On Having a Huge Heart

I’ve been word vomiting a lot about myself this year, but I think this post may be the hardest one I’ll ever write. Yes. Even harder than the one I wrote about my sex life (or lack thereof).

I have a huge heart. If you are close to me, you know this. However, it is both a blessing and a curse. My huge heart allows me to love openly, freely and without reservation. But on the negative side of things, I open myself up to a lot of hurt and pain.

Most of the time, I like having a huge heart. It’s probably about the only thing that makes me naive (well, other than my various beliefs about traveling). I talk a big game sometimes, but deep down, I want to believe that love exists. When I was younger, my heart was much less open, and sometimes it strikes me how backwards that seems. Shouldn’t I become more jaded and cynical the older I get? Instead, I feel like the older I get, the more open my heart becomes.

My huge heart gets me into trouble, though. I fall quickly and hard. I romanticize everything, often to the point of failing to see the negative in people and situations. I give freely of myself, even when I get nothing in return, just because that’s who I am. I sometimes think I care about people to the point of annoying them. My biggest problem is that because my heart is always open, it’s so easy to break. I don’t know how to guard even a little bit. When I open my heart to someone, I go all in, and (this is where my naiveté comes into play) I expect them to do the same.

In the past, my friends accused me of being secretive and aloof. I think everyone can attest that I’m not like that any longer. I thought that guarding my heart was the best way to live life because it was safer. If I didn’t let anyone get too close, then they couldn’t hurt me. But you know what? People still hurt me anyway, even though I never let them get too close. I was bad at maintaining friendships, largely because I chose to cry alone in the shower rather than on a friend’s shoulder. While @winelibrarian was in Ireland recently, we skyped and I just sobbed the entire time. Past Bitchy never would have allowed another person to see her like that.

When I got married, it was because I thought I knew what love was. I thought it meant settling and sacrificing true happiness because it was easier than truly taking a risk. I thought that playing it safe would mean  I would never get hurt. I was wrong. Taking the so-called safe way out just made me unhappy and miserable.

I had to make a conscious choice to open my heart. It wasn’t easy. Letting people in is scary. And I know I’ll probably continue getting hurt, but that’s the price I choose to pay. I’m going to continue to go all in because, to me, that’s a better way to live life than existing with your heart behind a wall. Relationships, whether they are romantic or not, are all about the give and take. Both people have to give freely of themselves in order to take anything away from  it.

Just as I was about to hit “Publish” on this post, I clicked over to my twitter feed, and I saw @MattKirschner had tweeted this:

Perfectly timed, no?

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10 Responses to “On Having a Huge Heart”

  1. David R says:

    Love is scary, it’s true, but I’d always choose love over not experiencing it in spite of the risks.

    Yay huge hearts! Misty hugs to you.

    • Bitchy Librarian says:

      Yes, I completely agree, and I think that’s why I just fall face-first into love. Ha.

      Hugs back to you!

  2. Alex says:

    Just keep loving. Better to love and be honest than to love and hide it.

    • Bitchy Librarian says:

      Yes, I agree. Hiding your feelings, no matter what they are, gets you nowhere. I learned that the hard way.

  3. winelibrarian says:

    I love you, buttercup. And your huge heart makes you the beautiful person that you are. Don’t ever change that.

    • Bitchy Librarian says:

      I love you, too!

      I don’t think I could ever change it. This is who I am.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    I love your big heart. If it weren’t for your big heart I wouldn’t look forward to your emails and chats. You reached out when I needed friends (Winey did too) and I didn’t even know you! And now you crack me up all the time. Your big heart means we have a lot more in common then Frostys and fries.

    • Bitchy Librarian says:

      Aww, thank you! I love your big heart, too. I think we both needed a friend then. And we will totally share Frostys and fries some day!

  5. Chris says:

    The feelings that you are expressing are astoundingly brave and impressive. I sincerely applaud you. That takes brass ones lady and I’m impressed and inspired. Well done.

    • Bitchy Librarian says:

      *blush* Thank you. I just decided to say “FUCK IT” and just be more honest and open about everything. I’m glad you’re finding inspiration in that. :)