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my greatest failure



i did a lot of thinking and writing on the long layovers and even longer flights over here. sometimes those really long stretches of nothing but thoughts can be detrimental, but sometimes they're what i need to cut through all the old thoughts and get to the root of the problem.

here's where i was at when i wrote these thoughts: i was exhausted. i'd been awake for over twenty four hours. i was stressed about leaving, stressed about what i was going to do in europe, what i was going to try and figure out. i was grimy from all the plane germs and sweaty from running across five terminals to make a flight. i was dirty and sad and tired. i was physically and emotionally exhausted. i was completely broken down. oddly enough, this is when it's easiest to evaluate what i'm really feeling.

i have a major issue with the phrase "broken heart". to me, it conjures up images of a teenager, irrationally upset over a careless male classmate who probably didn't intend to hurt her, may not even know she exists. it's a trite and stupid phrase, making a big deal out of simple feelings.

i thought about it more seriously, sitting on the filthy floor of the amsterdam airport. "sure bridian, you're better and stronger than that 'broken heart' nonsense," i consoled and pacified my stubborn, arrogant self, "but what if it were a real thing? what if you felt like you had a broken heart? what would that be like?"

well, it would hurt. probably more than i could stand.

a broken heart is the ultimate acknowledgement of the presence and power of feelings, some of which have been repressed and ignored. it takes humility to admit that you've lost--that feelings are real and occasionally out of our control and that this time they won.

a broken heart is normal emotion--disappointment, sadness, rejection, hurt--magnified and very real, but not in a fleeting way. they stay with you, underlying and heavy, an undercurrent tinting everything you do with a tinge of hesitancy, casting a shadow over every moment of every day. it's a dark cloud overtaking a beautiful sunset, which was why i chose this particular picture [and because i miss those good ol' texas sunsets].

a broken heart is an emptiness, a hollow ache. it's a rift, a canyon created that will take a seeming eternity to fuse itself back together, and in the mean time, everything hurts. everything falls into that painful, vulnerable canyon. happiness is sad and sadness is pain. this in particular is why i refuse to admit the defeat of a broken heart to a singular person. i think it started with a crack when my dad left, an earthquake when my sister died, and this silly relationship was just the chisel and hammer that did me in.

a broken heart is defeat. it's admitting that the anguish and toil and despair and all intense feelings are over. it's finally over. and i don't believe you can heal until you reach that point. it's rock bottom. it's the final straw. that's what keeps people in denial, trapped in bad relationships. you keep telling yourself it will get better, fighting against the current, willing things to go the way you'd planned in your head. when you're broken hearted, the fight is finally over.

it was a hard place to get to and an even harder place to be in. i don't feel relief that i'm out of the situation. i don't feel hope that my life will be as good. i can't even say that i'll never be in this place again. however, i do feel calm. i feel less taxed, not dealing with constant emotional turmoil. that's a start, right?

[title from feel good drag by anberlin]

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