The age old advice “follow your heart“, I’ve been one to doodle the saying in notebooks as I daydream my way through class. I’ve uttered the more than cliche saying dozens of times, and I’ve been given the advice on more occasions than I could possibly count. But I have to wonder, despite the good intent of this phrase, is following your heart really always the best advice?
When you love someone and it goes to waste, should you follow your heart then? When your heart pushes you towards toxic people and unhealthy situations, when your heart urges you to text him just one more time even though he’s never treated you right? What about when what your heart tells you to do will ultimately hurt someone you love or what about when your heart is just flat out confused..what do you do then?
I’ve lived the past few years of my life as the poster child for following your heart. I’ve watched people I love dig themselves deeper and deeper into a grave of sorrow because they’ve continued to nurture and enable unhealthy people just by following their hearts. I’ve watched smart girls, pretty girls, nice and capable girls chase boys who didn’t appreciate how smart&pretty&nice&capable they were. I’ve been one of those girls. And they’ve done it, I’ve done it, and it’s all been in the name of “following our hearts”, as if the saying is some sort of self fulfilling life saving crusade.
I’m starting to believe it’s not.
It’s pretty much common knowledge around here that I live and breathe Taylor Swift’s lyrics. Sure, all of her songs are about guys, but who are we comparing her to Rihanna? Ke$ha? Lady GaGa? Are their lyrics really that much better? #anothertopicforanotherday
I like that Taylor writes what she knows, and as a 22 year old well off American superstar…the main problems she knows are with guys. Fair enough. As a 21 year old college girl with fairly few problems outside of making enough money to afford textbooks, rent & my daily dose of caffeine, I can relate. Lately I’ve been sort of, for lack of a better word, “meditating” on the idea of being “Happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time“.
I can’t speak for how I will feel at age 25, or 30 or 72 but I know me now, and I know my own heart, even if it’s advice isn’t always the best. After countless long heartfelt discussions with all of my best friends, filled with laughter, filled with tears and filled with long confusing rants, I’ve come to the conclusion that Taylor really nailed it. The pure essence of being
22 21, is all about being happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time.
I’ve started to realize that every 3-4 months I look back at myself 3-4 months prior and think “Wow, that girl had no idea what she was doing” and feeling as if my entire life has undergone some big revolutionary change leading to some grand epiphany, giving me a new way of looking at life. It’s such a consistent pattern, I can’t help but wonder what part my heart plays in this overwhelming consuming scheme of emotions. Well, I think my heart’s just as confused as I am. At any given moment my heart is urgently feeling this wide array of emotions (and more). I’m afraid to grow up, yet eager to push myself further and explore the world. I’m in love, I’m confident, I’m lost, and fearful and broken. Oh and let’s add crazy to the list, because I’m pretty sure that deserves a top spot.
I guess my point is to be weary of following your heart, at least, if you’re anything like me. Because your heart might not be the glittering beacon of truth and fulfillment you think it is, your heart might be just as lost and confused as you feel.