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Life is a game of chess… sort of

Photo by Yamil Duba on Pexels.com

Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.

Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights

Currently Reading: Morning Star by Pierce Brown
Currently Listening to: Runaways – All Time Low

I’ve begun to believe that in a number of ways that life is like a game of chess in some ways. Every decision you make, every move you make, either positions you so you have the advantage, or puts you at a disadvantage. Every decision you’ve ever made has led you to the place where you currently are. It’s weird to look back on your life and be able to pick out seemingly pointless choices that you made that somehow influenced the rest of your life. Things that seem random and meaningless can have far reaching consequences. That’s just how life is.

But there’s a big difference between life and chess.

Allies.

In chess, you can’t turn any of the opponents pieces. They will always be black or white. Never gray. And they can’t change those colors.

But in life we can absolutely gather allies around us. Friends, family, coworkers, etc. These relationships can be superficial or very deep. It’s interesting to think about the strength of your relationships. Who are you closest to? Why? Who do you know would have your back, no matter what?

I’m lucky. I’m very much an introvert, but I have gathered around me an eclectic and rather large group of close friends. Now, I don’t mean to say that these people would die for me. A few might, but I don’t expect that everyone would. That’s just unreasonable, and this isn’t a fantasy novel. No one has sworn blood oaths or pledged their service. But these are people that I can rely on.

So I thought some more. How many of these people am I really close to? Someone that I’ve shared things with, deep and sometimes dark things. I can only think of a few of that group. Obviously my husband. Two, maybe three, other people. I recently entered a friendship in which we vowed (there really isn’t a better choice of word, here) to always be totally honest with each other. And we have been. We’ve really talked, and talked about deep and important shit. We’ve been honest about our experiences, our feelings about things and even about each other, what we think about things. I had forgotten what it was like building that kind of connection with someone.

Mike and I have that kind of connection, but we’ve known each other for so long and been through so much together that we can be very intuitive about things. Whole conversations had with a look, kind of thing. For a long time he was the only one that I had that kind of connection with. And honestly it’s probably not as common as I assume it to be. But to have two people break through my walls and really get to know me, and not just the me that I show to everyone, or the bits and pieces that I’ve revealed to some people.

I admit, I keep most people at arm’s length. I’ve built walls and keeps to make sure that no one gets close enough to truly hurt me. Over the years I’ve learned to lessen my defenses to a degree, but it’s always been a safety measure. When I was in my early 20s I let too many people too close, and too many of them used that closeness to hurt me, to break me. I swore for a long time after that that I wouldn’t let that happen again.

It’s taken a lot to let people through even the outermost defenses. Because of these experiences when I was younger I’ve let myself always assume the worst of people and their intentions. So yeah, it’s super nice but also incredibly scary to let people get that close. Hell, I even held Mike at arm’s length for a long time.

Maybe there is such a thing as soulmates. If there is, then I completely believe that everything you’ve ever been told about them is wrong. These are not necessarily people that you’re supposed to be with, or end up with. These are people who just get you, get where you’re coming from, and get where you’re going. These are people that you’re so in tune with that your thought patterns are similar. You text the same thing at the same time. You find the same humor in a random situation that no one else finds funny. And yeah, you’re not meant to romantically be with all of them. They don’t even have to be the sex that you’re attracted to. Maybe they are, but you’re not attracted to them. Or possibly you didn’t find them attractive at first but now that you know that you’re incredibly attracted to them now. Maybe it’s the guy that sits next to you at the bar every Tuesday night. Who the hell knows.

But it’s been good for my mental health to have another someone that I know that really knows me and is on my side. It gives me a little bit of added strength to fight my demons. Another person to talk shit out with. Another someone that gets where I’m coming from and understands that sometimes my fights are mine alone, but are there waiting on the sidelines just in case, either to jump into the fray or to help me mop myself up afterward.

There’s a lot in my life that’s gone wrong, sometimes horribly wrong. My favorite motto (hell, its one of my tattoos) is ad aspera per astra. Through hardship to the stars. And the only way I’ve found to even start to get to those stars is to have this kind of person in your life.

And to both of them, I’m incredibly thankful that we found each other in this mad, mad world. Those same choices that led us to where we are, also led us to each other. And in chess, I might be the queen, but they are absolutely my rooks. I love them both dearly, one very differently than the other, but there is absolutely a love for both of them.

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