I’m an emotional person. A very emotional person.
In middle school my mantra was “You can’t let them see you cry. Ever.” Because to my thirteen-year-old self, that gave Everyone Else the power. I hadn’t fallen much then. Which means I hadn’t had the opportunity to rise back up.
In the ten years since then, I’ve fallen pretty hard, and not just once. And when I was at my lowest of lows, which, as emotional as I am, is pretty low and pretty long-lasting each time, the only thing that kept me from giving it all up was somehow, I’m not sure how, I knew I’d be back on my feet eventually, someday. Even if I couldn’t see how I would ever find the strength, I knew I would raise myself up and hold my head high and smile again.
And I have always somehow done just that.
I’ve learned from that repetition. My emotions don’t make me weak. My emotions are not shameful or embarrassing. I am passionate. I am opinionated. I am jealous. I am caring. I empathize. I cry at anything in movies to do with family. I do elaborate surprise schemes for things like anniversaries and Welcome Backs and Father’s Day. If you hurt me and then I see you at my work unexpectedly two years later, I will start hyperventilating, and I won’t care who knows it.
My emotions make me strong. My emotions have taught me self-reflection. My emotions give me compassion.
My emotions give me hope. Every time.
If I love you, I give you part of myself for all time, lover or friend or family member. You have received a piece of my heart for safe-keeping. What you do with it after that is up to you.
If I once loved you, part of me will still love you forever, but only after a very very very long time of getting sick to the stomach at the thought of you. And only after I have done my utmost to let you know what I think of you.
Which, by the way, is an act of love. If I didn’t care about you, I would just walk away and not think about you twice. But if you let me down, it’s because you betrayed the something I saw in you worth loving. And if I don’t tell you that, you will never learn and you will never grow. And I want you to. I really do.
And someday, after growing and learning and becoming yourself in your own life and me in mine, I hope you pick up that piece of my heart, brush off the dirt, and smile at me. I will understand, and I will forgive, and I will smile back.
Some people tell me to chill or be more reasonable. Some people try to make me change and care less. Some people roll their eyes when I get angry. But I am an emotional person, and I love that about myself. What the people who roll their eyes don’t understand is that I know it’s possible to be the best version of yourself. I know it’s possible to hit bottom and stand back up. I know it’s possible to grow. I’ve seen it. I’ve done it. I still do it every day.
I get deep-seated angry at people because I have high expectations. I have high expectations because I have faith.
By the way, I hold myself to the same standards. And I have faith in that, too. I always astonish myself when I stand back up.