“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
– Theodor Seuss Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss
My therapist calls me the “Great Manifestor.” It’s probably more accurate to call me the “Stubbornator.” Or “Determinedator.” Or “that persistent bitch who won’t stop even when everyone else is tired of hearing her talk about how badly she wants it.”
Whatever the title or reason – manifestation, determination, persistent nagging – I tend to attract people and things in my life that I need. Not in an “oh em gee daddy, I neeeeeeeeeeed a pony” kind of way, but need in that it enriches my soul and helps me grow as a person.
My grandmother listened a lot to a man named Lazaris. Well technically that’s not his name, but the name of the entity he becomes when he is a median that can channel the spiritual realm. Lazaris emphasizes the theory that your soul comes into this world having preset a certain amount of obstacles and encounters for you, all of which are meant to enrich your knowledge and lead you towards enlightenment. These concepts are not new ones, they’re seen often in various religions throughout the world, especially those that believe in reincarnation.
Lazaris once pulled my grandmother out of a crowd and told her that my father had cancer because his soul needed to bring his family closer together. Three cancer battles in my family later and I see my sister daily, my parents weekly, my cousins as often as possible and have no idea how I would have survived my brother’s death without such a tight-knit family.
Did my dad’s soul’s search for an intimate family make all of this happen? I don’t know. If so, screw it for bringing such pain on my family.
I offer thanks to those before me
That’s all I’ve got to say
‘Cause maybe you squandered big bucks in your lifetime
Now I have to pay
But then again it feels like some sort of inspiration
To let the next life off the hook
But she’ll say “look what I had to overcome from my last life
I think I’ll write a book”
– From “Galileo” by Indigo Girls
But also, as horribly tragic these past years have been, I am extremely grateful for the depth it has given me as a person, and the intense connection it has created between me and many now extremely important people in my life.
One of those people is Alex.
About a week after my brother died, I got a message on an online dating site from someone offering her condolences and support. She had read my blog post about his death and felt a loss for my brother even though she had never met either of us.
There was something in the message’s simplicity that struck me as genuine, sent from a place of knowledge, from someone who knew that, in times like these, less is better.
I wrote a very short thank you back.
About two months later, I heard from her again, this time checking in, saying hi. Again it was simple, polite. Maybe that was why I had no pretenses, or maybe it was because I had no fucks left to give, but I responded that I was currently watching and waiting for my grandfather to die.
She responded offering to drive and take me for a beer.
Something about her was trustworthy. I knew instinctually that this person would drive two hours to my hometown to bring me a beer and expect nothing else in return. She would do it because she cared about a stranger whose life was burdened with too much death. She would do it because she’d been there as well.
Alex is no stranger to grief.
At first we were both afraid that was our only connection, but soon our stories were unraveled and each of us laid out wants, desires, wishes and pleasures so similarly synced it felt like the world had created us to be together.
We felt manifested.
I believe in soul mates. I believe there are people who were sent into your life to teach you something, push you forward on your path, aid you in your journey. I do not pretend to understand where they come from or who sent them, but one thing I know is how they make me feel, which is complete, like a hole was filled I didn’t know existed.
I’ve heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
“For Good” from Wicked
I’d say Alex fills my holes, but then I’d chuckle like a teenage boy for a good week and never finish this post. Instead, I’ll say that Alex’s presence in my life feels right.
For the first time ever, I’m dating someone I don’t want to change.
That is huge people.
That is growth.
What’s even more wonderful is that she doesn’t feel she needs to change me.
She adores me for me and I adore her for her and we both really needed that kind of love in our lives.
Everyone needs that kind of love in their life.
He thinks I’m pretty, he thinks I’m smart
He likes my nerve and he loves my heart
He’s always sayin’ he’s my biggest fan
My baby loves me just the way that I am
– From “My Baby Loves Me” by Martina McBride
Alex met me at a bad time. My grief was overwhelming and I didn’t know how to fake it in any way. I had tried dating and sex with other people but that hadn’t worked out well at all. We’d been friends through all of that, mostly talking via text, a few amazing emails. She had depth in a way that intimidated and scared me, in a way I was afraid she’d expect me to be as well.
And she did. But it wasn’t scary like I thought it would be. It was nice to be deep, to have conversations about my grief, to cry and laugh and think about everything and say nothing.
We met for the first time in person while I was babysitting my nieces. I had just made a vow of celibacy and swore to break it the minute I saw her sunflower eyes, eyes that I now know change color and shape depending on her moods. She was great with the kids, we all laughed nonstop and as soon as she left I missed her.
She felt comfortable, like an old friend I hadn’t seen in years, someone I was catching up with, not getting to know. We’ve had some ups and downs, mostly centered around how to make a long-distance relationship work with both of our busy schedules, but I don’t expect a relationship to be flawless.
Perfection assumes an immovability, a lack of anywhere to go.
And I want to go everywhere with Alex.
We are not perfect. I cannot say for sure that we will last. I will not promise forever because if there’s one thing I’ve learned this year, it’s that forever does not exist.
I no longer dream of the future potential of someone. I live and love for today now.
And today I am happily, officially, once again, in a relationship.