As a young girl, I always believed in the magic of life. I was a happy, outgoing child and never let anything stand in the way of living a fun, happy existence. I thought that life was simply as easy as that. You grow up, get swept off your feet, fall in love, and get married.
Happily ever after.
But as is usually the case, at the peak of your naivete, you discover that life is not like a fairytale or a movie. For so many people on this planet, life is messy. Life is hard. For some, life can feel like a cruel joke with a bad punchline.
For a long time, I tried to understand the mysteries of life and answer the million questions that one asks every day. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do the innocent often suffer worse than the guilty? Why are we capable of so much pain?
I find it hard to understand why people come and go in our lives so easily and so often. Family members we love grow old or sick. People we date become strangers. Friendships that you spent time and energy building, the ones that feel like they were meant to last forever, can simply come to an end. While not every person who enters our life stays, one thing that does stay is the pain of losing that person when they are gone.
Having a big heart, capable of so much love, has always been both a blessing and a curse. I have always found such joy in the art of making people smile. Small acts of genuine kindness go such a long way in making people feel loved and thought of. But when one’s heart is so open, when you share so many little pieces of it with people, it can become fragile and broken easily.
Even though I was cautious with love, I never thought I’d see the day where the little girl full of light would lose a part of who she was to sadness and darkness. That was the day I got my heart broken for the first time. I met a boy who I thought was very special, someone who I enjoyed being around and spending time with. Someone who made me feel special and important. Someone I fell for fast. However, the truth hit when I found out my feelings weren’t reciprocated. It didn’t make sense to me, the way things happened. Why the universe would bring such an amazing person in my life just to have him leave. Was it a test? Was I to go after him? Was I to carry on and become stronger without him? The answers always seemed fleeting. The mind becomes foggy when you try to think too hard about these situations. Why would the universe let me feel such wonderful feelings, only to crush me under the weight of those same feelings?
When a person you have feelings for leaves, it can feel as if you never mattered to anyone. Ever. Like you’re drowning in an empty, lonely self-loathing.
After years, I still question my worth and who I even am. What was so wrong with me? Shadowy thoughts brought me down a dark path and turned my world upside down. It emotionally ruined me. I lost friends. I missed amazing opportunities. I just shut the world out.
I always held on to the hope that he’d come back. I’d hoped he meant it when he said we’d be friends and we would see each other again. All those empty promises meant nothing; he was gone.
Grieving the loss of someone who is still alive is one the hardest things I’ve ever had to experience. Heartbreak and grief hit differently when you know the person you care for is living their life, but you just don’t get to be a part of it. When someone dies, there is closure. When someone chooses to leave you, it becomes a wound that is not so easily closed.
At times, I felt so guilty for feeling this much pain for such a long time. I was made to feel like there should be an expiration date on my pain, that there was a time limit on feeling sad. While others saw it as “no big deal” or something I should just “get over,” they unfortunately weren’t able to look past their own words and understand how I felt. When you feel, you feel. Sometimes it’s inexplicable and irremovable.
For a long time, I just wanted him to care. I wanted him to know the pain I was feeling. Part of me wanted him to feel that pain so badly, and the other side cared for him so much I couldn’t bear to think of him feeling half of what I felt without tears running down my face. No matter what I did, I knew it wouldn’t change anything.
Now on top of sadness, I feel embarrassed. Why do humans have this urge to reach out to people? To expel all our feelings at somebody, hoping so badly they will catch them in their arms and save us from our own emotions. Why did I write to him? Why did I reach out? Why didn’t I know it wouldn’t work? Why do I want to do it again?
No one can change the past, but everyone can learn from it. Everyone can grow. I can grow. Sometimes we care so much about people we make stupid decisions. It’s like being drunk off hating yourself. The inebriation creates chaos in every choice. I’ve learned that we sign up for a lot of pain when we chase people who don’t want to be caught. Now I fight for my emotional sobriety.
There are things that are going to happen in life that break you. It’s important to realize that if we feed into the darkness created by past traumas, we allow them to cast a shadow on our present, forcing us to live in that darkness even on the brightest of days.
Feelings and emotions are powerful. Accepting those feelings as valid, but rejecting them as being all-powerful is a continuing lesson I am learning. You just can’t stop caring about someone, and even if you do try, it’ll be very difficult.
Sometimes we don’t ever get to move on completely from pain. We just learn to accept it and live our lives as best we can. There is no single action to be taken that will mend it. There is no one piece of advice that will solve it. This life is for loving. Don’t fear the pain that comes with love. Fear a life where love was never present at all.
I miss you.