I love how people can create works of art that touch your heart and make you truly think or feel in remarkable ways.
And I really love when they come in the form of song lyrics.
Thankfully, I found a country music station out here that plays not only the current hits but also some from previous eras of my life—you know, like 90s Shania Twain and Faith Hill and some of the classics by George and Garth. But I still love many of the popular songs that are out there now, so I appreciate the variety this station brings. There’s a song I love by Old Dominion called “No Such Thing As a Broken Heart,” and it really spoke to me the other day in a way that was more than me simply singing along to a catchy tune—the lyrics hit me right in the gut of my heart the way most Taylor Swift songs do.
The chorus goes a little something like this:
‘Cause you can’t keep the ground from shaking
No matter how hard you try
You can’t keep the sunsets from fading
You’ve gotta treat your life like
You’re jumping off a rope swing, baby
‘Cause the whole thing’s really just a shot in the dark
You’ve gotta love like there’s no such thing as a broken heart
You’ve gotta love like there’s no such thing as a broken heart
As I was driving home from work one day last week and listening to these words, I began to wonder if I live like that—like no past hurts could ever get in the way of the things I say and do now when it comes to matter of the heart.
I honestly think that answer has sort of changed over time. If you had asked me when I was in college, I would have told you that I was still afraid to open my heart to anyone because I went through all of high school thinking that no boy would ever love me. That feeling came as a result of one boy wanting to make fun of me when he found out I had a crush on him, another getting my hopes up that he was going to ask me to prom but then went with another girl, and another boy spending a lot of time with me and sparking feelings in my heart while he was simultaneously chasing another girl.
And those are merely a few examples.
I think that I would have had a similar opinion right out of college, too. There was a guy who was one of my really good friends, and when another friend of mine let it slip that I had feelings for him, everything changed, and our friendship eventually faded like an image in your rearview mirror. It gave me the mindset that I was always going to get burned if I ever even started to think that love might actually come my way. I figured it was best always to hide my feelings and try to bury them before they ever became too real.
Then, in my late 20s, I fell for a guy to whom I gave my first kiss away (yes, I waited a very long time for that), and I let myself hope it might have actually meant something to him. I’m not sure if it did, but he moved away, led me on for a little while, and then stopped talking to me. I know it was for the best—he wasn’t the right person for me—but it still hurt.
Somewhere along the way, though, I decided none of that stuff in the past mattered. I’ve learned to be somewhat braver when it comes to sharing my heart, and I hope I can continue to do that in the future, even after my most recent heartache that topped them all. I know that all of the crud we experience in life is with purpose, so I have to believe that the pain from rejection and crushed hopes is making me stronger and getting me ready for whatever it is that’s ahead of me in life—whether that’s alone or with someone else.
I really like Old Dominion’s comparison: You’ve gotta treat your life like you’re jumping off a rope swing, baby, ’cause the whole thing’s really just a shot in the dark. It really is true—we have no clue what’s ahead of us, but sometimes you simply have to leap and be ready for wherever it is you land and for whatever ends up happening. It’s often difficult for me to accept that I don’t live in a romantic comedy, and the plot isn’t always going to end up with the ending I dream up in my head, but I have to brace myself for reality.
Do I still want that moment in a parking lot in the pouring down rain when I’m pouring my heart out to the guy who stole my heart, and he actually feels the same, and then we have that dramatic kiss moment? Absolutely.
And I can’t let any former heart-shattering moments change that.
I still believe in fairy tales and epic love stories. I believe in true love. I believe in people being meant for each other. I believe in wishing on shooting stars and dandelions for the simple reason that you have hope in your heart for something special. I believe in letting someone know how much you care, even if it means facing rejection. I believe in finding that one person who makes your heart beat wildly out of control and makes you forget about everyone and everything.
And I believe in loving like there’s no such thing as a broken heart.
Offering you a HUGE hug right now. I was a later dater but ended up finding a fantastic guy through a dating app called Coffee Meets Bagel. We’re both homebodies and I really don’t think we would’ve met if it hadn’t been for that. I know a few girlfriends who also met some great guys through the app – I recommend it. Sending you warm thoughts!
Thank you! I gladly accept that hug! 🙂 And I’m so happy for you that you found your person. The dating apps haven’t exactly worked out for me, but I know many people who have great success stories with them. I’m glad you’re one of them!!
Thank you for sharing things so personal and authentic. I want to use that word “authentic” a ton, and mean it, before it becomes too cliche. Thanks for keeping it real.
You’re so sweet, San Fran. Thank you! I know it’s been years, but I miss running and chatting with you.
Natalie…You have a wonderful way of writing. I really enjoy reading your blog. Love will find you when you least expect it. Focus on taking care of yourself and being the “authentic” person (as mentioned above) that you are and it will happen. I had MANY experiences in high school that were similar to your stories, sure brought back some memories.
Never thought I’d find someone that would love me back – I’m happy to report that I’ve been married for 35 years now!
The stars WILL line up for you too!
Thank you so much, Cindy. I truly appreciate that. And I’m so happy for you that you found your person and have been with him for so long—that’s definitely encouraging to hear!