The loss of my soul almost went unnoticed. Had it left in some dramatic fashion, exploding like fireworks, a life changing event on the order of an epic love coming to a tragic and premature end, I am quite sure I would have noticed. But no, mine was a slow leak, draining my soul slowly over the course of years, an endless stream of mundane, everyday soul sapping moments that lull you into believing you are living your life.
When I finally did realize my soul was gone, it required a bit of detective work to trace it’s escape route. Where had I gone wrong? What could I have done to justify my soul decision to jump ship? I imagined my soul deciding, in a desperate bid to save itself that it would go find another human who would give a damn sight more than me about showing up more fully in this thing we call life.
Well, I won’t bore you with all the details of what I learned of my soul’s departure and sadly, it won’t come as much of a surprise. The first time my soul left happened on a beautiful sunny Spring day, perfect weather and blue sky as far as the eye could see. The slight breeze felt like a soft caress, almost an apology for leaving me far too long in the cold dark winter. On that day, my son’s excitement was palpable, smile spreading joyfully across his face. I know…his energy should have been contagious, his chubby, sticky fingers reaching for mine. “Let’s go down the slide Mommy”, drawing out Mommy to such an extent that I suppose even he knew if he didn’t keep my attention I would somehow disappear. Once I found a place to sit, I looked up only long enough to give him the thumbs up and continued to scroll my newsfeed, mesmerized by a video depicting the unlikely friendship between a ferret and pot-bellied pig. It seemed important at the time. And later that weekend? Well more of my soul left in protest when I decided to snuggle up with Netflix and binge watch three seasons of The Magicians. Holed up in that dark room, blanketed under an extra-large hoodie I hunkered down for the long haul. I am embarrassed to share that my son’s overtures to connect with me went unrequited that weekend.
There were countless more moments, but I am sure now you can see the writing on the wall. Each moment seemed so trivial at the time and honestly, when I finally realized what was happening, it was already too late, my soul had gone in search of greener pastures. So, I am spending most of my time these days in search of my lost soul. I try to find it on long walks, games of Candyland, melting ice cream and warm hugs. Places I would go if I were a lost soul. I will let you know when I find it!