as someone who has been broken many times. stapled in some spots. glued and sewn in others. even some scotch tape thrown on some spots. as someone who has fallen to pieces a million times. as a person who has had to pick the pieces up, time and time again. as someone who has been through so much, in such a short period of time. it’s hard. trust me, i know. and lately, the pieces have been feeling a little overwhelming. i can look back at my life and recall in great detail the moments in my life when i felt the most shattered; the moments where the pieces of me were so broken and spread out in so many different directions that i didn’t know how to walk forward without getting cut. i had my heart broken for the very first time at nineteen. i remember the day it happened vividly. it happened over text which in hindsight proves to me that he wasn’t it then and still ain’t it today. but his reasons were trash. he was still in love with the girl who had broken his heart. weak move. anyways, i was crushed. crying in my bed eating gummi worms and blasting the same song by the veronicas over and over again. the opening line to that song is ‘i’m having a day from hell’. and it was so relatable in the moment. crying over a boy who didn’t deserve me. and in that moment, i felt shattered. completely gutted. not feeling worthy or good enough. comparing myself to this girl that i didn’t even know but suddenly i wanted to be her. because she had what was supposed to be mine. and it took me a long time to get over that heartache. because that boy walked in and out of my life for two more years. and when my mental health came crashing down on me in the summer of two thousand and eight after failing out of my university, there were those pieces again. the whole world broken at my feet. and again when my grandmother died nine months after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. during midterms. while i was away at college, still picking up the pieces from nine months prior. and those pieces fell to the floor again. when my college boyfriend of two years called me to break my heart while driving to hook up with some new girl. and again, when my best friend was trash talking about me and my weight and i overheard her while i was curling my hair in a timeshare bathroom in las vegas. the pieces. man, i have swept up my fair share of people pieces. and in the more recent years, my life has fallen apart in bigger ways. grief and anxiety and sadness and anger have showed up in big ways. i buried mg best friend nearly six years ago. after losing her in a horrific car accident. losing my job six weeks later. and all the messes in between. to lead us to right now. a massive heap of broken bits. the things that have absolutely wrecked me. shattered me.

and lately it’s been feeling a lot like pieces. there is almost this massive expectation that everything is great and peachy. that with hard parts behind me, nothing hard lies ahead. but like i recently said- survivorship. it’s hard. in some ways, it’s the hardest part. it’s being handed the keys to a car and you ain’t got a license. i have never been here before. survivorship. it’s looking at the pieces and not knowing where to start. not knowing which pieces to save. which pieces are more important. which pieces have to get left behind. which pieces don’t even fit anymore. because they are too broken or smashed. pieces of myself and my life and my identity. they are all laying before me. and i feel broken and i feel lost and i feel overwhelmed. there are pieces of me. that i want to desperately glue back together. because i know how whole it will help me feel. but i also worry that they don’t fit anymore. that maybe all of these pieces have to be swept up and we have to start over. or that maybe these pieces get glued as they are. and i will fill the holes and spaces with new pieces. and i remind myself that i have been in places like this before. broken and tired. worn and scared. down on my knees, gathering glass. shaping together something that is meaningful but also different from the fall. survivorship. it’s the place where everything broken from diagnosis, treatment, surgery, hard times, scary times, ugly days and fearful nights, immense pain and anxiety, sadness and grief, anger and exhaustion meet. survivorship. where it all comes to a head. and you are pushed into the space of finding yourself. and it all lays before you. in a massive heap. here’s the broom. some pieces will hurt when you try to pick them up. some look beautiful as they are. and it’s hard. survivorship is hard. it’s beautiful here but it’s also hard. it’s finding the good amongst what has been broken. it’s finding the hope amongst what has been shattered. it’s sifting through what was hard and scary and life changing to find what will be glued back together.

the pieces. the pieces of me. they are right here. dozens of them. and i am working my way through them. my knees and hands are cut from sorting through them. i am tired and tear stained. i am moving through the pile. slow and steady. but that doesn’t mean it’s not hard. that doesn’t mean it isn’t painful or sad. it doesn’t mean survivorship is always beautiful. this is hard. the pieces. because the pieces; i know they can be glued and sewn and stitched. i know that. i know because i hand crafted the girl that currently exists. the one who is broken in places and sewn and glued and squished together. i have recreated her from pieces before. and i will do it again. i will keep doing it.

sometimes we are broken. sometimes we are stitched in places. sometimes the pieces are hard to put back together. but that’s okay. as long as you make a masterpiece out of whatever pieces you keep.


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