When I was little and I heard the word “love”, I used to imagine fairytales and princesses and princes and happily ever afters. My young five year old mind thought it worked like magic, and that you met your match and you just knew; forever was always a thing. I guess you can say I was a little naïve.
Things happened as I grew older.
I learned that people don’t just pop into your life. It’s more of a search. Actually, it seems like a word search with symbols of a language you’ve never seen.
I learned that when you find someone that you think is a match to the piece you’re missing in your heart, you’re not always the match for theirs.
I learned that heartbreak is real, and it’s not as easily describable as the books make it seem.
I learned that people leave. You can basically open your chest and hand them your heart, and you’re trusting them to handle it with care. But that’s the thing about trusting people, you’re giving them the ability to know every part of you, but you’re also giving them the chance to run away and smash it with a hammer. And yes, that’s exactly what it feels like.
I learned that people that fall in love, fall out of it, no matter how long that love has occupied every inch of your mind. I don’t quite understand this, but it’s the most terrifying thing to me.
I learned that heartbreak is so much deeper than an emotion: it can be physical. It can feel like your heart is so demolished that it doesn’t work properly anymore. It’s like air isn’t enough to keep you alive, because that person took the working parts with them.
I learned that you can be broken by more than just a significant other. It can be family or friends. And sometimes, just witnessing heartbreak can break a part of you, too.
I learned that the world keeps moving no matter how much you feel like you’re cracking. It keeps turning and you have to take a break to pick up as many pieces of yourself as you can but you always have to get up and keep going. It’s not stopping.
But the truth is, no matter how much I learn, I still believe in fairytales. I always will. Maybe I’m too naïve. Maybe I’ve been broken too many times and I’m delusional. I will always believe you have to experience the heartbreak. You have to know what it feels like to be so empty because someone ripped you apart without even touching you. You have to feel like you’ve fallen into the deepest pit of sadness for a little while. Because without that, you won’t know what happiness really feels like.