I think that the closest I have ever, and will ever, come to having a soulmate was my college roommate, Kristina. I watch some of my friends who are already married and the way that they love each other and on bad days the first thing I think is “I will never have that.” I will never have someone to play stupid bored games with at 11:00 o’clock at night and have inside jokes with that no one else gets but they try to laugh along anyway because my soulmate and I just keep saying them and laughing like we’re recording a sitcom laugh-track. Then I remember Kristina. Kristina and I had that. As roommates we had that fully accepting relationship where you are each other’s best friends and the first person you want to tell about your day that I see in so many of my married friends.
Now Kristina and I have our own separate lives, apparently you cannot be college roommates forever, and we live them mostly happily. We don’t see each other very often because those lives take place in different states. That relationship that we had has dwindled to a pocket-sized version of it but I still think we’re soulmates and sometimes something happens to me and Kristina is the first person I want to tell. Still, having your college roommate be your soulmate when you have to go to BBQ’s and watch all of your other friends be WITH their soulmate kind of sucks.
That was of course just a very long preamble to the following statement: I don’t know a lot about romantic love. I have a sort of Disney, 10 Things I Hate About You, rosy image of what romantic love actually looks like. So naturally one of the big themes in the story I have spent the last 18 months weaving has been love.
Love. Something I know exactly nothing about.
So naturally, a year and a half ago (January 2014) when I first swirled my blue .7 pilot pen (I’m very specific. I used a blue .7 for all of my first book and a black .5 for all of the second) across the page of my notebook I had the idea that I was going to write a story about love. Really I was just going to write a story about a princess who wanted to be left alone and forgotten and a prince who wanted to be a knight and somewhere along the way they fell in love.
Here’s the thing though (this is another thing that I knew before I started writing but I have learned so much more about it since starting out on this journey), just like Kristina is a different kind of soulmate for me than my friend Austin is for my friend Erin, there are a lot of different kinds of love. You could study love for centuries and never see all of it. And yet we focus on this one kind.
I know a lot about some of those other kinds of love. So when I sat down and started writing I wrote about more than just romantic love. I wrote about the kind of love that I have with Kristina, or Erin, or Crystal and Samii. These people are my best friends. I have a very deep love for each of them. If they needed me to I would not hesitate to beat someone to death with a baseball bat for them. I’m not kidding.
So I chose to write about that kind of love. Sure it was sidelined but it is there. It is just as important.
Then I also know a lot about the love you have for your family. The way that 90% of the time you want to kill your sibling but if anybody else says something about your sibling you’ll kill them (there is an awful lot of death in a blog post that is supposed to be about love. Oh well.). So I wrote about that too.
Just like me and Jamie.
I put together a cast of characters who all loved each other in these many varying ways and the more I explored each relationship the more I took in how multi-faceted and layered love was. We have exactly one word for love in the English language and somehow it still encompasses this universe of an idea. It’s baffling.
I’m intrigued by the notion of love. There are so many different forms and facets of it that show in so many different ways. I think I could write about it for the rest of my life and still not do it justice.