She’s not the girl you’ve pictured time and time again. All tears and desperation and unbridled emotion, crying in the rain like a Keira Knightley or a Rachel McAdams in some dramatic movie seen because she just can’t, no won’t say what she’s feeling. She’s not the girl from the movies or the girl in love songs who “just needs to take a chance” or the person who you’ve concocted in your head.
She’s not your project, and she’s not some idealistic version of some Manic Pixie Dream Girl that you think you can convince to open up.
She nothing like what you’ve probably pictured. She’s not a poetic image.
That’s what she is. It’s that simple. She’s afraid. She’s scared.
She’s scared of the possibility of being hurt, yes.
But more than that, she scared of the possibility that she can’t trust you, and even bigger, cannot trust herself. Her feelings, her instincts, her wants, her own heart.
See, it may seem like there are two types of people in this world: those who lead with their heart, and those who lead with their head. The thinkers and the dreamers, the lookers and the leapers.
But it’s not that simple.
Because a girl who is afraid of her own heart isn’t necessarily automatically that way because she’s naturally inclined to lead with her head.
A girl who is afraid of her own heart has trained herself to be that way, because it’s how she’s been able to survive.
Maybe she’s given it to the wrong people time and time again and she’s tired of searching for the staples and the thread to stitch it back together when they’re done ripping it to shreds. Maybe she’s watched as it broke over and over again when she didn’t give it the chance to be seen, to be known, to say what it desperately needed to say. Maybe its permanently dented with the thumbprints of people who held on too tightly only to inevitably drop it carelessly, thoughtlessly.
So she’s afraid of it. She’s afraid of what it means to give it away, what it means to let it be heard, and what it means to have to protect it so vigilantly.
Is she afraid of what you or other people will do to it? Absolutely. But she’s also afraid of her own heart because she’s never totally sure that she can believe it when it says, “Trust me.”
A girl who is afraid of her own heart isn’t “dead inside” or “allergic to feelings” or just “not like other girls” no matter what she may tell you. A girl who is afraid of her own heart is a girl who is afraid of what will happen when she lets you see it, lets anyone see it.
And especially what will happen when she lets herself see it. What will happen when she reminds herself that it’s there, and that it deserves to come out.
She’s not the girl who you’ve pictured whenever you’ve heard the opening monologue from 500 Days of Summer or that you dream up whenever The Smiths start playing in your earbuds on a hazy afternoon. She’s not just going to open up to the “right person” or wake up one morning and feel like she’s healed and better and can trust her gut and her soul and her heart.
She’s complicated, she’s cautious.
And it’s likely that, to a certain extent, she always will be.
But the thing about being a girl who is afraid of her own heart is that it means it’s unbelievably special when she decides to let it be shown.
And no matter how long that takes, or how much her hands shake as she holds it in them silently saying, “I hope this is the right thing,” eventually she will.
She just has to be given enough time to know that it’s okay to be afraid, and still take the leap.