I'm not entirely broken. Though I've felt I've come close to breaking, perhaps even emotionally combusting into flames, I've known all along I wasn't entirely broken. And last night, I appreciated that.
Last night, I thought of the post-break up moments when I pushed myself to get better, to be better, to embrace everything about me...but make them better. I thought of the rough and stormy days when I barely made it home in one piece. The days I made it to my bed just in time for a good cry followed by an hour of contemplating the complex, not-pathetic-at-all, and unheard of question of "Why me?"
I looked back on the pain that came from the yearning, desire, expectations, heart break, and disappointment. I looked back on the questioning that included such wonderments as, "Why couldn't it work?" "Where are you?" and "Why do I trust people so easily?" And then I looked back on the numbness that followed the pain and doubt, that haunted me on 4 degree subway rides, lost evening walks to nowhere, and the forever echo of my own smile.
I always pushed through, focused on making it through...but I never really stopped to wonder why I continued to hold onto hope when the forecast looked dreary.
Last night, I understood why I am the way that I am. I understood why I continued to pursue love even when my experiences with it had been, well, shitty. I understood why when my heart shattered and wanted to fall into a thousand tiny jagged pieces, I still held my breath, stood still, and did my best to glue myself back together, even taping some areas that the glue could not hold in place. I moved slow and cautious during the "healing" process as well in order to keep the pieces from falling from my core.
My heart's scarred. Missing veins. Broken and messily but determinedly put back together. In certain times of my life when it used to pound with only pure excitement and thrill, it now flutters hesitant and fearful. Like a weary adult who wore out its rebel soul in its adolescence, it listens to its brain much more than it used to. There's no doubt: It takes much more time to warm up and function while feeling comfortable and secure. It requires more of an effort to feel and to love.
But its capacity and determination to love with its entirety still remains.
And how lucky! Because looking at you, I feel like after a long trek across harsh desert climates of loneliness, doubt, restlessness, and impatience, I have the potential to love you at full capacity. . . That is, if you're not just a mirage I have concocted to satisfy my dehydrated heart.
Last night, we left the lamp on. The dim of the light overtook the room, and all things glowed with the same soft color of warmth in October. Our bodies' surfaces matched in color all the same, and that night it was hard to separate white from brown, hazel from honey, pink from plum. Our mouths opened and our voices traveled over lands of life and death, religion and science, pasts and futures, locations and education, karma and randomity.
Your voice was easy to follow, easy to swallow, easy to trust. My ears yearned to listen, yearned to learn, yearned to believe.
Between sentences and paragraphs under the glow of the lamp, I felt your ribs shake with laughter. I felt the wind of your breath from your sighs of worry, gasps of surprise, and secret whispers. I felt the gentle movement from your tough-skinned hands when you squeezed my hand for comfort, touched or teased my nose and ears, or traced the edges of my collar bone. I felt all the things that, if expected to be experienced through a screen, technology would be fucked.
And falling asleep that night, I thought I must write about this. I must tell all of the little heart broken Jades out there to not give up, to not settle. Move slowly and cherish your heart no matter how battered you feel it may be. Let it heal and take care of it, because someone someday will pull you in closer and want to hear what your heart beat sounds like.