Do you think that people have one big true love? One soul mate that we need to find, recognise and to live happily ever after?
I don’t. But recently I realised that I believe in the idea of a single life calling, a professional identity that will help us fulfill our potential, that we need to find, recognise and devote ourselves to it. The strange thing is, that it seems that I have found the one true big love when I was 19 and now, 8 years later, I am still looking for my calling…
In the beginning, I didn’t know that this is my big love. Initially I called him Georgi, then “it seems so” (answering the question “is this your boyfriend?”), then i called him my partner, and recently, “the love of my life”. It took five years to realise that this person could indeed be the love of my life.
Throughout those years I did fall in love a few times, I had the chance to experiment, to discover other people, to try finding someone better perhaps. I never did that because the more time I spent with Georgi, the more perfect person he became for me. With every experience, challenge and learning we had together, we grew into the people who were perfect for each other, we became the one and only for one another over time. He was not The One in the beginning of or relationship. Now he is.
In the beginning there were other people who could have become The One, in a parallel universe they probably are. Who it will actually happen with depends so much on the context, momentary state of mind of both of us, and probability theory. Just like one of my favourite songs by Tim Minchin:
What made our relationship special is the time and energy we chose to devote to each other, not our love.
Love was always there, almost from the beginning. There were others that we could have had love with. Love is wild, and uncontrollable shrew, it just happens, it just is as it is. To be in a relationship, that was our choice. We did not decide it right away, it was gradually happening. Every day we simply chose to be together here and now. Like a mantra: “I chose today to be your girlfriend and I choose you to be my boyfriend, to love you and respect you, to trust you and be completely open and genuine with you. Until the end of this day. I don’t know about tomorrow, but today I will give 110% of me to be like that!”
What happens to a lot of people is that they wander in between relationships and never really create one because they are looking for the right choice, the “one and only, who was meant to be mine.” The truth is, there is no such person. They don’t exist. There are many people who have the potential to become that person. We are wandering because we believe that this person is out there and we fear that if we build a relationship with someone else here and now, we will miss that perfect person out there.
So we reject human after human and never devote ourselves fully to someone before we are sure that this is “the one.” The problem is, we can never be sure unless we devote ourselves to it. It is a risk, a leap that needs to be taken. A relationship means to me that I will change and they will change and we will create together our connection and love. A relationship does not mean taking a decision that whatever we are creating should last forever. It is enough to know that here and now we are together and we are devoted to each other.
A few days ago I was talking to a friend about our future career plans. We are both in a moment in life when we try to figure out our professional direction and we were wondering how to identify ourselves ourselves in terms of work. We are still struggling with the question “What do I want to become, now that I’ve grown up?” The possibilities are endless and we are trying to figure out which one is the best. What is the one true calling, the professional identity that will help us fulfill our potential, that we need to find, recognise and devote ourselves to it? What was I born to do? What is the one perfect profession for me? Does it sound familiar?
What I know and understand so well about relationships I don’t seem to apply about my career. There will be failed attempts, there will be disappointment and learning, there will be many opportunities that are just right for me. They will have the potential to turn into my true calling, only if I choose to devote myself to them, to invest my time and energy in them, to grow and learn with them. The only way to know if they are right for me is to engage with them and to accept that there might be something better for me out there but here and now I give all my energy to this one.
There will be FOMO, there will be amazing and incredibly attractive alternatives, to which I will say NO, because I choose to focus on one, the one that brings me satisfaction and inspiration enough that I don’t have space for something else. Until one day I wake up and realise that this is not my career, not my profession, but my one calling that I have created over time. And it will be like that until I stop investing my time, energy, and enthusiasm in it, until is stops giving me the same in return… or till pension do us part.