“I was someone with a broken heart and that’s all I had interest in being. I didn’t want to be recovered and single. Boring. That means I’ve officially been forgotten. I wanted to be the person unraveling at the seams. I wanted to be someone with visible wounds because it showed people that I was someone who Loved and was Fearless and had Experiences. Most importantly, it showed that I was someone worth loving — at least for a little while.” ~Forgetting Your First Love via Thought Catalog
For a long time, my friends watched me and let me be broken. Some were more patient than others, but in the end, I was let be. As time passed, things changed and reality became too clear to argue with; life went on. People stopped understanding and I began to notice how I was forcing a subject that was no longer relevant. I see now that a part of me liked being broken-hearted. I mean at first I was broken—this is true, but then came something more complex, I was scared to recover. This thing that had been a part of my life for so long was—well, gone. Would I ever find anything to fill it? What happens now?
I guess to have loved and lost seemed a far more interesting tale to carry around with me than to be just me, without a battle story. I guess it’s kind of scary to cut all ties around you and just be, no story included. Who would want me without a storyline? It’s funny, because now I’m starting to wonder, who would want with this storyline imprinted on my face? I had created an identity out of this pain, but though I had slowly begun to outgrow the survivor persona, I hadn’t let go of it and was pausing the transition. Refusing to take off this mask I had gotten so comfortable wearing.
I’m bringing this up now because in various conversations I’ve had I’ve begun to see how many of us identify with these personas we create and this was mine. So yea, I’m not the only idiot that did this. (Silent YAY!)
I suspect that we all have some sort of heartbreak or personal baggage that we’ve identified with. Almost like a wound that we don’t really want to heal. We like what it meant, we like what it says about us, and we’re scared to move on from it. I mean, who would we be without it?
But that’s the thing—don’t you wanna find out?
I held on to the heartbreak because in a way it reminded me that I had been fearless, that I had in fact experienced something big, and that I was loved, even if it had just been for a moment. I was scared to discover who I was after this whole thing blew over. I was terrified to be just me. No heartbreak. No story. Sh*t, what if that was my last story?
But eventually after a deep talk with an old friend, it came time to admit that I had outgrown this pained, romantic character. Observing carefully, I have been trying to tell myself something for months; I’ve tried to show myself that I’m still fearless, that I continue to be someone unraveling at the seams, and most importantly, that I’m still passionate. It’s scary to shift a heavy sentiment such as passion; I was sure that I’d spill some of it during the transfer, but the mind and heart have a way of doing it on their own without losing a drop; one needn’t worry.
I don’t know what kind of tale you’re holding on to (because we all hold on to something), but I’m hoping that this post might make you aware of that persona that you’ve clicked with. The reasons always vary, but in the end, there is something about some our very personal pains that we fall for, so deeply. I guess we’re just scared to find out who we are without them.
Think about something that you speak of often; an issue in your life. How did it change you and what version of you surfaced because of it? An identity was born out of this issue; an identity helped you overcome it. But now that it’s all over, have you let this persona go? What limiting beliefs did it inject into your thinking? What assumptions come of it? What is it costing you to still think like this?
Think about it. Think about how this has a subtle way of coming up in conversation time and time again. Think about why you connect with this identity, even after all this time has gone by. I guarantee that a part of you has worked hard to show you that this issue isn’t relevant anymore. I guarantee that you have healed in more ways than you know. Sometimes, we’re just scared of seeing it. We’re scared of discovering who we’d be once the big wounds have healed, but it’s worth finding out. Trust me, it’s worth finding out.
I know it’s scary, but it’s time. It’s time to let go. Because you’re meant to be someone better this year and it’s time to make room for that next adventure. For that next you that’s going to get you through it.