Exactly yes, exactly right

My future sister-in-law sent this to me last week, and I keep going back to it.  It's perfect, it's exactly yes, it's exactly right. 

Before I came to Korea there were all these questions about uprooting my life at 28, when I should be looking to settle down.  These questions were annoying, but I was more confused about why anyone cared so much.  I was living in Dallas, a city very obsessed with very frivolous things; social status, plastic surgery, high heels and 'finding a man' (did you know that life can't begin until you find 'the one?').  To be honest, I did get caught up in this on occasion, which was infuriating, because it felt all wrong. It confused me to be that concerned over things I wasn't that concerned about that I was 'supposed' to be really concerned about.  <--also confused and concerned about that sentence.

I'd been there already.  I'd had two men, two loves, 7 consecutive years worth of dependence and confused identity.  Both were millimeters away from marriage, before the age of 28, before I could possibly have had a clue about what I wanted for my life (I was a late bloomer in the 'Who am I?' department; losing a mama at 19 can stagnate you).  My destiny in both of those relationships was to become an affluent stay at home housewife, which is what way too many women dream about and think they want.  It took me too long to realize that I would have been absolutely bored to tears. It's not what I want for myself at the moment.  I'm lucky to have realized that in time.

I preach about this a lot, and am asked in various flabbergasting ways, But don't you want to find the one?  What about your soulmate?' 

Dudes.  I have found the one(s).  I have a handful of soulmates, near and far.  Those that I talk to every day, those that I email every two months, those that I see every 5 years...no matter how large or small their role in my life, no matter how they came into my life, they add value to it and make it better, and I've been affected and impacted hugely simply by having the pleasure of knowing them.  Their love and support is just an added bonus.  Isn't that what meaningful relationships are?

The article focuses on female relationships, and I definitely concur with the strength that comes from those, particularly when in close proximity having shared experiences (E.g., me and my ladies here Ulsan), but I personally attribute the same sentiments to several of my male and female and especially familial relationships (Old Man Pops and M'bro).

My favorite, super empowering snippet from the author:

The Wrinklies weren’t spinsters or old maids and they were not “failures” in any way. They were free. It was I who failed to see them, until later, for who they really were: educated, hugely intelligent, fascinating, financially independent. Women who led rich lives full of meaningful work, deep and lasting friendship, sex when they wanted it, time with the beloved children of their family and friends, conversations about politics and art and literature, culture, travel to remarkable destinations where they did not journey as unconscious tourists but as guests in people’s homes and hearts. Despite these full lives they owned their own time, they owned their days. I did not. I was too busy trying to find someone who would spend the days with me, as if this would validate my presence in the world.

Validate your own presence in this world, my friends, and enhance that presence with the incredible friends and soulmates that already surround you.  And welcome more into your life, for as long as you live.  And for crying out loud, count your flippin' blessings and don't lose perspective.  What's important is what you already have.  Enjoy it, bathe in it, roll around in it.

Might as well top this off with a resounding "and save the animals."