bookbinding my heart

I bound this journal together, and it kind of felt like I was binding myself together too.

In these past 10 months, I have uttered: “I just want to be happy!!” so many times, it’s become quite ridiculous. If you’re wondering, it didn’t work – I’m still sad. Apparently, you can’t just flip a switch and not be sad anymore.

Life just doesn’t work that way.

As Eleanor Shellstrop pointed out on a recent episode of The Good Place, “We’re all a little sad… all the time. That’s just the deal. And if you try to ignore your sadness, it just ends up leaking out of you anyway.”

I am fascinated by sadness – how it’s something we can feel very deeply but not something we can put into words. A couple weeks ago, I had a very hard day at work and I found myself sitting on the edge of my bed tears running down my cheeks, barely breathing, telling my cousin over and over again, “I can’t do this again, I can’t be this sad again. I can’t–”

I wonder if the reason we fear sadness is due to not understanding it. Not knowing how to truly feel the things we feel – the hurt, the pain, the loss – and move forward from it.

Maybe we just see sadness as a weakness and not something that makes us human.

But, we all get sad and the thing is, the best stories come out of sadness, heartbreak, loss.

Don’t they?

There is something so deep and true about a sad story. Perhaps, because sad stories aren’t completely sad, they actually have moments of joy that shine through and show the reality of life.

We live in a world where bad things happen all the time and people are cruel. Sometimes, it’s easy for me to feel defeated and think this is all the world will ever be: heartless.

But tonight, I bound this journal together, and it kind of felt like I was binding myself together too. I pulled the thread through the holes, one by one. At first, I was hasty – thinking I could get through each hole quickly without any complications. But, soon enough I discovered, I had to go slower to make sure the pages remained still. At times, the thread would get all knotted up and I had to pause to undo the knot – some were easier than others.

Eventually, I got into the swing of things and the process became super easy. Yet, even then, there were times the thread got all jumbled together and I had to pause to fix it.

When I finished, I felt like I had this “Aha!” moment.

Helping your heart heal takes time. I hate that I say that but it’s true. You can’t force the feelings away or make yourself feel better. Sometimes, it takes the diligence of daily moving one step forward and pausing to fix the knots.


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