Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Sinéad and I wear my heart on my sleeve. This is mostly a good thing I think but can occasionally lead to tears, ugly recriminations and ends up with me on my couch listening to Damien Rice on repeat. Now I love Damien Rice as much as the next girl, but a day on the couch listening to him is never a great sign. This past week has consisted of me making a mistake and hurting somebody. Fair enough we all make mistakes, but I have been trying to learn from mine and it has forced me to face up to some harsh facts about myself.
Sometimes I can be just a bit too much. This applies to all aspects of my life: I follow my heart and very rarely my head. My heart is open and can be filled with a compulsive need to make other people happy. Some people find this frankly a bit weird and run a mile. What I have had to realise is that the risk of putting yourself out there in the world is that sometimes people will misinterpret your actions and dislike you. This is why, as discussed in previous posts, in the past I have found it easier to hide away and not engage with the world. Lets take this blog as an example. I started writing to try and help others, having realised that using my own personal story is the most powerful tool I have to connect with people. This carries risks, and putting myself out there like this is terrifying and sometimes humiliating, but it’s worth it because I know I have connected with people, and so the risk has paid off.
I made a decision some months ago to re-engage with the world and take all the risks that come with it. I spent most of my twenties being too ill to do anything with my life and now I find myself filled a huge amount of energy. I am making up for lost time and I want to experience all the world has to offer. However, I have struggled with containing my enthusiasm and newfound lust for life. This is what leads to problems. When I hid away from the world I also hid away from the people in it and ultimately let very few people into my life. By emerging into the world I have run into new people and this is a steep learning curve for me. Being anxious and compulsive I have a deep need to control everything around me and I want everybody to like me but it turns out you cannot control other people’s emotions.
Thus the open heart surgery I refer to in the title. The only heart you can perform surgery on is your own. If you take a risk and let somebody new into your world then you must face the fact that something will go wrong. When I have hurt somebody, I am then filled with a desperate need to fix it somehow. This need to fix things is just a sign of caring too much about people, sometimes in order to make things right you just need to let it go. Other people are in charge of their own hearts and you cannot control their reactions and you cannot make them want to be your friend. All you can do is apologise and release a heart shaped potato into outer space with their name on it and hope that someday they will forgive you. The harder part is to forgive yourself and learn from your mistakes. I’ve spent so long in the dark that I got blinded by the light of the bright world in front of me. I’m going to give my heart a break for a while.
A talented writer I once met told me you can only use a joke three times in a piece of writing, I presume the same rule applies to musical analogies so allow me to finish on this one and muddle up the words of my beloved Biffy Clyro. Looking back on the week that was, I opened up my heart and I took a bruise, was it worth it?