Why Soulmates Never Die

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Two weeks ago, for the first time in my life, I went on a trip just with my girlfriends. It only took me 33 years to do this and it surely came up as a consequence of becoming an expat. If spending time with my girls was the easiest thing to do before, now we needed to plan for it and go way on our own.

While thinking about this article, I couldn’t help but wonder: why am I writing it? What’s the purpose of it? It is just to talk about my old-time friends? Then it hit me, in all its paradox: I could make it away from home, thanks to my friends back home. All those wonderful people who are not here physically but give me every bit of the emotional boost that I need.

After reading this article the other day – evelyn-lauer/why-I-hated-the-word-soul-mate – I realized that friends are what I truly call soulmates. My partner is one as well, of course, but I prefer to call it my (better) half. You see, our souls have so many sides, that I feel truly blessed to have found affinities with so many mates that respond to all the aspects of me. And I’m talking about my friends back home. Here I’ve met some great people as well, but today I want to honor my home friends and the notion of friendship that holds no boundaries.  

I want to talk about those people who understand best your soul because they know you the longest; the ones that make you feel safe because you always have a place to go back to; make you feel like you belong when you are surrounded by strangers; help you stay in touch with your identity without sounding like cheap nationalism; understand your new experiences in the context of the old you; truly value your adventures because they get how culturally different your new environment is. People that support you when you fall apart, because they know exactly what to say. The ones that make you instantly laugh only because the jokes are so familiar. And with whom you can use expressions like “what my feather?” or “what my chickens” or “I’m sticking my legs into that” without sounding completely idiotic. Certainly not last, the people who keep you young and make you relive your adolescence while giggling and gossiping like teenagers on a trip to Greece.

Among the Gods in The Parthenon

Among the Gods in The Parthenon

Having an early drink, oops, I meant lunch, in The Piraeus Port

Having an early drink, oops, I meant lunch, in The Piraeus Port

Why do I think that my long-time friendships will never lose their intensity? I guess I have 4 big secretes that I’m going to share with you.

THE WHEN

First it has to do with the moment when I left Romania. I was 30. It wasn’t early enough so I’d start all over in the Netherlands, but not too late so I wouldn’t make new friends at all.  You see, at home, I was already in the stage of “mature friendships”, with people that I shared the same interests, values and even worked with. Sure, we also share the same alcoholic passion for wine, but hey, we are only humans, right Veve, Giani and Muriel? It’s the stage where your friends are stuck forever to you heart and make it almost impossible to find something even remotely close in other parts of the world.

THE WHY

I did not leave because I was unhappy with my country or my friends; I ultimately left because I was unhappy with myself. After automatically answering for 2 years that I came to the Netherlands to follow the man I love, I realized that I also did it so I can find myself, as cheesy as it may sound. Yes, one may argue that my friends built up this cozy and safe environment, which made it too lazy for me to change when I was back home. Another explanation is that they accepted me for what I was back then. And surely they have supported me to take this jump and leave the country. Probably they knew what I needed better than I did…

The HOW

How were the relationships with my friends before I left? Saying “close“ it won’t do them justice. Saying “intimate” might lead you to the wrong conclusions. Better I give you few examples. My dearest and oldest friend is also my godmother and the one person that stood beside me not only in church when I got married, but also throughout my entire adult life, in bad or good times. In my own turn, I am the godmother of both the couple that I feel closest to and also to their children, whom I love like they are my own. With one of my other dear friends we even call each other SSS – same sex soulmates :).

Crazy shopping spree in the rain with Alex, in Haarlem

Crazy shopping spree in the rain with Alex, in Haarlem

Every time I’d listen to a great rock song, I would always write to my music guru friend. Hey, come to think of it, we have our own version of “Friends”! And I have a little confession to make: my family was most of the times jealous on my friends. What they did not understand is that my friends were family as well.

The WHAT

What do we do to keep our relationship close while I’m living abroad? We do a LOT actually! Like in every relationship, chemistry is not enough. You have to put in constant efforts to keep it alive. Of course we share and get together at all major events, birthday included. But what I find more important and endearing is the small things. How Veve, Giani and I always send each other a selfie when we go to the hairdresser, to remind ourselves of the times we went together (after driving everybody mad at Toni&Guy because those crazy girls want to go together again and there’s no way we have 3 available time slots one after another!).

With my stylist, Timmy, doing the last touches for a smashing selfie

With my stylist, Timmy, doing the last touches for a smashing selfie

Veve, the queen of style

Veve, the queen of style

Giani, the queen of selfies

Giani, the queen of selfies

It’s always writing to Alex whenever I hear something funny in a TV series (like: “oh, eggs, this chameleon of food: will you be scrambled or Benedict today?”). Or watching the Oscars simultaneously with Veve, Giani and Alex and virtually drooling over Jared Leto. Or sending a picture with a glass of wine to Muriel, every time we try out a new type. Or when Ble sends us every weekend the new masterpieces of Minnie – her little daughter – from the “Art-Attack” sessions.

We don’t we call our Minnie “The little Picasso” for no reason! World, prepare to be amazed!

We don’t we call our Minnie “The little Picasso” for no reason! World, prepare to be amazed!

Or after so many years, how I still ask Misu what type of watch should I buy next for my husband. Or when I make a little joke every time Gonzi posts something on Facebook. Or when Octavia writes to me the most emotional email just to say hi and tell me she’s been thinking about us. Or where I see the wonderful trio of Mestera going to another trip to Ikea (Mestera and Mike are the heroic parents of the group, with the most precious 3 kids and a huge passion for Ikea). Or when Bogdan sends me, out of the blue, a picture with us from high school, which makes me laugh for hours, because back then we seemed to define any notion of fashion; or style; or common sense 🙂

And by far my favorite: when we all say good morning to each other, every day, on the whatsapp group. This literally makes my morning good!

This is the image I have in mind whenever I think about my friends: in a summer afternoon, having a barbeque at Veve’s Mansion

This is the image I have in mind whenever I think about my friends: in a summer afternoon, having a barbeque at Veve’s Mansion

Sure, like in every long-distance relationship, you live more intensely when you meet, but you lose the daily intimacy, all the small things you do together. Of course I suffered a lot when my three girl friends went to the movies without me for the first time. I still do. Although I realize life goes on without me around, I often wondered if they forget me or grow apart from me. But then I remember all of the above and I’m sure this is not going to happen. Because what I’ve noticed is that we also realized and said more what we mean to each other, when we’ve seen how easy would be to lose each other.

For me, being away from my friends is somehow similar to rock climbing. It’s like I’ve started going up a big mountain, but I’m always hooked by ropes to the people from the base. Sometimes I go back to them, sometimes we meet on the way, sometimes I climb alone, but we are always connected.

So “hush, it’s okay, dry your eye/ Soulmate dry your eye/ ’cause soulmates never die”



Iulia Cirtina

Julie is the editor of XpatGirls.com. She's a Romanian girl, stranded in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

For how long, she doesn't know yet. But what she does know is communication and psychology. already a bachelor in psychology, she is now also preparing to be a life coach. This is due to her genuine interest in people and the every day joy to be there for those who have questions about themselves. Working in communication for the last 4 years has helped her pursue the life-long dream of writing. But her secret love was and will always be painting, along with piano and shoes, because yes, every girl has her thing.

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  1. Pingback: Your favorite "Old Timers" Stories from April | XpatGirls.com

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