The other day my brother sent me a YouTube video of a TED talk from a friend of his from college. His friend talked about his experience as a Third Culture Kid and the fact that later in life he had experienced a series of rootlessness and restless years, moving from place to place without having the real ability to connect to a community or to people in an intimate and intentional way. I appreciated his talk, but I disagree with the fact that my own moving from place to place and wanderlust tendencies hinder my ability to connect to people in a meaningful way, and even, I would argue to lay down roots. If you know me at all you know that I am both intense and demanding (both inwardly and outwardly). I am also someone with a great longing for intimacy and connection in order to form what I think of as a meaningful relationship.
I admit that these predispositions stem from the fact that I am an outgoing introvert (I hate these lists, but this one sums up my tendencies pretty well), or an extroverted introvert, but they also are rooted in the fact that my childhood, and now adulthood, has had many rootless qualities and I believe I have honed these different personality traits as a defense mechanism for my own sanity. I am a person who likes to bridge people, feelings, cultures, languages, etc., together. These bridges, are not root systems, but they provide a way for me to develop serious, intimate, and profound relationships with people in a very short period of time.
Today I thought about the TED talk mentioned above, I thought about all the different soul mates I have had the privilege of knowing and continuing to know. I define a soul mate as either someone who has very similar views and philosophy as me or someone that completely understands me even if we are very, very different. Both of these qualities can be present, but either one or the other if present in someone I know, I think can characterize a very good friend. I have encountered and connected with quite a few soul mates in my life due to my penchant for travel (you know who you are) and remembering all these people today made me feel a little sad. I wanted to write a little poem—an ode—for all those wonderful souls in my life that have been my root system as I seem to be always lacking that which keeps people in one place. You are my foundation, you give me direction, you give me the strength to grow bigger and stronger. I love you all!
Here in Guadeloupe, I have had the pleasure of living with such a soul and the experience has been marvelous, albeit short and soon coming to a close. Additionally, I have had the privilege of connecting with some very interesting people, one of which, has given me some balance, as we are probably on quite opposite ends of the spectrum in numerous characteristics. Nayra, hablo de vos, ¡gracias por la perspectiva y los lindos momentos que hemos pasado juntas hasta ahora!