I’m at a point in my life where it would be embarrassing and silly to post lyrics as a Facebook status or Tweet. If I can’t directly name my feelings then maybe I shouldn’t be blasting them on social media to the annoyance of my few followers. But there are many times when lyrics just seem to perfectly capture what I’m feeling. It’s part of why we connect to music so much. If we couldn’t attach ourselves to some part of the song, it’s unlikely we would continue to listen. It’s the same theory of falling in love with a book- some part of it resonates deep within you. Whether you relate to an experience or see yourself as one of the characters- reflection of our hearts, minds, and souls is what makes us connect to art in any form.
Over the past year, I have ventured out into the scary world of dating. “Scary” being used not only in the horror movie sense of the word (ever had a date invite himself to run errands with the host of the party – a person he met merely 30 minutes ago – and then uncomfortably REFUSE to leave?) but also in sense that fear can be combined with excitement and adventure (saying yes to a date with a person you didn’t know existed until a week ago).
I’ve learned many lessons in this year but one has especially hit close in the recent months. The time for healing after a heartbreak is essential and difficult.
After my first major break up, I jumped right into the dating pool. I went out with my girlfriends on the weekends, experimented with Tinder, and became involved in my church. I was trying to make myself open to meeting new people. And I did! I had several dates that didn’t go past date one but that was okay! I was having fun and that was great.
Then I met someone who I started talking to on a regular basis and went on several date–type things with. I was totally lost on how to be myself and still capture this person’s attention. Even more so, I was still clearly rattled by some qualities of my last relationship because, when I couldn’t find my footing in this no-clear-definition dating landscape, I completely lost my cool in a most embarrassing way. It was clear my insecurity and confidence had been hit harder in my previous relationship than I thought.
After several more casual dates, I thought I had a better handle on things. Until I met someone else and I immediately gave away too much of my heart too quickly. I was so guarded with the guy earlier in the year, apparently my strategy was to behave in the exact opposite way. Surprise ending: It didn’t last long.
Both instances left me more upset than the ending of my serious relationship. How was that? I barely knew these people. Then one day, while crying out my heartbreak in the car like any sane person does, John Mayer’s “In Repair” came up on shuffle. And it dawned on me that I hadn’t take the time or care to repair the broken pieces of my heart. I let it get tossed around, trampled, and dragged through the mud only to pick it up and say “Toughen up and get back out there!”
There’s so much pressure to be together all the time. My own stubborn pride of not wanting to accept help coupled with people trying to figure out why I’m single or who to hook me up with helped me mask the real root of my problem.
As Mr. Mayer put it: “Oh it’s taking too long, I could be wrong- I could be ready. Oh but if I take my heart’s advice, I should assume it’s still unsteady. I am in repair.”
I was ready to post that to every social media venue I could think of (why? because apparently that’s what my generation does). It was what my heart was saying all along I just wasn’t listening.
I wanted to be unaffected by these men. No one wants to be the friend who can’t get past a heart break. I certainly didn’t want to be the girl crying on people’s shoulders. But it’s what I needed most. Anne Marie Miller’s book Lean on Me came at the perfect point in my life. I was very much pulling an Elsa (“conceal don’t feel- don’t let them knowww!”) when I needed to be more like Anna (“wanna build a snowman?!”). Going through this book- twice actually- broke through my prideful broken heart and opened me back up to the possibility that I have best friends for a reason. It helped me see that I need to rely and trust on those around me.
So, one night at dinner, I confessed to two of my dearest friends that I was not well. That I was heart broken and couldn’t figure out how to move past it. I sat there nervous, waiting for looks of pity, and was relieved to find love and listening ears. Just the simple act of falling into their open arms made the days better and I quickly climbed out of the funk that held me captive for months.
I’m still taking the advice of the song though. I’m in repair and that’s okay. I don’t want to rush my heart into another relationship without the proper protection and healing. It’s not a weakness. It’s not a flaw of character. It is simply where I am right now. I’m thankful for those around me for their prayers, love, and patience and now I just need to bestow some of that same grace to myself.