How do you let your wall down when you feel like you’ve spent your whole life putting back the broken pieces?
As the years go by, and the story stays the same, I keep asking myself that question. I wonder what it would take, or who it would take for me to voluntarily surrender to a hope that life could be different.
After all, it’s no secret that I am a hopeless romantic with a fragile heart. I don’t hide my emotions well; truthfully, I tend to let them flood the space around me. And I believe so fiercely in love that I’ve often allowed that belief to destroy me.
You’d think that someone who can easily admit that they are undeniably delicate would be desperate for a reason to tear down their wall. Yet, this couldn’t be further from the truth for me.
You see, my wall isn’t up to protect me from falling in love and getting my heart broken. My wall isn’t up because I’m bitter and cold on the inside. My wall does not exist to keep me away from loving someone with every damaged part of me.
I put my wall up to protect me from myself.
Over the years, I have written about love and my lack of it. I’ve also over-romanticized my partners and weighed myself down with expectations to the point of drowning in them. These have all been choices that I made.
In truth, I am so open to love that I will break my own heart apart to welcome it in. I trust so easily that it should be criminal to lie to me. I am so unbearably vulnerable that I could crumble at the faintest disappointment.
So, over time, I’ve continued to build this wall with pretty words and the illusion of confidence.
I haven’t been building it to guard my heart. I haven’t been building it to guard my soul. I’ve been building it to mask who I am, who I might be, or who I once was; because somewhere along the way I lost myself.
I’ve become a writer who talks about love like it’s second nature, and in some ways it is. I love to love and nothing makes me happier than celebrating it.
What I’m actually scared of is finding someone who makes me comfortable enough to demolish my wall and be left with my truest self. I’m terrified of what I might find. I’m anxious about who I could be if I let go of all this guilt I’ve used to build a fortress around me.
Who might I be without my words, my stories, and my colored-in dreams? What if I’m truly someone far more different? What if I’m not enough underneath it all?
What if I find someone who makes tearing down my wall easy, finds the real me… and then leaves? That’s the real fear that has taken me too long to admit because I’m not sure how I could come back from it.
I can dance in the swirls of romance and I can burn in the throws of passion, but I can’t let go for the fear of losing everything. But - and there’s always a but - lately I’ve been wondering, “what if?”
What if I let go of all the things I’m holding onto and find my best self? What if underneath the rubble is the woman I was meant to be? What if all of these broken pieces have healed inside of me and I’m the only thing standing in my way?
What if I can actually be strong instead of pretending? What if I can experience love without self-questioning? What if I’m far sillier, wilder, and more spontaneous than I ever thought I could be?
Why am I so in love with the broken parts of me? What if I didn’t let them define me? Who then would I be?
And, maybe, I’ve already found someone who makes me brave enough to see.
Who, without walls, would you be?