I wrote this journal entry in the second year of my first marriage, one that I had entered into with half a heart, knowing I wasn’t playing for keeps. I was waiting on forever, and while perusing rock bottom for signs of life, I was quickly losing faith in it. A good friend and former teacher shared her theory on soul mates with me and it spoke to me in such a way that reached out and grabbed me by the heartstrings.
I took a lot of solace in that idea. Even his face in my mind was a small sanctuary for me. I didn’t know if Happily Ever After would ever happen, but I felt better knowing that I had been blessed to have the time I did have with him. The years spent apart were never spent in vain, because I had had him once, and once was enough because the echoes of that moment were forever resonating in my memory.
One has not known torture until they have cried themselves to sleep, clinging to the shadow of a memory between their fingers. My goal for this next year of marriage will be to remember to never take my husband for granted, because I have felt the bite of those monsters in the dark – jealousy, fear, regret, the Vashta Nerada of my mind’s page-forest, if you will. (Whovians, you’ll get it.)
27 January 2008
Someone said something to me the other day that really meant something to me. It hit me, first and foremost, when she said it. After I thought about it some more when I went home later that night, it gave me this sense of peace that I haven’t found in myself in a long, long time. She said that just because someone was my soul mate, that didn’t mean I was meant to be with that person forever. A soul mate is someone who comes into my life to teach me something, and leave an impression on me. For two years, I’ve wondered how we could have been such a strangely perfect fit and yet, we didn’t end up living happily ever after. I mean, I really thought we were going to be friends forever and run away with each other into the sunset. We were meant to be together…right? Maybe not, and maybe, now that I understand that it’s the way that things are really supposed to be, maybe I’m okay with that.
I know that grieving is a process and that I need to get over this in my own time, but for a while, I didn’t think I was ever going to. It was always there, inside my head like a cassette I couldn’t stop. I couldn’t even press pause. Him holding my face in his hands, kissing me, telling me that he wanted to be with me but he couldn’t be… and then I’d feel that pressure in my chest, and think I was dying. That was my heart bursting with joy and anguish at the same time. Then I’d fast forward to saying goodbye to him, “I love you, be good.” I love you. I love you. I love you. That’s what I really meant.
He was always one step ahead of me. Never let me get a grip on his heart the way I wanted. He never let me all the way in, no matter how hard I tried. I listened, I talked, I begged and pleaded. I wrote my heart out and cried and yelled. I yelled and screamed so hard. I kissed so sweetly. I just was. I just was. His best friend, his loyal companion, his most devoted disciple, his biggest fan…I thought I had all the bases covered. There was something missing, though, and whatever he really wanted, I couldn’t give him. No matter how deep I delved inside myself, I couldn’t give him what he wanted. The only solace I can take in this is that I can hope I gave him something he needed. I hope I gave him something.
There’s been so much turmoil in my heart since we parted ways. Part of it, I think, was the lack of closure. I got nothing. One day we spoke to each other, and the next day, we were unrecognizable. We didn’t know each other anymore. The sad thing was, we still knew each other better than we knew ourselves. I think that was a big flaw in my plan to capture his heart: I didn’t know what mine consisted of. I thought I could give everything to him, and I probably could have, but then I would have had nothing left of me. In that case, I’d actually have nothing for him.
When I first met him, I thought he would be just like the others. Someone who I could have fun with, and then discard (or let them discard of me). I could deal with the awkward friendship later. Just another conquest, right? Except he didn’t want to play my game. I think he was the first one to take me, shake me, and say, “Hey, this isn’t about that. This is something more.” It was. It was so much more. Now, when I think about it, I realize how stupid I was, and how ironic it ended up being. Think about it: he turned the tables on me in the end and I was the conquest. Clever.
Normally, when I’m reminded that he bailed out on me, I ball myself up into the fetal position and cry into a pillow. My fists are clenched and I stare straight ahead, wondering why this happened to me and what I did wrong and why didn’t he love me WHY…and let myself go a little crazy. Right now, I’m okay. Right now, at 1:42 in the morning while my husband has gone off to work overtime and my daughters are in their beds sleeping, I’m thinking of the boy I loved so much and thinking that I’m finally starting to move on. I’m never going to forget him, because he was my first love. He was my sweetheart, my best friend, my second half for a vital chapter of my life. But he’s gone, and what I have left is his lesson. I don’t know what it is yet, but I have the rest of my life to figure out what it was. What I know right at this moment is that the boy I thought so fiercely was my soul mate, was.
I wrote that six years ago, and I’m glad I went back to reread it. It reinforces for me that my feelings haven’t changed, and it really goes to show – when you know, you know.
– xoxo : )