There are times when I wish that I was bulletproof. Life can be confusing, weird, and painful sometimes, and it would be really nice to feel impervious to that. I’ve never been one who’s been great at separating herself from her emotions, no matter how much I would love to develop a rock-hard exoskeleton to protect me when things get tough. Sometimes, the best thing for you is something that makes you feel as if your entire being is completely shattered. In that moment, you are made of the most fragile of glasses.

This week, I had one of those being-shattering moments. I’m at a point in my life where I’m starting to figure out who I am and who I want to be, and unfortunately that sometimes means letting go of parts of my life that have been extremely important. That’s a reality of life, especially when you’re young– things break to become what they’re supposed to be. Our lives are filled with fractures, scars, and some sharp edges, which can sometimes feel like unsavory blemishes on an otherwise perfect window.

My favorite kinds of windows are stained glass. You can’t see through them, but their colors and pieces make something beautiful– they create masterpieces and tell stories in a way that my bedroom windows can’t. I can look out of my bedroom and see my lawn and the street, but I don’t really see the window in the way I see a stained glass one– my bedroom windows are just a transparent portal to what’s on the other side of them. Stained glass windows have character and call upon you to stop and pay attention to what they’re trying to say.

Nobody likes to feel fragile or fragmented, but the reality is that we are all breakable and we all have cracks in our windows. Sometimes, the entire window shatters to the floor and you have to pick up the pieces. I used to loathe those times because it was like starting from scratch, but with my window’s pieces freed from the frame, I was allowed to make my new window whatever I wanted it to be. The pieces could be in any order, and could be any color I liked. Each time it breaks, the window becomes a little more me.

No two windows break in the same way, but that’s the beauty of it. Everyone’s window tells a different story, not just of the cracks and breaks, but how we pick up the pieces and rearrange them into something new and beautiful. Our windows shouldn’t just be transparent portals to the other side of something– they should be a reflection of who we are: cracks, stains, and all. No matter how many times it breaks or how tiny the pieces are, a window is always fixable. More breaks just give you more chances to refresh the story it tells and give you more pieces to work with.

I’m still in the process of finishing my window, especially now that I have some new pieces to work with. Breaks don’t have to be all bad– they’re just an opportunity for change, revision, and storytelling. Our masterpieces are never totally complete as long as we keep experiencing life and not being afraid to change our composition. Sometimes, we have to break to rearrange ourselves into the masterpiece we are meant to become. I am not bulletproof, and right now, I’m a little broken… but I thank God every day for my ability to shatter in the right direction.

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