“The moment I heard my first love story, I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.” ~Rumi
I remember reading this quote by Rumi one day, and I honestly thought it only pertained to lovers. I love the way the words flowed, the way the idea of it all sounded in my head. “Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere, they’re in each other all along.” I am a hopeless romantic, a soul torn between the conventional and the unconventional. One part loves the competitiveness of corporate America; the other just wants to be a free soul roaming around the world connecting. I didn’t realize my greatest epiphany happened, until I realized it did.
For as long as I can remember I have always searched for my passion. I would watch the Olympics and be envious of these athletes that knew what they wanted, were driven by their hearts calling and went for the gold. “I want that, I want that feeling.” I wanted that, I yearned for it, and that search has led me down many paths.
At one point I convinced myself that I wanted to surround myself with Fashion, so I went to the first artsy fartsy College for information on a degree that catered to that. I sewed wallets, totes and nursing covers, sold them online and thought I knew that that must’ve been it. I rode horses, picked up painting, was a server, did yoga, was in retail, tried becoming a vegetarian, had little spells that led me to be a pro-active activist; everything I did I immersed myself in it completely, convinced that THAT was it, but somehow I was always left feeling unfulfilled, gaining momentum at a certain point only to have it waver off with nothing but a disappointing after taste filling the corners of my mouth. Here I was searching, finding an interest, then losing it quicker than I could declare “I FOUND IT!” and that frustration always brought me to one place for as long as I can remember; pen paper, fingers against plastic, tick, tick, tick, recite, recite, recite.
I was in abusive relationships, I had a hard childhood, I got pregnant early, I got married and divorced early. I went with the flow of live. First heartbreak, suicide, parents divorce, mom’s new husband, dad’s heart attack, childhood guilt, mother’s guilt, wife guilt. Guilt. Write. Write. Write…
Then one day I drove my now ex-husband to work, and I don’t quite know what triggered it, but I saw a vision: I was walking along a barren hill, surrounded by dust and the hot sun, and I looked down and saw the blades of grass blowing serenely in the wind. I was carrying buckets or books, and I was in some distant country, doing what I love to do. What do I love?WHAT am I doing? All of a sudden it hit me…
“WHOA! I think I got it!! I think I know what I want to do! You know how I am always doing all these different things? I want to travel? I want to help people? I’ve been in abusive relationships? I know how to sew??? … I want to own a non-profit?! I want to do workshops in third world countries! I want to help women and children break the cycle of abuse! I want to travel around the world and spread the message. I want to sew signature totes, sell them, have all the proceeds go towards my non-profit and do workshops around the world, and when all is said and done I want to write about it. I want to WRITE about it.”
Tears flowed. “Why am I even crying?” I thought. “How stupid is this, that I finally know what I want to do, and I am crying?” But I was and I did, and time passed and that vision has never left me. Its distant echo still haunts me. “I want to write about it.” And as I’m writing this, my fingers tremble. “I want to WRITE about it.”
After that, eventually my husband and I separated, and I jumped into another abusive relationship. I was desperate, I was depleted, and I was outnumbered by my own thoughts. Shifts, major, major life shifts. “What have I done? What happened? Where am I? What am I doing?” Write. Write. Write. “What am I searching for? What if I never find it? Romance, I want romance. Love. I want love.” I wanted to be more consistent in my ever-changing roller coaster of emotions and stay strong. So in order to journal my own growth I started a blog (www.katestaysstrong.tumblr.com). Mind you, I had blogs established on several blogging sites already, but I wanted one that I really kept up with, that I was completely honest in, and that I would share with the rest of the world – finally. No matter the outcome.
I wasn’t sure what I tried doing — maybe I wanted people to see me, the true me, in the hopes that my honesty would show them that it’s okay to be honest too, that the world isn’t perfect. Maybe I wanted to cut the bullshit and finally strengthen my inner voice, that nudging whisper that has always told me, when I thought I knew what I wanted, “No Kate, this isn’t it. Keep trying. Keep writing.” Write. Write. Write.
I got out of my abusive relationship, thinking that was the hardest part. It wasn’t. Now there I was, with nothing to cling onto for distraction and my inner demons were killing me. So I wrote, because that was the only thing I knew how to do. I wrote. I wrote until I had no more thoughts left, until I broke down crying, until my soul spilled. And the thought crept up slowly, the echoes, “I want to write about it.” All my interests I thought were it, but weren’t, because there was no writing involved. If there was only one thing left in the world for me to do, I would write and that alone could sustain me. The more honest I was, the more feedback I got. The more of a difference I felt I was making. “This is it.” My little voice whispered. “You found it.” That voice declared, with a smile and a nudge only my heart would be able to reveal. “Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere, they’re in each other all along.”
I have always been a writer. “I want to write about it.” I want to hear people’s stories and “I want to write about it.” I want to feel, and see and hear and “I want to write about it.” I have always been a writer. “Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere, they’re in each other all along.” Writing is my passion; writing has always been my lover. And if I could ask anyone who his or her lover was, I would ask anyone — from Oprah, to orphans, extraordinary people to ordinary common folk. Because in the end, we all have the same purpose, we all want the same thing. We yearn for the EUREKA moment that ignites our fire and makes us do nothing else but follow the beating of out hearts. Cut the bullshit. “Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere, they’re in each other all along.”
~by Kate Berlin
New Port Richey, Florida