What sound did your heart make when it broke for the first time?

BY JON WESTENBERG

Heartbreak is a wonderful, terrible, terrifying thing. It’s something that we live through, love through and struggle to “deal with” for the better part of our lives.

But you remember the first time. You remember that first pain.

I know my heart broke for the very first time when I was 11 years old, piling into the family station wagon to drive away from my home town of Perth, Australia, to start a new life — that I didn’t want to live — in Adelaide.

I was sobbing quietly to myself, while I watched home disappear in the rear window.

And then when it had been broken once, it never stopped breaking. When I moved from Adelaide to Sydney, and said goodbye to my older brothers. When I fell in love and fell out of love.

When my first business failed, in a crashing, burning mess. When the same thing happened again.

And again.

And again.

I always believed that I’d find a way to get used to it. Now, I’m not so sure. I’m not so sure that we ever get used to it — we just learn not to hate it quite so much.

We start to recognise that the experience of having our hearts broken isn’t a symptom that the end times are here. It’s a part of living, because it’s a part of caring, because caring is a part of existing on a human level.

When your heart breaks, it’s only because you’ve been somehow lucky enough to find and try for something so wonderful that you couldn’t help giving your heart to it. That’s a remarkable thing on its own.

I don’t try to fight the heart break. Not anymore, and never again. Because the heart break just reminds me that I’m still here, I’m still kicking. And it reminds me of how fortunate I have been, to have the chance to care again.

And again.

And again.

This week, Creatomic is sponsored by Opkomend Creative, a tiny studio working in PR, design, marketing and advertising.

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