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As a young girl I was highly idealistic about love and all its romance, it almost makes me sick to think about it now. I found myself watching way too many romantic movies, crying for the heroes sorrow, thinking that this kind of  “movie love” existed. I daydreamed about being swept off my feet, about knights in shining armour and perfect long-winded passionate kisses. I dreamed about the perfect husband, the perfect house with its perfect little picket fence, with perfect little kids and dogs running around in our perfect garden. I know, enough to make you sick. I always thought that love started with a kiss, that when you kissed your soul mate for the first time, sparks would fly and you would know that you were meant to be together. That being said, my first kiss didn’t live up to that dream.

It was a summer day, on the playground, myself and Christopher had been playing in the sand pit building an incredible home for lady bugs, when it started to rain. We desperately grabbed for the ladybugs we had spent the whole afternoon collecting, and stowed them in the barrel, which hung underneath the Jungle Gym. We crouched on either side of it and stuck our heads in. A few moments were spent with idle conversation about ladybugs and then he said it “hey lets kiss”. “Ok” I said, and so we kissed. It was so awkward; my mouth was closed while his was open with his tongue stabbing me in the jaw, I was horrified and pulled away. As I popped out I was surprised by the delight of inquisitive bystanders who cheered and jeered. Although my first kiss was a disaster, I claimed it was because we weren’t meant for love and that it was what I began to call; a technical rehearsal.

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Years went by and I was still having technical rehearsals. I had boyfriends who I thought I loved, but there was always something missing. I didn’t feel that spark, no matter how hard I tried to ‘fall in love’, I just couldn’t. Perhaps I was trying too hard, or perhaps it just wasn’t meant to be. I spent years single and independent, a few strays would come along, a kiss here and there, but still no lightning. It was at this point that I realised that I was looking in the wrong place all along; I didn’t feel sparks with any of my boyfriends because I was feeling sparks for my girlfriends. I guess this had been a gradual change for me, because I never thought I was attracted to women until late into my university years, however looking back, the signs were certainly there.

I can pin point the day that my heart jumped for a woman for the first time and when the reality smacked me in the head. She was amazingly beautiful woman and super confident. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her nor could I bring myself to have a conversation with her. Eventually we did talk, and we became friends, and I got a do-over of my first kiss. It was just as I imagined it would be when my knight finally arrived. We lay on our backs, side by side in the dark, the crisp morning sun only a few hours away, and yet we were both wide awake.

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Before I knew it her hand was slid into mine, at that moment my stomach turned, my heart pounded, my palms began to sweat and my mouth went as dry as the Namibian desert, these were new symptoms for me and she was no knight. I was reduced to a babbling twelve year old, confused, excited and nervous, as if I had never ever kissed anyone. Our heads turned towards each other and we kissed, a movie kiss. At that moment every idea I had in my head about love was questioned. My world exploded with uncertainty, all this time I believed a man and woman would fall in love and then it would be easy sailing, but now I was feeling the rush of love for, god forbid, a WOMAN! So love is blind! I have been in meaningful relationships with women since that day and have been surrounded by nothing but love. Not the idealistic love I dreamed up as a girl, but a real and bonding love.

I’ve realised that as a girl I had this idea that love was not about a feeling, it was about subscribing to a set of conventions. When we talk of soul mates, its not that there is one perfect soul out there for us, it’s that we fall in love with a soul. Love is the bond we create when we see the beauty in one another’s souls. It is abundant and available to all of us, it is only owing to itself, so it does not judge or discriminate, or pick and choose loosely. When we love we acquire an understanding of minds and hearts and we help our souls to grow.

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