In front my house back in Chelsea, Michigan, there once was a giant old maple tree. We figured it was probably actually two maple trees that grew too close together and fused into one eventually, it seemed so abnormally huge for a maple. It towered over the house and the neighborhood, and from my elementary school playground that was a block from my house, I could see the top of the maple tree above the rest.
Then several years ago an ice storm hit. Trees were felled under the weight of sparkling ice that winter, but the maple only lost branches. It stood tall and proud still... or so we thought. Come the spring thaw we noticed that there was a small split where the trunk branches off in two. The maple's days were numbered, seeing as now if another bad ice storm like the one that hit came again, the maple could fall apart and possibly on our house.
The summer of '06 we finally did the sympathetic thing to the king maple tree - brought it down in peaceful pieces with a chainsaw. We were curious to find out how old it was, but we'd never know.
As the maple stood tall and proud, it had begun to slowly rot from the inside out. The core of the maple was pure mush. We figured this was probably happening, but it was still surprising to see it. You would never guess by looking at the tree that it was really only supported by what you were looking at.
Tall and proud but no internal support.
Occasionally I feel like that - Trying to keep the appearances of being tall and strong, but on the inside I'm emotional mush and I'll crash and fall if the right storm rolls by.
Oh, and you should've seen the grubs that feasted on the maple's rot. They were HUGE! It was disgusting!