We are every colour in the trees, my friends and I. We are the gold and reds that carpet the grass. In every breath the autumn is in us too, this feeling of nature flowing back and forth, of rebirth and a hopeful everafter following a period of deep recollection and light melancholy. It is a connection that allows for dancing of spirits as we sink into the cozy hearth that is our bond, that energizing earthiness that somehow anchors yet propels, grounding us, guiding us, afar but never apart.

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I think deeply by nature. I'll be sitting here doing something when my mind gets distracted and wanders off into its own world of wondering. Not too many people understand that, but I'm incredibly fascinated by the unknown, by the human brain, communication, society, cultural impact on perception... All of it. If I had it my way, I'd never leave school because I genuinely love to learn and thirst for these explanations to my not so commonly thought of questions.

Its strange though because growing up as a child, you'd think I'd love science, right? Wrong. I hated it, dreaded every single time the teacher would say "Okay class, now take out your science textbooks." I hated experiments - i didn't think they were fun like everyone else - i thought they were boring. I was always a writer; a creative, curious thinker. I've won countless short story contests, speech competitions, art poster contests within my city, etc. I wrote for fun, always with my notebook and pencil or a book to read in hand. Everyone thought I was going to be a writer someday.

I never really met anyone like me before - someone who can spend hours on end looking through quotes to find ones that speak what the heart has been trying to express into words; someone who listens to music, searching for ones that bring a deep connection to the soul and mind whether that be through melody or lyrics or both; someone who sees him/herself through characters and gets emotionally attached to the ones who've felt what they felt. I never met anyone who had a definite, careful, unique attention to detail - the words people don't say, the in between the line messages and ability to assume emotion through energies and tones. I never really met someone like myself, and thought I was one of a lonely outlier, until one day... I did.

Instantly and undeniably the two of us clicked from the start. It was one of those connections that you didn't have to force or stress about - it just came naturally and effortlessly. We both wanted to know every inch of the other's mind and heart. We cared about the little details, the small things that make us who we are and quite different from the rest. We shared quotes and songs, shows and books, explained our hearts over long night conversations that turned to mornings, having fun in our little game of asking questions. We have differences in personality, yes, but in this way of attentiveness, care, and passion for words, we were two in one.

She became my big sister. Uneasy as I was at first, I quickly learned that she wasn't like everyone else (except for a select few) - she wasn't like everyone else because she wouldn't leave me when times get rough. I quickly learned that she is the type who would fight for me harder than she'd fight for herself, someone who'd never judge or ridicule me, but who would hold my hand and gently support and guide me back towards myself and the sunlight. She's one of a kind and she's one of my truest friends.

The title of this article is "Soulmate" because I have some thoughts on this term. By popular opinion, a soulmate is a romantic partner, someone who you apparently find and live happily ever after with in an abundance of love, romance, and affection. But is this entirely true? I've read theories about soul's being genderless, neither male or female, and that's why you could have been either or in previous lives (if you believe in this stuff). So, my point is, who's to say that soulmates have to be of opposite sex? I mean, already that emits homosexual relationships from ever finding a soulmate. So then, I also argue, who's to say that a soulmate can't be based on friendship? Or sisterhood? Or brotherhood? Why are friends always seen as "temporary", come and go like the tide to the shore, and romantic partners til 'death do us part'? ... I mean, we all know that isn't always necessarily the case, sad as it is, but broken families are a major reality. I come from one, and my worst fear is getting myself into another. However, my point is not to get into that right now.

So now I ask, why is family even defined by blood? You don't choose that. You don't choose who your parents are, who your siblings are, etc and etc, but you DO choose your friends, and you most definitely choose your partner. We build families based on romantic relationships, families who, before law and/or children come into the picture, were not necessarily a "family" because there was 'nothing concrete' binding them to that term. If we can pick who to make new families with based on romantic interest... then why can't we pick family based on friendship? I think the notion that a soulmate is limited and exclusive to only all that it generally is believed to be is rubbish. You choose your family. It's not blood that binds you together. It's the strength of a love that goes deeper than just under the skin. It's a connection that holds you infinitely together. That's a soulmate, a beyond this realm bond that I believe can come in a variety.

In continuation, I then question the thought that you can only have one soulmate. Why? The world is SO big, and who knows how many souls exist beyond this human plane. I'm not entirely convinced that there's only one, but perhaps theres a soulmate that matches and soothes different parts of your soul - different parts of who you are. Human beings are the most complex creatures, looking at how our brains work says that's a scientific truth, so the idea that such a complexity can only bond with one other? I think there's some fault in that. To me, it doesn't seem exactly right. As we know, different people fill different parts of who we are, ease different aches, speak to different levels of our minds and corners and cracks of our hearts. I think it would be a complete rarity to find one individual who matches and soothes everything about you, and I suppose thats where the idea of a soulmate comes in. But in terms of my reality, I truly think you can have more than one. A romantic soulmate; a friend soulmate; a healer soulmate; an adventure soulmate, etc. Sometimes maybe two in one or three in one; combinations endless; but different beings for different major parts of your individual soul. They do, however, all share one commonality: a soulmate helps and guides you to become the better version of who you are ; a version who you're proud of being; a version of you that you can love.

I've been thinking about this a lot because of the connections I feel to maybe 3 people, my quote on quote sister that I've mentioned in this article being one, and the lack of connection I feel, and have always felt, towards my family.

My family never understood me, never. This has always made me feel like an outsider, more so in the way that something was inherently wrong with me. Not only did I think differently from them, but I also felt differently about things (not all, but most). Their definition of success and happiness was reaching the top of that invisible hierarchy system, living in abundance of money and recognition. And for the longest time, I thought that too. But then I met this girl and everything began to change - I met another piece of me, another soulmate.

What is she like?

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...The autumn has dressed herself for the coming season, donning her most vibrant hues. She has swept into our streets and woodlands with a humble boldness that invites the eye to see more than they otherwise might. The autumn takes her pirouette, her sweet turn on the stage all around, and we are so blessed to be given such beauty.

She's Autumn.

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She wasn't always this way - it was something that she had come to be through both blood and tears. For there was a time that simply surviving had seemed impossible - a time when she had yearned for nothing more than the smallest ray of light to break through the clouds of her mind or for a flicker of warmth to spark up within her cold heart.
But looking back on all that she had overcome, she realized that it had been the rough times that had polished her and that she was stronger for all of life's storms. She had come to understand the necessity of pain (even if she still wished to never feel it again).
And so, her harmony came not through the complete absence of chaos, but in the realization that she was resilient enough to come back stronger from anything that she would endure.

She's resilience. She's wisdom. She's power.

And I love her to all the galaxies and realms and back again, infinite times. ♡