Katelyn Holub

blogging about music, art, and creativity

Live With Your Heart on Your Sleeve


I used to live more freely. With my heart on my sleeve, I was all into life. As a young girl, I was passionate that I could change the world for the better. I could make a difference. But those feelings were slowly eroded away by incidents of pain. Over time, my confidence that good could prevail wavered and I built up walls to hide my heart from the pain of this world. Is this the way life should be? Should we go from being children full of hope and passion to being cynical adults turning our eyes from the seemingly hopeless cause that is our world?

*Photo Credit: ClickFlashPhotos / Nicki Varkevisser, Creative Commons

*Photo Credit: ClickFlashPhotos / Nicki Varkevisser, Creative Commons

I think the answer is no. It’s easy to let the world jade us into thinking we don’t matter and can’t make a dent in lessening the amount of darkness out there, but we must not let our heart slip away from us.

“Remember that kid with the quivering lip

Whose heart was on his sleeve like a first aid kit

Where are you now? Where are you now?” –“Slipping Away” by Switchfoot

This week, I’ve come to realize the beauty and truth in living with your heart on your sleeve. Yes, living this way is dangerous. It makes you vulnerable to experiencing pain. But it also fuels us to respond to those who are hurting and make that positive difference in the world we think we can’t make. There’s power behind true passion and emotional feeling—enough power to change history for the better.

*Photo Credit: Jenn Durfey, Creative Commons

*Photo Credit: Jenn Durfey, Creative Commons

And how does this relate to musicians and artists? As Seth Godin recently discussed on a podcast of The Portfolio Life with Jeff Goins, “art is born out of frustration.” Great artists live their emotions (rather than block them out) and let their feelings and tensions drive their creative process. By living with and responding to our hearts on our sleeves, we artists can positively impact the world by shining light on truths for the world to experience. How do you live with hope and passion for a better world? What drives your creative process?


Author: katelynholub

I'm a law school graduate, singer-songwriter, believer, blogger, and general adventurer.

2 thoughts on “Live With Your Heart on Your Sleeve

  1. I’ve never really thought about what makes me not cynical about the world. Maybe it’s just a born optimism that can’t be (or hasn’t been) beaten down inside me yet. There are definitely specific things I am cynical about, usually silly things like homework, but I still believe that the world has more good than bad. Maybe I’m just naive?

    • I don’t know if it’s naivety, but that’s great that you have such optimism, Melissa. I think that is a rare quality, and something you should never let go of. It’s understandable that you might still be cynical about some things in life outside of the big picture of the world (I am too–law school’s been good at developing this!), because doubting and questioning is an important part of growing, being human, and not being a mindless robot. There’s some balancing point for having a healthy amount of cynicism, right?

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