“Follow your heart.”
That was the most overrated advice I got from everyone I know. But I always replied back with a melodramatic question, “But what if your heart is broken into pieces? Which piece will you follow? The biggest one or the smallest one?”
They would shake their heads and frown a bit. They thought I was joking with them yet again. But I wasn’t. My heart was broken since the day the children made fun of me for my queerness. My heart was broken since the day I was separated from my father and my heart was broken since the day my family told me I should dream another dream.
I was confused most of my life. I didn’t know which dream to fulfill, or what path to take. I was miserable and afraid. I found it ironic that the people who told me to follow my heart were the ones who told me my dream wasn’t meant for me.
Most of my life I based my decisions on what others thought were best. I gave up drawing, I gave up dancing and I almost gave up designing. I pursued other interests. Took a chance in writing and science.
I performed well in the new interests that were laid in front of me. I did well and they were impressed and happy, but I wasn’t. I did well but well wasn’t good enough. I was better at something else but I was best at doing what I love the most.
When I went to high school, I was accepted in the school that I wanted to study in. But when registration started, my mother enrolled me at another school. I was disappointed and swallowed my frustration.
The same thing happened when I entered college. I was accepted at my dream school and the degree that I wanted to take. But everyone disagreed. It wasn’t practical, I wouldn’t go far. They told me I was flying without wings.
So there it goes, another dream gone. I took the path that most people take. The path prepared by others for you. They were happy and proud while I was miserable and sad. My world was already broken from what happened when I was in high school and my life became shattered when I saw my dreams say goodbye.
I was sad, frustrated and miserable. I found fault in everything that I found myself failing at school. But even though I failed in some of my subjects, I learned lessons in life.
I thought that the only thing I would learn from not following my heart was to hate the people around me and resent God for giving me this miserable, hellish life. But that’s not what happened.
True, I blamed other people but i learned I was the one who made the mistake for not standing up for myself and becoming a coward. I learned that I was pretending to be strong and unafraid when in fact, I couldn’t even tell them no.
I learned to find the good things in the bad. My high school years weren’t as memorable as I want it to be. I was persecuted and undermined. People tried to put me down and took away what I thought was mine and I let them. I learned to let go of things that weren’t meant for me and value the people who were there to protect me.
I learned to be brave and be strong. I took a path that wasn’t what I wanted and along the way I encountered hardships that I learned to overcome. I met people who I would never have met if I followed my heart.
I learned to love other things and discover new passions. Along my journey I discovered things about myself that I never noticed before. My world was bigger and the horizon was wider than it used to be.
The path I followed took me to various places. Some places were happy ones, the other sad ones. I got hurt and stumbled but I learned to stand up and try again. I wiped the tears away and put on a brave smile, telling myself that I can do it.
I learned by not following my heart, that the path I took will still lead me to where I’m supposed to be. The journey will not be easy. It’s tiring, difficult and harder, not to mention the travel is longer. But along the way I was able to experience things that turned me into a better person. I learned lessons that I would never have learned if I followed my heart. I learned to take risks and love myself.
But most of all, I learned that I wouldn’t be half the person I am today if I followed my heart back then. I won’t be as strong or as brave as I am today. Life would have been easier and I would have been happier but I wouldn’t have met the persons I value so much at present.
And perhaps, I won’t even be blogging today or making up with my first love. If I followed my heart, I probably would have forgotten the important things in life. And if I followed my heart I might not be where I am today. And I love where I am now and where this path will lead me to.
How about you? What lesson did you learn by not following your heart?