This article was originally published on Expat Bookshop – a great resource for finding expat-focused, expat-friendly, and expat-written books.
She took the words right out of my mouth. We laughed. Then five minutes later I finished her sentence. Then we laughed again and really made eye contact.
This wasn’t an old friend – someone I’d known since childhood and with whom I’d shared countless hours (although those women do exist in my life). This was a new person. A new person who lives like me (here and there and everywhere) who just happened to be one of my friend soul mates. She is a person who, if I were to have stayed in one place, I never would have met. Ever.
That always kind of scares me. What if we had never met? What if someone else had taken my place? What if someone else were to have taken hers in my heart?
Of course, after almost 20 years of going from home to home, I know there’s nothing to worry about. We would have met, or not, but one thing is certain, we would have both found other soul mates. We each have found other soul mates. There are a lot of us.
You know that question where they ask which 10 people, living or dead, you would invite to a dinner party? I love that question. Since becoming an expat I play it in my head. Only instead of famous people, I list all my soul mates from all over the world. My big fantasy is that their paths could cross. That they would know each other. That they would make new soul mate friends with a person they would never have met in the real world. But, of course, they will never meet because some people’s paths will indeed never intersect.
Is this a good fantasy or a waste of time?
Perhaps if I were rich, it would be a good fantasy. Maybe I’d hold a lottery and the top winners of the drawing would earn an all-expenses-paid trip to a Caribbean island where all of my soul mates would get to know each other. Maybe we’d plan yearly trips to New York City, or Paris, or Hong Kong where we’d shop and eat and drink and laugh and cry knowing that we were meant to be together all along. It sounds slightly overindulgent just to think about it. Pure fantasy.
Then again, maybe it’s simply a good mental exercise.
I don’t find I’m longing for the impossible. I know that I can probably never make this happen. But what I do find is that this leaves me hopeful for the relationships that are yet to begin in someplace new. Finding these friends opens my eyes. It makes me look at people and see who they are – the parts they hold close and the parts they lay all out. It reminds me there’s potential in every person. Honestly, it reminds me that there’s potential in me. Bad days will come, but we’re no less worthy of being seen. Of being loved. Of being someone’s new soul mate.
So as we keep rolling around the world, each new home provides the opportunity to connect and to find someone who truly “gets” us. It ends up being not just our world that gets bigger, but our hearts too. We open them up so wide to take in all these new people. And the wider and fuller and more colorful our hearts become, the more room we leave to gently sooth the ache of goodbye when it comes.
When it always comes.
Loved this post. Soul Mates pop up i the strangest places.
Thank you for reading. Happy you enjoyed the post!
Love this post Jodi! And also love your idea for your dinner party. I think I’d like that too. People who I’ve connected with in the past who I don’t see now and also people I’ve met here that, because of the hectic-ness of life, we don’t meet up that often. This has prompted me to be more proactive in keeping in touch with friends near and far. #ExpatLifeLinky
Thank you for reading Meghan. I love that reading this inspired you to become more proactive in keeping in touch. I have to say, keeping in touch with friends has become one of my biggest expat life lessons. I used to worry that people would get sick of my emails and texts and Facebook messages…then I realized that if we are to live deeply we must connect, at every turn, with those we love. #ExpatLifeLinky
A thought provoking post as usual. Human connection – it’s what makes the world go round!
Thanks for linking up #ExpatLifeLinky
What a beautiful post – saying goodbye does leave heartache but thankfully it also leaves memories to treasure. #ExpatLifeLinky
Thank you for reading! I’m happy you enjoyed it.