Idea of a Soul Mate


Author: Ashley Phillips-Pirnstill


If you believe in the idea of a "soul mate", Jake* was mine. If the theory of "twin souls" is true, we were once one. Yet sadly, if love could truly conquer all, we would still be together and I wouldn’t be writing this. When it comes to love, I’ve always been quite cynical. Watching my parents’ divorce years ago was one thing, but witnessing their hatred and bitterness towards one another from birth on, really didn’t give me a good idea of what "love" was.

When I was a child, I honestly believed that one day I would find my prince charming, maybe his name would have been "Eric" as well, just like Ariel in Disney’s "The Little Mermaid". I can’t even count the times that I watched that movie, sang my heart out, and then day dreamed of finding my own Eric. But after the c redits rolled and my dad came home from work, reality sunk in: there’s no such thing as true love because if my parents were married and had children together and still didn’t find it, it couldn’t be possible.

The years came and went, my first love cheated on me and broke my heart. The next did the same thing, except he cheated on me while I was in ICU, yes as in the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital. After fully recovering and dumping that douche bag I once again gave up on the whole "true love" idea, I thought, if this is what love is I don’t want any part of it. So when I went to college the idea of a monogamous relationship was far from my mind. My friends called me the "one date wonder", because I would go on a date with a guy and then literally never want to talk to him again. It was like a complex, I just wanted nothing to do with them. Call me shady, it’s okay, I was.

Then came Max*. I don’t know exactly what it was about him, maybe it’s because he was a musician or maybe it was the way he smoked that Marlboro light, but I fell and I fell hard. Things escalated quickly and before I knew it years had went by, we’d went from living together, to getting engaged, to buying a house and finally getting married. I look back at that relationship now and I realize what it was that was so attractive to me about Max, he was just like my dad. And just like I had sworn off true love years ago I had also promised myself that I would NEVER and I mean NEVER marry someone like my father. I was going to break that curse. My father was extremely emotionally and verbally abusive and I wouldn’t deal with that again. Obviously the pacts that I had made with myself didn’t last and I once again I not only found myself in a bad relationship, but an extremely unhealthy and dysfunctional one at that.

In all the years that we were together, I tried leaving him three times, but he always convinced me things would change and because I’d been with him so long and was comfortable in the relationship I would always come back. Finally, in nearing our ten year mark one day I woke up and decided I was done. I’d been walking around like a zombie for months, I had no friends, I rarely talked to my family, I had completely lost the person I once was and I snapped. Again, I look back at it now and I can’t say what exactly finally caused me to wake up and be done, I think it was just a buildup of raw emotion and my mind finally got fed up with my heart and said "screw this, we’re done".

It wasn’t easy packing my things and leaving him, leaving the home we shared together, leaving ten years of my life behind me, but with the support of my family and the strength given to me by a dear friend I made it through. Then the strangest thing happened, when I was least expecting it and when I wasn’t looking for any sort of relationship that dear friend turned into something more.

It all happened so fast, and before I knew it, and probably was ready for it, the word "love" made its way into our lives. I did take a step back and reviewed how quickly things had progressed but he had me convinced I was his soul mate and we were meant for each other. I’ll admit it, for a time I was on cloud nine. He was perfect, we had so much in common, my friends and family loved the way he looked at me but moreover they loved how happy I had become, I had returned to them as the Ashley I had been before my tumultuous and dysfunctional relationship with Max.

It was so easy being with Jake and our time together was the most intense, passionate and chemistry filled relationship I’d ever encountered. He made me believe in true love and for the first time in my life I could sit through a Nicholas Sparks movie without wanting to vomit ten times. However, just like with any other high, a low is sure to follow. Because of the intensity and passion we had for one another the lows weren’t just lows, they were bottomless pits. Mountains were made out of mole hills and the thought of being without him was devastating.

I will always refer to him as "my immortal", and give due credit to Amy Lee and Evanessence for creating that fantastic song. It took me nearly thirty years to finally admit to myself, and now others, that true love does really exist, but now I question at what cost? Breaking things off with him was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, I had to walk away from the one person who finally gave me light at the end of the tunnel and taught me to love myself.

I know for a fact that I will always miss him, but more importantly, I will always love him. The intensity and the passion and the chemistry one can find with ones "soul mate" is surreal and the greatest feeling in the world but losing that is the most sinking and heartbreaking feeling in the world. Regardless, I’d like to say thank you Jake, for the highs as well as for the lows because you came into my life with purpose and you’ve helped shape me into who I’d always been destined to become.

Before we parted, I told him that we would find our way back to each other, maybe not in this lifetime, but surely in the next. I’ve learned I can’t fight fate and I can’t control my heart. Whoever coined the phrase, "the heart wants what it wants", undoubtedly experienced true love first hand, and knew what they were talking about. I’ve decided to steer clear of Nicholas Sparks movies, or any romance movies for that matter because I don’t want a reminder of what I know I just can’t have. Sometimes the things we want most in life, aren’t what we need or just not good for us. Yeah it sucks, but from firsthand experience it really is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. Someone is out there for me, and even though he may not be my soul mate he can still be my one true love.

Ashley Phillips-Pirnstill

2/1/2015




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