Sometimes you just know.
I was only in the 9th grade — French class to be exact — when he walked into the room and looked at me for the first time. It wasn’t just a passing glance either. It was a long, direct, penetrating, unwavering stare that — for some reason — made me blush. Even today I can recall the sensation of heat that rose from my chest to my face, and I still don’t know why I couldn’t bring myself to look away. There was something hypnotic about his green eyes…
During the two months prior, he didn’t know I even existed. But after meeting his parents the night before at the school’s parent-teacher open house, they must have gone home and told him about the shy awkward girl in his French class who was from Boston, had lived in Israel, and had recently moved to town. I’m sure it was just curiosity that led him to look at me that next day in class. I know he didn’t plan on or bargain for the instant connection between us that became impossible to ignore or break.
I couldn’t help falling in love with him despite my mother’s reminders that I was too young to know what true love was. Neither my parents nor my friends seemed to see or understand the chemistry — the special relationship — that grew between us, but I didn’t care. I knew it was real even if no one else did. I knew he was mine even though others tried to compete.
When I see movies like “Serendipity” or “The Adjustment Bureau” — as they play out the notion that some couples are meant to be together — I feel somewhat vindicated while I wish we had met when we were older. But for me, this is all about bashert — finding one’s soul mate; the idea that two people are simply destined to be together. If you prefer, you can call it chemistry or destiny or kismet or fate, but it’s still the same concept. Two people somehow find and complete each other. And I believe it to be true. What’s more, I believe that everyone eventually will find his or her bashert.
But beware. Bashert does not imply or ensure a “happily ever after.” It does not negate our right to exercise freewill, our nature to make mistakes, or our ability to ruin a relationship. It does, however, offer the basis for some awesome potential; a solid platform from which to work on building a good, mutually beneficial life.
I guess what my bubbie says is true: “if it was meant to be, it’ll be” and “everything happens for a reason.” I was lucky enough to meet my bashert 36 years ago, but I’m even luckier that he’s still mine today. He’s the friend, confidante, cheerleader, teacher, mentor, doctor, handyman, partner, and co-parent who is always there when I need him. He listens, negotiates, compromises, shares, is considerate, cries when he watches “The Notebook”, and makes me feel loved every day. (Okay, truth be told, he’s far from perfect. He’s a lousy dancer and a horrible singer!)
I don’t know why we met when we did, but I believe we were meant to. I don’t know what he saw back then or sees in me today, but I still get lost in his green eyes…
When you find it, you’ll just know.