I consider myself an adventurer. I am proud of that fact. I don't mean I go climbing mountains and jumping off cliffs or anything extraordinary like that, rather that I am always keen to try new things, see new places, and meet new people. As you can imagine, and hopefully know first hand, going about your time on this earth in such a way makes for a rather beautiful life. The problem, if you'll pardon me referring to it as such, is that one can never truly be whole when living this kind of life. I refer to this as my patchwork heart. I believe that a great many of us have this same delightfully dazzling condition, painful though it may on occasion be.
The best explanation I can give you for this follows. We all go through life giving out little pieces of our hearts to the people we love and meet along the way, and we can only hope to get enough pieces back to make us whole. Our patchwork hearts are what make us beautiful and they will beat forever through the people on whom we have had a profound impact during our time here. In this way, we should all know that no one is ever lost so long as they loved and were loved. But it still hurts and it is surely OK to cry and to feel it. Whether that be because someone who holds a piece of our heart has died, or just because the pieces of our hearts are spread out across the globe. Missing people or animals, and even places, makes us who we are. We are never alone while we have our little patchwork hearts, ever growing and ever beating at our core.
I read recently a very clear and concise definition of this, far less complicated than my theory. It said simply: “You will never be completely at home again. Because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.” I am not entirely sure who put it so eloquently, but they have my respect. I wish that I could have found those words my own self.
As many of you will know, I chose to uproot and see what was happening on the opposite side of the world. That was a big step, but I feel that all my previous steps had been leading to it. I changed schools for sixth form, I went away to uni, I went travelling. All of those experiences lead me to meet new people and find new places, and my little heart became increasingly colourful in only a few years. For a long time I have felt that I am not whole. That is no bad thing at all, but it can feel undeniably bittersweet more than once in a while.
Throughout my life I have passed little pieces of my heart to so many people, and will always continue to do so, though I do sometimes wonder if perhaps the biggest pieces are mostly shared by now. Fortunately I believe that I do have more than enough pieces to keep my heart ticking over, offered to me by many wonderful people, places, and animals.
Finally I suppose all that remains for me to say is that I hope you will all live your lives in this way for as long as you have air in your lungs. You are needed. The more places you go and the more souls you meet, the luckier this world will be. It's ok to stand out and it is so very perfect to be who you are. There's no one else can do that, it's your duty to let the world have wonderful you.
Thank you for being a part of my patchwork heart.