I love music.
Not in the – “oh, this is a catchy song!” kind of way, but more in the – take me anywhere slowly, wrapped up in thrills, romancing with my soul kind of way. I could get lost in a song. It’s like each one is an alternate dimension, whisking me away on some ephemeral journey that lasts a lifetime within.
One of my favorite artists is a British alternative singer called Birdy. Her songs reserved for days of not being understood. Songs reserved for crying out all of my hopes, fears, and introverted passions. My very favorite song of hers is a lyrical masterpiece called “Unbroken.”
The first time I heard it, I felt like it had been written out of a breath I’d breathed. It was my song somehow. And it found me unbroken.
It was my quiet anthem in the dead of night. My reminder to keep my head up. A promise to myself to remain unbroken. But, then this happened. And now I will never be unbroken again.
I never used to understand why grown-ups were so serious. Where did that glimmer in their eyes run off to anyways? I couldn’t imagine why they were in such a wonder-less mood all the time. Today though, I know exactly why.
It’s this little thing called heartbreak.
There will come a day for all of us when we die at the mercy of caring about someone else. When that happens, you have no choice but to become something different.
Most of us turn into callouses, never to be scathed by such an evil again. Transforming into this guarded, untouchable, robot of a person is my greatest fear. But it’s also my greatest fear NOT to.
In reality, I know can’t fight it. It’s happening whether I want it to or not. My eyes are done glimmering. My nose will begin to love the smell of the grind more than it loves anyone or anything around it. And whatever it is that’s left in my chest, it’s not a heart.
So, now that song means something quite different to me. It’s not about being unbroken. Because no one stays that way for long. Instead, it is a call to strength from the things that used to be unbroken.
Yeah, your eyes don’t shine anymore, but they did once. And THAT can’t be taken away. Yeah, you gave it all. But it isn’t gone; it’s all right there where you left it. No, you’ll never be that beautifully innocent, heart-wide open child again. But she’s still alive.
Somewhere in the past, she lives. Unbroken.