To The Girl Who Wears Her Heart On Her Sleeve: You’re Braver Than You Know

Jeremy Cai

Our ribcage protects our most vital organs. Anatomically, our hearts were designed to be protected.

But not you darling, you don’t believe in beautiful things being caged. You always felt your heart was more suited in a place where you could show it off. You found a home for your heart when you were a little girl, long before you even knew what love really was.

When people were sad, you were sad. Seeing an upsetting image or hearing a tragic story would haunt you. At the age of six, because of this, you were able to practice empathy – a paramount life skill some adults never master.

But like a naked phone, or a pair of sunglasses in the depths of your handbag, or any delicate item tossed in the chaos of life, it’s certain you will be scratched, dented, and potentially even break.

You’ve read relationship advice. “Stay aloof, ignore his messages, play hard to get, play the game, be busy, be yourself, don’t you fucking dare be yourself…” But these feel inauthentic. Playing games to change the way someone feels about you seems so childish and somewhat entitled. You would never play with someone’s feelings because you know how bad that hurts. You play open handed, which in life is exactly how you play when you are learning how to be good at something, be it poker or love.

You are a storyteller and you aren’t afraid of any of your chapters. That takes courage. You can revisit your hard times with such a profound grace. You aren’t afraid to ask the big questions. You aren’t afraid to hold crying bodies because you’ve been there. You aren’t afraid to love. Your highs are high but your lows are deep.

When you are happy, you are on top of the world and life is incredible. When you are low, this is when the anxiety sets in. You start to question yourself. You start to wonder if you will ever feel your full-of-life self again. The world sees your sadness and asks you why but you don’t have an answer.

A select few will read this and relate to every syllable. Some left paragraphs ago because even the thought of acknowledging emotion seems to be too much. Some will read these words and only wish they could love, feel, and live this way.

Do not see it as a curse. Do not try to change it… because believe me, you can’t. Your heart is on your sleeve. It’s more easily accessible to pain, sure. But you are a soul capable of so much good. You are not weak; staring emotions in the eye is the paradigm of bravery. TC mark

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