(Not that) Easy to Forget

Over the years I’ve grown accustomed to picking my head over my heart when it comes to making a lot of the decisions I make in life. Not without a fight, obviously, because as it so happens – my heart and brain are very seldom on the same page about a lot of things.

The past week I binged the second season of The Umbrella Academy, and I grinned a lot at the things happening there. I saw the similarities with my own personal life. Because when it comes to this series – the character Five is the brain, and the rest of his siblings are the heart of the operation. And the only way this team functions is to listen to Five. Which they often don’t (and which inevitably fucks up the entire world in the process). But when they do, albeit with a lot of nagging and fighting and yelling – things work out. Listening to the brain works. Even when it feels wrong.

I’m much the same. I listen to my brain. Even though I don’t particularly think it’s right and even though I don’t particularly want to. I listen to what my head tells me is the way to go. Sure, I’ll do so grudgingly in a lot of the cases, but I do. Sure, I’ll not understand WHY it’s telling me to do certain things at certain times right when they’re happening (yet), but I still do. And then sometimes, if I’m lucky, I figure myself out after the fact. Like this morning. I think. Maybe.

You see, I’ve been stuck on a Sam Hunt song for a while. And I never really got it, because most of the songs I connect to, I connect to in a sense of me feeling like I’m the one singing/feeling them. Which, for this song, was very much not the case. Until I realized I love this song because I recognize myself in the woman he’s actually singing about and one of the verses in particular.

You’re cold and hot
You burn out like a match
Keep the slip knot and the strings you attach,
You think it’s easy, but that’s a lie
The only reason that you’re good at goodbye is
Every boy you ever met, was too easy to forget
Well, I ain’t going out like that


All throughout the past decade I’ve been being a good girl, and listening to my brain when it tells me to make certain choices. Most of these are in the category of abandoning efforts in certain areas (AKA quitting jobs, or hobbies or side-hustles that just draindraindrained my energy without reward), or people (AKA cancelling friendships and going through break-ups).

My heart is loyal as fuck, so quitting on something or someone isn’t really something it’ll ever do naturally. Once in, it’s in. Quitting becomes pretty much impossible, until my brain figures out that it HAS to be done. It just forgets to tell heart that, every now and then. And because of that, I haven’t always understood the things I’ve done right away, or the consequences that could unfold in making these choices. To a point where things feel like self-sabotage, when instead (as it turns out way later) they’re healthy decisions.

It also means that throughout life I’ve pretty much always been the one leaving. I’m always the one initiating the break-ups. I’m always the one quitting. All good so far. Until this last one.

What I’ve been struggling with these past months, even though I myself stepped out of my ex-relationship – is that I’ve not been getting over it as easily as all of those other times. And that’s where Sam Hunt comes in:
The only reason that you’re good at goodbye is
Every boy you ever met, was too easy to forget


Ain’t that the truth.

Then this morning, I was pondering how that line tied in to me being unwilling to take a chance on something new, now that the forgetting is well underway. Until I sidestepped out of the way as I pulled open one of the cabinet doors that has hit me in the head so often, that I’ve learned to avoid the hurt altogether. Something clicked. Pain. Pain is my motivator.

This. This was the first time a break-up actually hurt me. Like genuinely hurt-hurt me. I wasn’t done, he wasn’t done, but we were done, and it hurt like a motherfucker. All the previous times with other guys I’d already been one foot out of the door, or worse even: never really invested in the first place. Those were easy-breezy cause no pesky feelings were involved. And this time ‘round. All of them.

And I realized. My brain, good old brain, is trying its damned hardest to protect me. From more pain.
Because if love like this hurts – it might be best not to bother with it. I get you brain, I get you. But I’m pretty damn sure I really think you’re wrong on this.

So I got to thinking about how to fix my fear for that pain. Sadly, I got kinda stuck. Because – let me explain to you why – I’ve not had a great track record in forgetting pain. Or getting over painful trauma’s. They always say you have to get back on the horse once you fall off, or you’ll be too scared to after. You just try doing that when you’re still wincing in agony at every movement, wise men!

But I can’t even get back on an actual horse since this one time when I was young and a mean old steed decided to step on my foot AND REFUSED TO GET OFF until three of the bones were broken in there. Fucking hurt. Disliked horses ever since. They scare the fuck outta me, cause they can hurt me. So I stay away from them.

Same goes for German Shepherds ever since I worked at the ‘Dierenambulance’ (Dutch RSPCA equivalent) and one bit my arm to shreds out of nowhere when I was trying to help it. Damn bastard. Now (as is the classic case with many a person) I rather stay away from them out of fear, than give them another chance. Even when my mom got herself one (out of all the breeds she could pick, dammit) and that creature is the softest, goofiest, silliest dumbfuck around, I still regard it with weary eyes each time I pull up, before remembering we’re fine.

But my entire being is apparently too dedicated to this brainy wisdom: something hurts? Stay away from it.

Because now that my brain is currently very strictly calculating: Men = pain – I, being so used to listening to my brain, am doing just that instinctively. The off-switch on my libido. The disinterest in men. The unwillingness to date. They all tie into the fact that I am scared to fucking death to ever open myself up to this sort of pain again. To this sort of choice again. They tie into my brain telling me to NOT EVEN TRY. While my heart is bouncing around in its cage, totally willing to jump into something new again.

Maybe I should find me a horse to get back on to. I mean. Those bones in my foot healed too, right?

And maybe I could also take a queue from my past – because even though I have a fear for German Shepherds – I’m fine with other dogs. What if I manage to make my ex into the German Shepherd of love. One particular breed to stay away from, while still being able to cuddle the rest of the puppies?

Maybe this is one of the moments where I SHOULD listen to my heart. I mean, there WAS an episode in Umbrella Academy where Five (the brain) was dead wrong and the rest of the group (the heart) was right. This might be one of those!
Granted, they’re all not solid fixes – but they might at least be a step in the right direction. Right?

14 thoughts on “(Not that) Easy to Forget

  1. Dammit – now I want to go back and re-watch Umbrella Academy. I remember seeing the comic book in Forbidden Planet in London a couple of years ago, and thinking “this would make a fantastic TV series”. The while head/heart thing is difficult, isn’t it. There’s an old saying – “4am knows all my secrets”…

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  2. I love that 60s song The Horse With No Name… omg you’ve inspired me Zoe!! And this:

    You’re cold and hot
    You burn out like a match

    It’s got me crying and pondering. I don’t know what’s right sometimes, my fucked up mind or my battered broken heart? Thank you for this, it’s got me thinking in a good way! Sharon x

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you for sharing!!… the heart will go on… “Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come”. (Author Unknown)… 🙂

    Happy New Year and until we meet again..
    May love and laughter light your days,
    and warm your heart and home.
    May good and faithful friends be yours,
    wherever you may roam.
    May peace and plenty bless your world
    with joy that long endures.
    May all life’s passing seasons
    bring the best to you and yours!
    (Irish Saying)

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  4. Oh, goodness, sweetie. I know that pain you describe. I hope it passes soon, but don’t give up on love. You never know what tomorrow brings. You might want to privately increase your cussing, though, until your heart is well again.

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  5. HeART IS A
    Master Of Souls
    SPiRiT TideS NoW…

    Mind iS Only
    Servant
    Either
    Serve
    With Mind
    Or Be Slaved
    By HeART

    ReMeMBeR

    Who is

    In Charge

    Respect Its

    Freedom Mindfully

    Serve HeART

    Of Your

    Soul

    Set

    Your Naked

    Spirit Wings

    Free Let

    Grief

    Ring Until

    Honey Bees 🐝

    Return To Dance

    And Sing

    Just

    Celebrating

    Wings Of

    Your FLoWeR
    Opening Up

    Again

    THorns

    Only Gratitude

    Past For

    RiSinG Rose

    Now Understand

    HeART

    Speaks

    Sees

    With

    No Words At All

    Spirit Winds Soul Free🌊

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  6. Ahh I relate way too much to this. My whole life is a constant struggle between my brain and heart, with my heart (the notoriously terrible decision maker) usually winning out 😩

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  7. Good old brain. Poor, beat-up heart. I suppose brain and heart are supposed to work together or at least they can. But the avoidance of pain–that’s a reasonable instinct, isn’t it? When the brain works on the problem of how to heal the heart and have the heart feel better, generally, how does the brain do? Does it consult the heart? I guess I’d like to say that anarchy should be avoided with the head and heart. Separately, together. But then leaps and risks are supposed to be parts of the stuff of life as well.

    Sheesh. Maybe the head, the brain, should be leading. I don’t know. I tend to believe in potentially drawing insight from everywhere. I also believe in both science and religion.

    You’ve written a great post. Thought- and feeling-provoking, to say the least.

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  8. This was a very well-written post! I totally get what you’re saying in all aspects, especially with the dog and horse. I’ve been with the same man since I was 16yo, and although he, my husband, has hurt me, it wasn’t enough for my brain to control my heart. Not only have I done the same, but I am willing to fight for my love, my man and my marriage. The overall relationship and love that I have for him, plus the time that we’ve both invested is worth chancing being hurt again. I trust that we’ve both grown to the point that we’d never do any of the stupid things we’ve done before. I hope that you can give love a chance again like you choose to be okay with other dogs except the German Shepherds. But if a break is needed to give your heart time to heal, it is understandable! Best wishes to you!

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  9. Yeah, once bitten… I’m in the evasion business too. But, thinking about it… is it the brain? Or is it the heart? (I am always having trouble distinguishing between them, as a matter of fact) If it were the brain talking, it could easily be rationalized, with statistics, chances, background information and other references. But I think the fear for pain resides in my heart… the hurting, trampled upon feeling is in my chest, while my brains tells me to not act like a child, don’t be ridiculous, why would it happen again, you know better now….

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