It’s Hard To Have A Messy Heart

Sam Burriss

Having a messy heart is gross. It’s so full of blood and feelings and overanalyzing. Full of questioning and crying and giving without reciprocation. It’s being convinced you’re somehow lacking. That other, more evolved people move on from things while you’re still there, knuckles white from holding on so tightly.

A messy heart just drips all over the carpet. It’s everywhere. It hangs out on sleeves that can’t be rolled up. It gets caught in the car door, making an even bigger mess. It’s a bother. It’s an extra thing to think about, a thing to take care of.

Today, I saw a dead pit bull on the side of I-5 and I had to pull off at the next exit to sob in my Prius. She was grey with little white spots all over her belly. I wondered her name. I wondered if someone abandoned her, if they’d just driven to the middle of nowhere and dropped her off the truck. The more optimistic side of me wondered if she had people looking for her. If some family had been putting up LOST DOG signs all over. If she ran so far, she didn’t know which way was home. If some asshole was driving and looking at his phone when she tried to cross the road.

I’ve cried about all the scenarios. I’ve cried for her in general.

It would be easier to see roadkill and continue on without much pause. It would be easier to disassociate, to stumble upon something upsetting and not play it on a constant loop for days, weeks, months.

Sometimes, I resent that my heart invests so deeply. I’m upset that I can’t just walk away.

Having a messy heart means you stay up late remembering moments from an entire forever ago. It’s beating yourself up for not fixing everything. It’s searching for ways you could have made it right. It’s looking and looking and trying and trying and not really getting anywhere.

It’s hard. It’s hard when you can’t disconnect. It’s hard being obsessed with everything turning out okay when part of you knows that’s never going to be a reality.

It’s hard to be alive with a heart that hurts over everything.

But I know this is a strength. I know this softness is a form of compassion. I know these tears keep me open, keep me caring.

My messy heart bleeds with purpose. My messy heart never gives up. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

About the author

Ari Eastman

✨ real(ly not) chill. poet. writer. mental health activist. mama shark. ✨

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