The Worst Part of Wearing Your Heart on Your Sleeve
You know the worst part of wearing your heart on your sleeve? Believing so hard in people who see you as vulnerable, and slowly watch them break you. You’re old fashioned, optimistic and dive all in head first. The problem is, you put on all that diving gear, eager to explore the beauty and calm that the deep ocean holds, only you have no idea how that gear works nor how to dive, and ultimately sink to the bottom.
You always put yourself out there, love immensely and give everything your all. Or, you see the dark in people, steer clear of them and just write them off. Even the ones you once loved that hurt you, you just drown the hurt and cut them off. Black and white; there is never any gray.
Yet even as you lay there on the depths of the oceans floor, suffocating on your emotions, you still look around and see the beauty of what that ocean has to offer. The peaceful sea turtles, dolphins playfully swimming around and the abundance of colorful fish and corals. Even the angry sharks just pass by and leave you unbothered unless you spite them.
It’s there you realize that the abundance of colors is gray; that it’s not all just black and white. I can look at someone who has hurt me tremendously, and still see the beauty they have to offer this world. Sometimes it’s such a deep beauty that they don’t even realize they have it. And most of the time, it pains me to see who they truly are as they shut their door and back down from the world, only to stay content on the oceans floor. And yet I still cheer them on, as hopeless as it may seem at times.
The past few days have been extremely emotional for me. I have had people in my life, both past and present, open up and tell me how they have always thought so highly of me. That they can see I’m meant to be something great in life and have always secretly stood in my corner cheering for me. But I was color blind to the gray and only saw the black and white. I swam in circles around my comfort levels, ignoring and pushing away anything beyond the safety of the bubble I survived in.
And that’s where it hit me; I was only surviving and not thriving. Sure, I could learn to put that diving gear on and do my best, or I could learn how to use that gear so I can explore more and see more color even beyond the gray. I have one hell of a brawl in my life that I am about to tackle, and I used to think I was doing this on my own, but I’m not. I have an entire army of supporters standing behind me, pushing me forward, teaching me how to use that dive gear. Most importantly, they believe in me, when even I don’t believe in myself at times. They may not know the extent of the struggles I’m about to embark on, but they see the gray in me and push me further than I thought I could go so my life can be colorful. They cheer me on, not cut me out.
Maybe I should defog this mask and re-read my own words; I do the exact same thing for others, that my supporting army does for me. I am someone else’s army. I hold the line on the boat, waiting for that tug to help bring them back to the surface, always without judgment. I am to others exactly what I expect people to be to me; a supporting confidante that never judges you based on the obstacles you face.
So maybe there is nothing wrong with wearing my heart on my sleeve after all. Maybe I’ve built my walls up too high that I blinded myself from color. I have lied to myself, cheated myself, thinking my safety bubble was so small that I was comfortable keeping people out. After all, once you learn to use that diving gear correctly, you can breathe for quite a while in the vast ocean so you can take in more color than you thought possible.
I’m still going to be me; old fashioned, compassionate, loyal and giving. I’m going to lower my wall and allow my world to be brighter, to paint memories in immense colors with my army. But most of all, I’m still going to wear my heart on my sleeve because that’s where it’s always been, and I don’t need to change a thing about me for anyone.
“I make mistakes, I am out of control, and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”
Getty image by Kerkez