It’s both terrifying and beautiful how quickly life changes you. You’re never the same person you were last week. We unconsciously embark on new chapters so often we lose track of the faces we get to know and sometimes even forget the one our sleep-encrusted eyes see reflected in the mirror every morning. We forget that every day adds to our soul. We forget to measure our hearts.We forget that knowing who you are isn’t permanent. We forget, until we meet someone who forces us to remember.
Confused and blinded like a performer on stage, you’re forced out of hiding. This person sings symphonies you didn’t even realize you had memorized by heart and soon enough, your tingling body pulses to this horrifyingly familiar tune. Possessed, your creaky limbs thrust to the beat. You dance like it’ll help you find the cure to disease. Beads of salty sweat fly off your skin as silver rust melts off your bones.
When you’re done, your insides scream for applause but something silences the empty room. It thickens the electric air with a sense of despair and sirens go off in your chest. You scramble backstage, to the depths of your mind, clawing for answers you suddenly remember you never bothered asking the questions to. Why them? Why now? What is this thing I’m missing? Everything you once were so sure of become suspects of probable cause. You blame the rust that kept you grounded. You blame the lights that blind you. You blame the immediacy of the open stage. Panting, you collapse onto the ground. These pieces you realize, hurt the way they never have before. You wonder if they were always there lurking beneath your armor.
So deeper backstage, into the depths of your mind you go. Past dusty costumes, deceased characters, dusty props and faded scripts. Each thing you discover takes turns replacing the last as “the answer.” You pick people you used to be, ex lovers, old lifestyles and stories you once believed up only to throw them back down with frustration.
It’s only when you stare into the light that it hits you. The problem was never you. The answer was just too painful to not shield yourself from. With spots in your eyes, you stare you finally understand. This person, this light, came into your life solely to leave in pieces. You saw certain traits in them that made your heart race not because they were meant for you, but so you’d recognize them embodied as a whole, in someone you have yet to meet. Not loving them back doesn’t make you a monster.
Someone who says all the right things, sees things you wish others did, or is everything you thought you wanted doesn’t always equate to being right for you. Trust your gut. Trust your instincts. Collect your pieces, get over the guilt and never apologize for knowing what you need or deserve. Never, ever settle.
One day, your heart will thank you for all the goodbyes it made your head say.