Every little girl holds that secret desire in their heart - that she has a soul mate, the one man in all the world especially for her. I would giggle to myself growing up, wondering what he would be like - tall, handsome, funny. The possibilities were endless but deep down I knew whoever he was, he'd be perfect. Then I grew up and faced the horrors associated with teen boys. Aren't they just cruel beasts? In all fairness, I did crush on the most popular, the most good looking and my young hormones didn't listen to any voice of reason telling me that maybe I'd set my sights too high. So while I watched those around me fall about in giddy swoons over young love, I stoically pushed on, grasping tightly to my belief in soul mates. It was tough nurturing and sheltering that young hope through those years as I endured disappointment and heartache over and over. I think there were a few moments where I faltered and wanted to say to heck with love but I'm a romantic at heart so that little flame wasn't so easily put out...
I finally escaped high school and came to the conclusion that the reason why my young heart wasn't fulfilled was because what could young boys possibly have when compared to the *sigh* sexiness of men. I'll admit now that towards the end of my teens I had a few heated moments with the "older guy" so as I moved out of my teens and into my 20's, I entered into what I like to call my "Frog Kissing" phase. I did alot of kissing, hoping against hope that one of them would be my prince charming - my soul mate - the perfect guy for me.
I'm surprised all I walked away with was chapped lips and not a truck load of warts because although there was some HOT HOT moments, I could safely rename those years my "BLECH" phase because although the spark of lust was there... that was it. No connection, no commitment, no knee weakening "OMGSH he's the one" feeling. Oh I definitely gave it my best try but you can't convince the heart to feel something that isn't there. So loads of lust .. no love. That hope I'd been sheltering was slowly dying and I wondered whether my little girl dream was wrong. Instead of seeing a home filled with children and the loving gaze of a devoted husband, I started seeing me sitting in a house, alone but for a million cats.
Someone then gave me the advice "Belinda - quit looking. Prepare yourself to be Mrs Perfect so when the stars align, he'll find you." So that's what I did. No more kissing frogs, no more searching. I closed up shop and threw myself into other things and that's probably one of the best pieces of advice I've ever had. You guys know me. I'm addicted to romance and one of my favorite themes in a book is when two people conquer time and space to find each other. Nothing is too difficult for love, right? Your soul mate's in 1432AD? That's ok, you'll find a way to hook up. Now no scoffing... it can really happen! Ok maybe not crossing time like that BUT I really do believe that love - true love- is not restricted by geography and here's why...
It was about August 1999 and a friend of mine had introduced me to a chatroom they liked to visit and they shared they'd met alot of cool friends that way. You can never have too many friends, right? So I went online and began chatting and had a BLAST. I met some wonderful people who held similar interests and before I knew it, life was in full swing. I was single and loving it and that's when Love/Fate/Cupid stepped in. I was standing in my kitchen back home when this thought struck me HARD and I mean HARD. I was meant to go to the US (for those who don't know I'm Australian) and despite the fact I had NO money, I immediately started making phone calls. I soon had a place to stay when I came but still no money equalled no plane ticket. It wasn't a matter of waiting and saving either. I HAD to go to the US and I HAD to go ASAP. Here's the first miracle - I told my Dad and he lent me the money. Ever made an international flight? That's ALOT of money but without hesitation he handed it over. I got my ticket and everything was set. Here's where miracle number two happened.
I must have had my ticket for a few days and I was busy talking with people in the chatroom when I get an instant message. Someone called HappySnub wanted to chat and say hello. We talked back and forward and mock all you want, there was a SPARK. We had a lot in common and the flirting was fun so when I said I was coming to the US, we arranged to meet up. LOL I swear I just heard you all gasp! I know the dangers of meeting people online but seriously, there was something there, something pulling me so without really thinking, we made plans for him to come meet me at LA airport when I arrived. The sweetheart he was, he arranged to bring his parents so it would help take the fear out of it.
Today marks our 12th year wedding anniversary and I love him more now than I ever thought possible. Mark is incredible. I don't know what I did to deserve such a man because he is so incredibly gentle, loving, devoted, patient, forgiving, funny and yep, he ROCKS MY WORLD! Just looking over those words, I realize they come no where close to describing just what he means to me and how much he has blessed my life. I can't imagine a single second without him and I love knowing I can reach out anytime and find him there. Sometimes I have to pinch myself when I look at him because I feel so amazed he's stood by me all these years. We've gone through Hell the past few years and where it breaks other marriages, if anything it has strengthened and fortified ours.
I believe in soul mates. I believe that there is someone out there for everyone and that the way will open for two people to find each other. I might not have crossed time but I crossed a REALLY big ocean and have never regretted the decision. Mark baby, I love you. You own my heart and thank you so much for being so tender and gentle with it. Happy anniversary and Valentine's Day!
** Note: This post was tweaked a little because I also shared it this time last year. The words are still true and I know alot haven't heard about how I met my hubby! **