Sometimes it seems like we’re just stuck in Heartbreak City. It’s a place bigger than a town and smaller than a state, yet you can’t see it with your eyes or hear it with your ears. You can only feel it with your heart. It’s a tough place to be caught in, because once you enter, the iron gates won’t let you leave. The iron gates that are rusted and black, with dirt and dust that stain your fingers if you touch it, and dances with the wind when it comes.
Once you’re in it, the traffic seems to be so bad that you’re stuck, like an orange cab in NY on the busiest avenue. Try to take a detour? That one leads to a dead end, a dark alley, a wall that you can’t climb over unless you suddenly become spider man and walk up it on your hands and feet or become the architect in Inception, folding the building to meet your needs.
And the worst part about Heartbreak City is the fact that you do actually want to leave. Who wants to be stuck in a dungeon with invisible shackles on their feet? The worst part is that your biggest nightmare is not when you’re sleeping, but in the morning when opening your eyes you realize with horror that you’re awake again. It’s a tough place to be, and if you’ve even been stuck there, you know very well what I mean.
What’s the most important thing to remember? That you can get out, and you will. That maybe what pulled you into that city to begin with wasn’t so grand to begin with, and maybe you don’t need it. Well, that part is a lie. We all go after what we desire and what we love. Sometimes it doesn’t work out and we play the lying game with our minds where we tell ourselves little things like “it wasn’t so grand” to fake ourselves into believing the lies. We create spiderwebs, one web at a time, with intensity and anguish in the dark of the night until the web is all we can see. We completely block out the other side. We create this glittering wall that looks sticky and wet yet when we reach out to touch it our fingertips pass through, and we realize it’s only a mirage.
It was grand. That’s the important thing to remember. It was grand, and the reason you drove into the city with speed and fearlessness was because you felt it and lived it. You can’t hate yourself for following your heart and taking a chance, but you can hate yourself for never giving it a chance. After all, it’s better to take a chance and push the gas pedal then to keep the emergency break on forever. You can’t blame yourself, because blame is an iron mask that, once worn for a few days, glues to your face, and no matter how hard you try to take it off you can’t. You feel it, each and every day, in the morning, at night, and even in your dreams. It feels heavy. It feels hot. And it starts to eat you alive if you let it. The minutes either don’t pass and the day seems to never end or the minutes fold into hours and before you know it weeks have passed without you realizing it.
Stop blaming yourself. Stop right this second, and start holding your head high, because only then can you truly move on. It’s not going to be easy, I’ll be the first to admit. You have to deal with it yourself and you have to push through the pain. There’s no band-aid for a broken heart, it’s like a broken bone in the body. It takes time to heal. And sometimes you have to let go of what you love in order to set it free. After all, you can’t keep a bird that’s meant to fly caged forever.
So let the tears come if they must. Why are you holding them back? Instead, embrace them, as they roll down your face and over your cheek one by one or stream in abundance. Let them come until they’ve all run dry, and feel the softness of the last drop as it slowly falls over your cheek and drops with definition to the floor, solidifying that this is it. Look yourself in the mirror, see your face red with blotches or white with paleness, and wipe away the mascara that stains under your eyes. Wipe away the mascara, and wipe away the pain, the anguish, the hurt, and the sorrow. Stand up straight and push your shoulders back. Feel the room around you. Feel how it encloses you, and keeps you safe, and tell yourself that everything is going to be alright. Know that you are only human, and even superheroes bleed from time to time. It’s okay to bleed, as long as you stop it eventually.
Moving on is tough, but it’s not impossible. You have to believe in yourself and believe that you can repair your heart, no matter how damaged it is or how many scratches and cuts cover the surface. Even if it’s sawed in two, or is scattered in pieces on the floor, you can indeed repair it. All is takes is a little determination and a lot of strong will. If you do this, you will find that the gates will open. That the traffic will clear, and the path in front of you will suddenly become evident and straight, instead of twisted and turned.
So take one last look at Heartbreak City in your rearview mirror and don’t look back. Even if your shoulders start to sag, and your eyes start to shut, snap them open. Sit up a little straighter in the seat, and shake your head a few times back and forth. Stay focused on one thing and one thing alone, moving forward. And if you do this, you’ll find those little dash marks will bring you home again.
About the Author
Kelly is a staff writer here at “The Hudsucker”. She is currently a senior at George Mason University finishing up her B.A. in English and writes at her own blog, “How I See It“. Kelly hopes to be a professional writer and author some day that not only inspires but helps change the world for the better. Follow Kelly on Twitter as @Kelly_Kavanaugh.