A soul mate’s purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life… they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave.
~ Elizabeth Gilbert
I don’t really write about much personal stuff on here. I mean, I know I write a lot about stuff that I like, or I am interested in, or that is important to me… but I generally do not get too personal. That should not surprise people who know me well. While outwardly quite forward, I keep the real stuff, the stuff that is fragile, dirty, imperfect, fucked up, embarrassing, tender, most precious… locked up pretty tightly. I often giggle to myself when I hear people say they know me. Very few do. I understand that this is a fundamentally flawed way to live. I also understand that it can make being close to me – err…. tedious, to say the least. I cannot say that I know where it comes from. Perhaps from being an only child with a very tightly wound up perfectionist psyche. I think it has to do with the experiences I have considered EPIC FAILURES when I have shared myself with people only to be totally disappointed in the outcome. Perhaps it is something else altogether. Sometimes when I watch my LBFF I see parts of myself so clearly in him [throwing the picture away because he made a ‘mistake,’ wanting to be alone and sullen because something that he did had unintended consequences that he could not control and did not like] and I so want to free him from the burden that I know these behaviors can become. But those will be his struggles, they cannot be faced by anyone else. This is one thing I know.
It is easier to be angry. Or funny. Or sarcastic. Or witty. Or pretty much anything else besides being vulnerable or lost. This becomes obvious with just a cursory look at the way people act all around us. In the news, in politics, in Hollywood… everywhere. People go to a lot of trouble to project the person they want to be to the world and the ultimate cost of that is losing who they really are down to the core. We do not consider that cost because we are looking at the sort term expenditures of appearing foolish or naive or pathetic or needy if we are more true to ourselves. This is one thing I have learned.
In her novel Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert considers the idea of soul mates. You know, because we are supposed to want one or find one or have one or something. In Gilbert’s quest to make sense out of surprisingly dissatisfying life, she left. She left everything. And she paid a price for this; a price I am intimately familiar with. To run may not appear to be the most honorable method, but sometimes it is what you have to do. Sometimes you just have to get out. And when all your other exit strategies have gone horribly awry – all that is left to do is go. And honor aside, I would suggest that it is brave. This is one thing that I have come to accept.
People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake.
Not to long ago I was really “smacked awake.” I didn’t want to be, but considering my personality, that should not surprise anyone. I was so initially devastated by the smacking that I have only just begun to see the part about being shown what was holding me back and the ability to change my life. Tangentially, the events that followed my personal smackdown have the potential to be completely life changing. And I needed that. Motivations, and residual neuroses aside, the effects are what matter. This is one thing I am forcing myself to see.
I met a young lady a few weeks ago at a friend’s going away party. Although Haylie is young, she is wise. As we were celebrating the departure of our mutual friend we began to talk about all the people that we knew who are leaving Hong Kong. I suggested that Hong Kong is just a very transient locale – that people are always coming and going. Haylie was not sure she entirely agreed. She said, “You know I think people come to Hong Kong to escape and I think a lot of the time they have no idea what they are trying to escape – or maybe they think they know, but they really don’t. And then, once they have been healed, you know, like worked though their stuff? It is time to go. And I don’t think they realize that is why they are leaving either. But it is. Somehow, it just becomes time to go, they don’t need to be here anymore.” This is one thing I am finally ready to acknowledge.
I ran. And it was not the first time. I always thought I was running from something easily identifiable and concrete. But I was running from much more than that. And now that I no longer have to run, I am free to do whatever I want to do. When I came across the catalyst for this latest transformation [and how arrogant I was to think I was the catalyst…] I developed a set of expectations regarding the outcome of the experiment that went beyond a logical hypothesis. He seemed… so… ideal. And it was expectations that brought up all the shit and all the issues – with my closest friends, with my family, with the catalyst, with myself. This is one thing I should have known.
Since I have put my situation into a slightly better, if not perfect, perspective, I have been able to see the changes. If you have read the other stuff I have put on here and are now reading this – you can probably see that I have been trying to talk about a lot of them in an indirect way for a while. Or maybe you can’t, it doesn’t matter. They are huge. They are life changing. They are not what I anticipated. They are unlimited and scary. They are what I truly want. This is one thing I am ready to deal with.
He told me I was The Shit: I was smart, funny, beautiful and all kinds of things I wanted to hear. And then he inexplicably kicked me to the virtual curb. But he was right in all of his assessments of me. And it turns out that it is not the orator that matters – it is the information. There is so much that is new now. Ideas, realities, music, projects, connections, truths, feelings. It is out of control. It is time. What I thought does not matter. What is = Matters. This is one thing I am sure of.
Thank you Anna for reminding me of really shitty things I did not want to think about – and I mean that, I really do. Thank you Kim for sending the Gilbert quote, it was perfect.Thank you iDriss for perspective and clarity and empathy. And finally, thank YOU for the smackdown – the total emotional ass kicking that made me crazy but set me free and reminded me of who I am: I am The Shit – pure and simple and true.
WE WILL RETURN TO OUR REGULAR PROGRAMMING TOMORROW.