How many times in your life have you met (as Anne Shirley would say) a kindred spirit? I don’t know if I believe in past lives or not, but the times when I have met those people for me, I have had the thought that I must have known them before or something, because how could they see who I was so well? How could they get to the core of my soul the way they do?
When I was in college and working at the canoe rental place (I still find it so weird that I did that), I had to work a late shift with Jenny. We didn’t really know each other at all- it was one of my first shifts at the job, but we laughed and talked and pretty much told each other our whole life stories including our secrets that very first time we talked. I remember we did each other’s MASH fortunes and I felt like I was 10 years old again talking to her. From day one, we were homies, no questions asked. Sometimes, finding a kindred spirit doesn’t happen on the first day you meet. Biogirl and I worked together for about a year, and liked each other, but didn’t really hit it off until we made our first friend-date outside of work. That first date lasted the entire day, from morning until a late movie. It was like all of a sudden- click- she came into focus for me. We hung out and we didn’t want the friend-date to ever end. And to this day, it sort of hasn’t. The first time I hung out with Nordic Boy was another one. It sounds cheesy, but there was something that came alive in me (much like Peter Frampton) the very first time we hung out after work. I felt like he just looked right through every dumb game I had ever played with people and just saw me.
There’s a part of my brain (the old, crotchety, cobwebby part) that thinks that the phase in my life where I get to find soul mates is over, not because I am older but because I am all stocked up. I have gathered up my most cherished people already and I will hold them close, but really, that’s all I get. I still feel like I will find new people to love- I do that pretty regularly because awesomeness seems to find me- but kindred? A soul twin (kind of like a hand twin only less lucrative)? I don’t know.
Except, actually, I do know. I was having this conversation the other day and I felt like I was getting hit with a pie in the face (ok, so I know that actually getting hit in the face with a pie does not sound like a good thing, and it probably isn’t when it’s physically really happening to you, but pie-face as an abstract idea…come on, delightful, right? Your whole face! In a PIE. That’s a really lovely thing). And it was a kindred spirit pie. It’s such a strange feeling due to the fact that one doesn’t have it anew very often. For me, less than 10 times in my life, which granted, is kind of a lot. I know some people don’t get it at all. But still, less than 10 times out of the thousands of people one meets: it’s quite a rare thing. And kind of a small thing. After all, it’s just a feeling. A feeling that I would express thusly: this person…gets me. WEIRD. That’s pretty much it.
So, I guess I’m not done with finding kindred spirits after all. It may sound dumb, but it feels really lovely to be shown that.
That’s not the only reason I have been thinking about this. I’ve also been thinking about my lovely Neighbor J and the few years we spent living next door to each other. When I first moved in she had me over for tea, and we had the first of many chats that would go on long enough to make us both hoarse. We both invested in dorky looking headset phones because of our friendship: we would literally spend 2-4 hours a day on the phone with each other talking, talking, talking. We never ran out of things to say to each other, ever. We talked while we cooked, we talked while we did laundry, we talked while we watched the same movie on our tvs, like Harry and Sally. We ate lunches and dinners together in our shared backyard, and when I got home from grad school class I would walk in my door and she would yell “Hi Neighbor!” through the wall to me. Aside from Biogirl Neighbor J takes the prize for joined-at-the-hipness with me. It was a really golden, really happy time in my life, and lots of that was because of Neighbor J. Kindred spirit.
On Sunday, Neighbor J and her hubs Neighbor B welcomed a brand new little neighbor into the world: their daughter, Neighbor E. Yahoo! Kindred spirits come in all sizes.
So, that’s what I am thinking about this week. Kindred spirits, old, brand new, and just born. What about yours?