I needed to have my heart broken in order to feel alive. I needed to have my heart broken in order to understand my capacity for love. I needed to be devastated, destroyed, pushed beyond the brink of what I thought I was capable of, beyond all reason, beyond all hope, to know with certainty that hope was the only thing worth holding on to.
I needed to lose everything – my pride, my love, my mind, every inch of earth upon which I stood to understand that I would do anything – claw and fight and scrape – to rebuild what I had lost into something different, something stronger, something better.
I didn’t want any of this. Any of it. I tried desperately to hold on even while the center was caving in all around me. Even while I could feel the universe laughing in my face at how futile it was to try to hold on, like clinging to bits of string while the great downy quilt was breaking apart into piles of feathers, blowing in the wind into nothing.
There’s a hole inside me now. It used to be filled up with all the things I thought I knew. Now it’s just a great cavernous hole. Nothing will fill it. I write and I play scenes and I work and I dream while I’m awake and it all helps, but nothing, nothing fills it. It’s an ever-present ache. It drives me, it fuels me with fire, it burns my insides. It hurts, but in a strange way I need it. It reminds me that I can’t stop, that I can’t go back. It reminds me of who I am.
If you could see me now, what would you think of me? Would I scare you? Would you be proud of me? Sometimes in my dreams we’re laughing. We’re warm and safe. And sometimes you’re in pain and you’re afraid. I reach out for you but you dissolve and disappear into nothing. Sometimes I wake up screaming.
I didn’t want any of this. I often wish that it hadn’t happened. That I didn’t know what I know. That life hadn’t slapped me across the face with these incredible, unthinkable truths.
I didn’t want this. But the sweet irony is that I needed it. I needed it to forge me and to shape me and to understand just what the hell it is I’m made of. I am dark and sharp-edged and tough, yet at the same time as fragile as a porcelain doll, one fall away from splintering into shards of glass. I don’t welcome the break. But I know now it’s inevitable. And when it happens I will build myself back up. Each time a little stronger, but each time a little less.
God, I miss you. I miss you so much that I can’t think about it too much or breathing becomes impossible. I would give anything to wrap my arms around you and tell you that. But I can’t. So I wrap my arms around myself instead and I tell myself that I’m enough. That I will make it through this. That the hard fought truths that now reside in the base of my being are truths that you already knew. That you always knew. Truths that you wanted to teach me but that I had to learn for myself through fire, through pain, through this incredible longing and ache that will never, ever go away.
I needed to be broken in order to understand the depths of my heart. I needed to lose everything in order to know how much more I still stand to gain. I needed to have my faith shaken to the core in order to understand how powerful it is to say, “I believe.” I needed to have my heart shattered in order to feel alive. I needed it. But that doesn’t mean that I like it.