It’s 2007 and I am dating a guy that I think I will spend the rest of my life with. Flash forward 3 years. I don’t know who I am or what I deserve and I wonder if the industry that daily makes me question if any good men still exist, if it will forever define me.
My eyes had seen too much. My mind had listened to too many voices. And my heart, what was left of it, was daily cracked by the places my feet would land until that guy, the one I loved more than anything else, shattered it into a million pieces. I was talking to my mentor last night. She saw me with that fire in my eyes, she saw me when I looked in the mirror and didn’t recognize who I was, and she is here now. “It might take you years to get over this.”
Our lives are like shelves. We place things on them and I have always liked mine to be nice and neat. So it took time to sift through the hurt on that shelf. To dust off old dreams and let go of things that didn’t belong there. To realize that even if something was there for a season, it didn’t mean it had to be there forever.
I talked to my mentor yesterday. “Update me on your life,” she says. I pause. I gently close my eyes and they burn. They burn because tears are just beneath them. I swallow because I don’t want her to hear the crack in my voice. There is something on my shelf that I need to sift through again. My shelf is messy and part of me is ashamed that it’s not immaculate as it was just 6 months ago.
Part of me forgot why I wanted to share this. Maybe it’s because I want you to know that your shelf will always get messy. That there will be seasons when we have to sift through the junk. Maybe it’s because you need to know that you’re never too old to get your heart broken or that there is no shame in it once you do. Maybe it’s because you just need to be reminded that you’re not alone in your mess or perhaps it’s to encourage you to not give up on love.
You will make it through this. These are words I whisper to my 23 year old self. These are words I whisper to me now. These are words I whisper to you. You will get through this. Repeat after me. I will get through this.