It was the last day of July in 1999, and two weeks had passed since my 16th birthday.
A beautiful warm day, I had spent the afternoon listening to The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, a birthday gift from my parents, and still one of my favourite albums to this day.
A coming of age album, many of the lyrics I still use as life quotes and affirmations even now.
My favourite song, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” (which the title of the album came from) is hauntingly beautiful, resonating, and still relevant to the girl I was back then and the woman I am now.
“My world it moves so fast today, the past, it seems so far away, and life squeezes so tight that I can’t breathe…
And everytime I’ve tried to be what someone else thought of me, so caught up, I was unable to achieve…
But deep in my heart, the answer was all in me, and I made up my mind to define my own destiny…”
Deep in my heart, the answer was all in me, and I made up my mind to define my own destiny. How fitting those words were to become throughout my life.
Back on that warm July evening in 1999, I met someone who would become very special to me.
A house party full of people, but it was only his face that I saw. It wasn’t love at first sight, but more of a strong recognition, a pull, a stirring in my unconscious—awakening a sense of primal connection.
And that is where it all began, two awkward teenagers meeting for the first time, although it didn’t feel like the first time, “Where do I know you from?” we both asked each other, but the answer never came.
When two souls have a connection that strong, I can only imagine that they span an infinite ocean, always promising to find one another again in the next lifetime.
For the next two years we were inseparable; recognition turned into attraction and attraction turned into love.
He felt like home.
You hear the phrase “authentic self” a lot these days, but with him, I really was what I would describe as my true authentic self.
Stoking the final embers of late childhood, basking in the innocent naivety at the cusp of adulthood, where the world became colder and people became crueler.
I will always look back on those days with the happiest of memories; I loved being the me that I was when I was with him, before life encased its layers around me.
At 18, we broke up. I believed that I was making the right decision. I thought I needed something different, a new sense of home. He stood with stoic fragility as he watched me walk away into a cold world with its cruel people. The me that I had once loved so much when we were together, soon started to wobble and flicker like the remaining flame of a burnt-out candle, replaced by an unfamiliar glow that I failed to recognise.
As the cogs of life continued to turn and we walked our separate paths, our connection remained strong.
In every storm that we encountered, we always found one another and clung on tight, each taking our turn to be one another’s anchor when we became lost at sea.
People found our connection hard to understand. Partners struggled with jealousy; we were more than just exes, but we were more than friends. What we had was unique; I believed that we were soul mates.
Each milestone and triumph in life, we cheered each other on. When we attended each other’s weddings, we were happy and proud, although brushing aside that fleeting feeling of nauseating pain that flashed before us.
Then all of a sudden, we find ourselves in our late-30s and we are in the midst of the biggest storm that we have yet to encounter.
Simultaneously, coincidentally, synchronically. Together.
Reaching out both hands and holding on as tight as we can.
Always my anchor, always my rock, always my home.
And it is here that we find ourselves again, shaken up, uprooted, blindly grappling about amidst the chaos—but we’re home again.
To the man who feels like home:
I previously reached the abyss and I looked down, feeling the darkness. I was ready to surrender, but you pulled me back.
Connection, reminding me who I am, and who I always was.
Your embrace, your kiss, your smell, your voice. Home.
The way you read my emotions like no other person has ever been able to do, the way you sense my feelings and read my thoughts.
I believe that I do this with you too.
So here was are again, full circle.
We are pioneers stepping out onto an undiscovered continent; the land is blessed and it spreads out before us, stretching out onto the blue horizon.
The gift of knowledge, the gift of patience, the gift of a second chance.
The gift of home.
The gift of love.
“Everything is everything, what is meant to be will be, after winter must come spring, change, it comes eventually” ~ Lauryn Hill, “Everything is Everything”