Greetings from Seattle! My husband and I are traveling in western Washington this week, visiting our friends and family. Already, the time here has been so sweet. I can’t wait to share more when I’m home. And I will! But enough about me—let’s meet Katie!
So here’s something that makes me so excited about life. If you haven’t heard (seen) me say (write) it before, one of the primary reasons I tell my stories is to connect with other people in their experiences of grace, grief, hope, delight, anger, risk, and on & on. When I share a story and someone responds with, “Oh, thank goodness—me too” … well, I can’t quite think of any better reason to write than that. It is good, powerful, and healing to find places of connection in our humanity, and I love that I get to do that in tiny ways through this little piece of the internet.
I’ve never met Katie in person. We have become friends through the personal stories we share that leads the other to say, “Yes! I get it!” As she has read my writing, Katie has beautifully and bravely come to share her own experiences. I am honored to host her story here; this is why I maintain this site. I tell my stories in hopes that others will share their stories and we will all feel a little bit more known and a little bit more connected in our similar experiences or feelings. If you have a story you’d like to share, please do get in touch with me! But first, let’s get comfy and get to know Katie:
Growing up, I was always under the assumption that when you get married you will have found your one and only “soulmate” in this life. While I believe now that my husband is a soulmate of mine, I don’t believe that he is the only soulmate that I was given.
At a very young age, I met a friend for life—my first “soulmate,” if you will. Her name was Lindsay and she was about 7 weeks older than me. She was the daughter of my mother’s youngest sister of whom my mother adored. This soulmate of mine is my first cousin.
Lindsay was the perfect baby and an even better toddler; I was the little hellion that turned into a bit of a “monster” as a toddler. Somehow, my whiny and high-maintenance personality seemed to complement her laid back and care-free soul. For some reason, Lindsay and I’s friendship just worked.
As the years went by, we spent hours together, running on the banks of the Rock River in our sandy swimsuits, or playing school (Lindsay would be the teacher, while her younger brothers and I would play the disruptive students). We spent countless weekends together—I would watch her play softball and she would graciously observe my next part in the school play. Whenever and wherever, we were always experiencing life together.
I couldn’t imagine experiencing anything this life had to offer without Lindsay by my side—and as we grew, so did our bond. Our mothers were beyond close and this only enhanced Lindsay and I’s friendship and love for one another. She truly was my first soulmate. I brought humor and sarcasm into her life, and her compassion and confidence satisfied just what my restless soul needed. Our relationship deepened over time, and we felt more like sisters than cousins. Our souls felt destined to intertwine—and they had.
Lindsay and I attended the same high school where we shared the same group of friends; there was rarely a football game, get-together, or school dance where you would see one of us and not the other. As we grew into young adults, we would often have conversations that led us to discuss our friendship and how it was unlike any other relationship either of us had ever known. Our souls seemed to understand each other. She knew when I was happy, and could almost feel my sadness when my heart was broken. Together, we experienced so many of life’s greatest joys as well as some of life’s deepest heartaches. Nothing in this life would change the respect and love that we had for one another. Nothing would come in the way of us traveling this road together. Our friendship was rooted so deep that as long as we had each other, we felt we could do anything. Our souls felt destined to intertwine—and they had.
And then, on October 10th, 2004, my life was changed.
The unimaginable happened and my soul was rocked. My first soulmate was taken too soon. The person who had taught me more about living well was gone and my soul was crushed. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what life would be like without her—and, almost 12 years later, I can honestly say that my life has never been the same. I have experienced many of life’s greatest moments without her physically being next to me, though I always feel her close by. It’s pretty amazing that not even death can tear our souls apart. Our souls were meant to intertwine—and they did. Lindsay was my first soulmate, who taught me what I needed to look for in the next soulmate that would change my life. I married that next soulmate of mine.
I learned at a very young age that it is OK to have more than one soulmate. I learned that a soulmate doesn’t have to just be the person you marry—that a soulmate is a best friend and more. A soulmate is someone who knows you, accepts you, and believes in you before anyone else does or when no one else will. A soulmate is a person who feels your deepest sorrows and your greatest joys. A soulmate is a gift that may only come once in a lifetime—or, in some cases, you may be blessed with multiple soulmates that will change your life. I was lucky enough to have been blessed with two.
Our souls were meant to intertwine and they did…
I am Katie Irwin—an Illinois Native who found my way out to “God’s Country.” I live in Erie, Colorado and have been married to a fabulous man for the last 5 years. We have two Golden Retrievers who are much like children to us. I love to travel, take naps, watch the sunset, and, as far as I’m concerned, nothing beats enjoying a cold beer on a patio. I love the people in my life fiercely and believe that no one crosses our paths by accident. I am not great at playing cards, hiking, or sitting still, and no matter how hard I try, I always wake up with messy hair.