People see only a few sides to anyone, and I am no exception. People who know me see the career I do now, the place from where I come, the way I look now, the way I carry myself at the moment. And yet, they can't see me.
I had a friend ask me - did I used to do something else as a career? Did I used to be in the film business. She asked this in front of a group of mates I've known for a couple of years. Yes, I said, I did. People were astonished - how did I go from that to this?
Last night I was with a friend of 25 years. I mentioned the time when I worked at Playboy magazine. She was astonished. She either hadn't known that or had forgotten.
Long ago I was on a flight with a young man who was telling me about his family and his hopes and dreams. A mother who taught yoga - so did I; a father who was an accountant - so was I; a sister who ran a charity; so did I....etc...and I could see by the look on his face that he thought I was a compulsive liar. It was at that moment that I quit explaining myself or even acknowledging all that I have done.
In a way I'm proud of my accomplishments but at the same time, I also feel I haven't gone deep enough. I envy the specialists, sometimes. I've done alot but does that make me accomplished? I doubt that these days. I feel very much that I've not achieved what I wanted to as a writer, as a healer, as a minister and as a woman. Some things are time bound and when that time has passed, there is no way to resurrect that dream.
There is someone about whom I care and whether anything happens there or not, it has highlighted how difficult it is for me to really find someone with whom I can relate; someone who has the depth of and courage of soul to meet me and stand firmly with me in the depths.
And, let's be frank: some things are just hard to work into conversation. Just how do you tell someone who knows you as a particular professional that you are also an ordained minister? Whilst I manage reporting for a company in my day job, what burns in my soul is to find a way to tend to the spiritual and psychological needs of both myself and others. What I yearn for is the search for truth and meaning and despite all appearances to the contrary I am really just a vulnerable little girl that is painfully shy, though I pretend not to be, by acting the clown and travelling the world for fear of settling down and being abandoned. Glamorous? Only if you see only the surface.
Friends new and old constantly remark that they are always discovering something new and fascinating about me. It makes me interesting. But it is isolating. And whilst life has been interesting, it has been emotionally dry in many long patches. Everyone, after all, longs to be seen and known. And then, for what is known, to be loved.
I have never been a woman that goes from relationship to relationship. I've spent most of my life solitary and single. But, I am acutely aware that my recent romance has clarified one thing for me: More than any bucket list of skydiving and swimming with the dolphins, once in my lifetime, I want to be the woman that lights up my partners life; the woman for whom my lover would do anything and without whom life lacks joy. I know is romantic, and a lot to ask for, but I want that, just once. And more challenging still....just once in my life, I want to be loved completely; to be seen, to be known and to be loved for all that I am and all that I am not.
That, my friends, would be a life more extraordinary.