There are moments in life in which you can feel the tiny splinters in your soul breaking free, ripping out little pieces of you as they go. There are moments that break you, and people that leave you much more broken than they found you. There are moments when you can feel your lungs shrivel against your rib cage, when you can feel the physical pain radiating from your chest despite the fact that there is no way your heart is actually being crushed in an iron fist.
Let’s be honest, for just a second, and say what everyone knows but is too afraid to say out loud: people are shit. People will use, abuse and hurt you, and they won’t look back when they walk away. People will say things that they don’t mean – that they have no intention of meaning – and they’ll watch as you fall for it time and time again.
I don’t usually write personal posts like this but, in the last six months, I’ve had more of these moments than I can even count. I’ve believed more lies and fallen for more apologies than I ever have before. And as a writer, I have decided that processing everything via the written word is the only way that I will truly start a much-needed new chapter in my life.
Over the course of a few months – a small, insignificant-in-the-grand-scheme length of time – I have let people in and trusted that they would do and be good. And all that I have learned is that believing in the good is a naive, romantic way of viewing the world. But creative types are naive and romantic, so I shouldn’t have expected much less.
That being said, I’m turning the page. Flipping over the book. Choosing an alternative ending. Whatever you want the next piece of this extended metaphor to be – I’m doing that. Yes, people will let us down. Yes, those splinters will tear through our souls for, well, forever. But the one thing that I have determined as important – as the lesson to be learned from the last six months of absolutely shit – is that we get to choose.
We have a choice. We can choose to live, to love, to trust, to try. We can choose to believe in people and to see good where there might not be any. We can choose to be strong and have the satisfaction that we gave it our all, even when everything goes to hell. We can choose to be, to hope, to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and keep on keepin’ on. Or we can let the world break us, piece by piece, until there’s nothing left.
On second thought, there isn’t much of a choice at all.