‘We need never be hopeless because we can never be irreperably broken.’
~John Green,Looking For Alaska
All of us are born with cracks. Cracks make up your body and existence. Some of them are inherent, some are natural, and some are left behind by other people. They make up the texture of your hair, the shape of your eyes, the softness of your body, the way your eyes light up on seeing your food coming at the restaurant, the special smile you reserve for those you love, the sound of your voice. Small, but significant. The bigger ones are fault lines named after people and epicenters and metaphorical tumors that metastasize until the aftershocks rupture all over your body. Just as we are unmade by those who hurt, we are put together by those who heal.
You spend your whole life walking around with a bucket of wet cement around your neck hoping someone can take it from you to fill up those cracks. Eventually you realize that this led to creating more cracks and leaving splinters in the hands of those you love, so you hide the cracks and the bucket and hope no one notices them. They might go away if they’re unseen by others. It’s 3am and you’re desperately trying to fill up your cracks with wet cement and tears so you can be ready for tomorrow and you don’t hurt more people. The cement makes you hard and you also start filling your mouth with the cement so nothing unwanted or incriminating comes out. You now want someone who can fill up those cracks for you. Love is filling up each other’s cracks, you think. You then meet someone. You see them. You think of how beautiful they’ll look without their cracks and rifts. So you pour all your cement into their cracks. Every ounce of understanding and compassion and empathy. They take and take and take until they’re full and you’re empty. Then they leave. You’re now half of what you were but full of emptiness and longing. It takes you three weeks of crying and moping and you can’t take it anymore.
Then one day your little nephew who you haven’t seen in ages comes to visit. Their tiny arms around you and his incomprehensible babble fills you with an ache. Later you realize that this is the kind of ache that comes after a wound is healed. Nights of sleeplessness have altered your body clock but you are awake in time to see the sunrise. You’ve never seen anything like it. The deep blue sky with streaks of pink and orange and red stir up something inside you and you feel that pleasant ache again. You take up painting. All your paintings are colourful and the people depicted in them are whole. You now want to dance all your worries away and your room is soon filled with music and thumping beats and your pants and sighs heal one more crack in you. A sudden urge to travel seizes you and as you meet different people and discover new cultures, lifestyles and cuisines, you think there can be nothing more to life. ‘Finding youtself’ is no longer a cliche and is as real a phenomenon to you as your own heartbeat. You sing and dance and twirl through life generally look happier, your mother says and she’s right. You’ve never been happier than this you’re ready to welcome love in your life. Love that is healing to you, love that doesn’t fill your cracks with cement but with so much love that you overflow. Love that sees you with all your cracks and thinks you’re beautiful. Love that makes you a better version of yourself. Love that makes you soft again. Love that brings out the best in you. Love that opens you up. Love that sings ‘I will try to fix you’ while dancing around your room, throwing popcorn in the air and catching it with your mouth. Love that sees beyond your cracks, right into your soul. Love that manages to complete you even without filling in the gaps. Love that fulfils you. Love that makes you feel alive.