Being a beautiful person on the inside has always been the person I am most proud of.  It colors who I am more than any other aspect of myself.  (That isn’t to say that I’m not as worried about outward appearances as the next person.  I’ll take dozens of pictures of myself hoping for just one “good one.”)  But no one will ever say I lack heart.  In fact, my own heart is big.  Big with kindness.  Big with compassion.  Big with concern.  Big in a way that makes me highly sensitive and thus highly reactive to the world around me. 

Yet lately, I’m realizing that in the long run, where my own best interests are at the heart of the matter, my big heart really may not serve me well.  Perhaps if I had less of it, and was harder on the inside, and did not let my emotions run away with me at times, I’d be better off.  Tougher.  Stronger.  Unsinkable.

So maybe the sight of slate green hills set against the twilight sky wouldn’t make my breath catch in my chest any more, flooding my senses to the point of being overwhelmed.  And maybe that lost soul pair of Van Gogh eyes searching faces for someone to trouble wouldn’t break something in me. And maybe music would simply become background noise. Overly dramatic scenarios?  Or too much black and white, all or nothing oversimplification?   Probably.  But you should see me in action.

Still, if I were to become a harder person, what would happen to me, on the inside? 

I know I don’t want to have to mourn the passing of my inner beauty, yet I don’t want to keep falling apart every time life is just too much for me, or more to the point, I don’t want life to even be too much for me.  The answer eludes me as of yet, but I recognize that if I am to survive, I have to find a way to be both, so that I can retain the self that matters to me, yet still embrace the self I have to become.


If you wish me to weep,
you must mourn first yourself.

Horace (65 BC – 8 BC)


9 thoughts on “Core

    • Vishal, I can’t thank you enough for this comment. You are not only a gifted writer but a perceptive reader as well, and that means so much to me.

  1. This one touches me so many ways because I can identify with every thing you wrote. You made me laugh at this line, “I’ll take dozens of pictures of myself hoping for just one “good one.” Been there; done that!

    As usual, a unique and excellent take on the prompt.

    BTW I’ve sorted everything out about WOE…

    • Sara, I’m glad. I’m going to email you soon, and this will make more sense. Until then you are always such a treasure when you stop by, and I’m glad about WOE too. xoxoxo

  2. When you write, and when you write things that make other people think and feel, what others often don’t realize is that you are using your own blood as ink. It’s a delicate balance to keep the dreamer inside while hardening the outside enough to sustain the core. Good luck.

  3. OH Valerie, as another girl with a heart too big and too soft, another girl who can’t listen to a song or read a book with feelings #allthefeelings, I understand.

    But oh Valerie, that big, soft heart of yours is what I love most about you, what a treasure and see a kinship with. So don’t lose that part of you, don’t toughen it up or wish it away. It’s what makes you amazing, true and real. xo

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