You’re not nice enough to yourself…you never really have been. Even when the world saw you as stone cold and borderline cocky it wasn’t because you stood rock solid in confidence, it’s because you were empty and all of your insecurities were ricocheting in your rib cage, because you were dead inside; empty and freezing and barely surviving and the world so easily confuses cold with brave. But you’re not brave, you watch the cement as you walk because the light hurts your eyes and you’ve forgotten how to look directly at something so bold. You buy your pants in the next size up because any fabric holding onto your hips makes you regret what you ate for lunch and is yet another reminder that you never did look like the type of girl he always liked, as if you could ever forget. Brave hearts don’t spend the winter hibernating like you did, reaching for warmth from hundreds of miles away while shivering in an empty bed. Brave hearts are free and worth following, but you wear these chains like accessories, staying stagnant and a slave to your own sadness.
I really thought it would break my heart every time I heard it. I truly believed that every time the beat dropped and Sam Smith sang, “Now I’ve got you in my space, I won’t let go of you” I’d see his face looking over at me from the other side of the couch while he wrapped his arms around my calves and danced with his shoulders the way he always did. It was one of the many times in my life I wanted to jump outside of myself because I felt too good, as if my body was conditioned to contain only so much joy. The Chicago winter kept it cold outside, but there was warmth in that song, in the hope that he’d latch on to me. It started to play at SoulCycle so I closed my eyes as I expected my heart to pull me from the bike. But it’s not cold here in New York, not right now. And it surely wasn’t cold in that room, and Halle told the class it was okay, that it would be okay, and that sometimes that’s all we needed to hear to push through. My head started swaying, my heart started pounding, my lips turned up – finally, I lost myself in the beat rather than in him. I opened my eyes to see Halle whipping her head back and forth, hair flailing in every direction, hands pounding the handlebars. The sweat on her body glistened in the low-light and her energy filled the entire room; it filled all of the empty spots inside of me. Her movement said she loved the song, herself, that moment, this life and that whatever it may bring she was ready for it. And I figured if she could be brave enough to let life happen to her, I could be bold enough to forget you happened to me.