My Broken Heart Won't Mend

We all go through heartbreak. Our hearts break over love, life, loss, and in my case over the result of the US Presidential Election of 2016. In comparison to other heartbreaks I’ve experienced this was different.

Past heartbreaks have left me a mess, screaming from deep inside parts of me I didn’t know existed, writing sad poems and listening to sad songs 24/7 but all of these things have something in common - they’re temporary. The desire to cry stops, I clean up the mess and eventually move on. I call these heartbreaks “self-heartbreaks” because they really only affect me (in most cases). They’re a bit easier to get over because I sort of have to.

November 8th, 2016.

The day that will go down in my personal history as one of the saddest, gut-wrenching days of my life. Every day since has been just as dark as the last and I am left unable to just “get over it.” Every day I lose a bit more hope for humanity, my desire to procreate dims slowly and painfully, and I am at a loss of how to feel hopeful again.

This blog is actually one of the outlets I plan on using to get my rage out creatively. The late and great Carrie Fisher once said “Take that broken heart and turn it into art” and that’s all we can really do. When I’m sad I write my best work. Even the songs I sing in the shower sound better. But it’s not enough.

Wynwood, Miami, 2012

Wynwood, Miami, 2012

Two years later here I am, finally launching this blog where I can let it all out and express myself freely, yet all I can think of is “is it too late?” Did I wait too long? What about the thousands of emotions I’ve felt since that day and even those before? Fortunately I know this thinking is nothing but my anxiety setting me up to fail. I can’t write about these past two years in detail because I’ve tried hard to forget about the stomach pains, the tears, the headaches, the nausea but I can say that it’s forever changed me.

By the time he was elected I was already living in Lima. I remember sharing my concerned thoughts on Facebook and being bombarded with heartless comments, some even suggesting I shouldn’t care because I don’t live there anymore - as if pain is dependent on distance. As if I don’t suffer when I see my neighbors suffer. Out of sight out of mind was something I used to tell myself as a teen when I had an unrequited love I wanted to forget about during summer break but this is on another level. This is a pain I don’t know I’ll ever overcome. The kind of pain you have to just live with. The kind of pain that exposes an evil that you can’t unsee. Finding out your parents aren’t superheroes but somehow infinitely worse.

I’ve had to learn to not read through comment sections, to remind myself that not everyone thinks the way right-wing nuts (and their sympathizers) think, that I can’t surrender to this desire to go through life as a zombie version of myself just existing and actually live.

Migrants, including children, flee from tear gas used by US Customs and Border Protection agents at the border. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

Migrants, including children, flee from tear gas used by US Customs and Border Protection agents at the border. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

I have yet to find the recipe for living a happy life above the mess that is the US government. I find it hard to breathe when I think about how people of color are treated as subhuman, when I see photos of tear gas being thrown at babies, news of a transgender person dying at the hands of ICE, POC being sentenced to decades in prison for minor drug charges while young white men are given a slap on the wrist for rape and countless (literally) amounts of similarly disgusting examples of blatant hate and inequality. I don’t know that America ever was free, which makes me hesitate to compare what’s going on to the past because let’s be honest - it’s been rotting from the inside out since the beginning. But we have to hope for a better tomorrow. We have to fight for true freedom and rebuild what that even means.

My resistance is about finding and holding on to that hope - not only for our country, planet, and universe but for myself. I tend to spend every second of every day thinking about the world and it perils, making it impossible to focus on and work on myself. This is about finding balance between the two. I’ve never been good at finding balance but I will damn sure try. Because I have to.