ago I was walking around my apartment and thought, “I don’t want to live alone anymore.” Living alone had been something I prized highly for a long time. Having a relationship where we each had our own apartment and spent a few nights a week together was fine with me in the past. Now I want more.
Perhaps the biggest one of all is this – in the past, I never believed that I could have it “all”. I thought I could either have someone who 1) I was emotionally compatible with or 2) I was physically attracted to or 3) I had a deep spiritual bond with – but that those three things would never show up in one person. And they certainly wouldn’t ever show up in a person who would want me back. It was such a deeply ingrained belief that I didn’t even know I had it – it was just part of the fabric of who I was.
Last fall I had an experience that melted my heart in places that I didn’t know were frozen. I met a man who I felt all of those things for at one time. It shook me to my core. We were only in each other’s space for a very short period of time and nothing was meant to come of it, but it showed me a vision for my life that I had never known was possible. Simply being in his presence for a few hours began to loosen the weave in the “fabric of who I was” so that some new, brightly colored and joyous new strands could be woven in.
Now, as I move toward new love I know that I will not settle for anything less than the right person for me. The person whose eyes feel like home. The person who I can be completely myself. My person.
Writing this list over the past few weeks has been an unexpectedly joyful experience because for the first time I believe that I can have what I want. And for that little girl who decided to not want a wedding gown because she was sure no one would ever want to see her in it, that’s an absolute miracle.