By: Izzy Wilder
Females are often associated with being overly emotional and dramatic, and to be perfectly honest, it is amazing to me that I’ve ever even had a boyfriend. I am the stereotypical, overly emotional girl who cries too much, gets too attached, and requires far too much cuddling. Recently though, I’ve been trying view my emotions as something positive, rather than as something annoying and undesirable.
For as long as I can remember, my emotions have seemed to far exceed my physical capacity to contain them. Yes, I cry when I see puppies, but I also cry when I read, hear, or see something moving. Sometimes, just the sheer beauty of a fall sunset makes my eyes water. When my friends cry, I cry, because to me, one of the worst experiences is seeing a friend sad or hurt and feeling powerless to do anything about it. Often, I myself don’t even understand why I’m crying. I’m truly amazed my body possesses so much water as to allow me to cry as frequently as I do. I feel everything so deeply, and most of the time, it feels like a curse. Emotions can be excruciatingly painful; they can make you feel like you don’t have enough air, like the whole world is crashing down around you, like you’re being sucked into a black hole of your own negative emotions and thoughts. In relationships, I’ve found that I get attached easily. I’m all too happy to just spend a Friday night cuddling and watching Netflix, as opposed to going out with friends. I was in a relationship for a year and a half, just as I was entering college. He went to school eight hours away from me. Needless to say, the long-distance killed me. Despite the many other problems with our relationship, the sheer distance between us seemed like an impossible barrier to overcome. I became obsessive, always worrying about what he was doing, when we were going to see each other next, etc. When things finally ended between us, I was absolutely crushed. Granted, he was my first love, but still, I sat on my living room couch for five straight hours until early in the morning, struggling to breathe as the waves of tears poured from me.
As truly painful as emotions can be, they also make you more human. In my experience, they make you more empathetic, because when you see a friend who is upset, you really get it. I have a friend right now going through a really rough patch, and for once, my emotions have been useful, because I can relate to what he is going through in a way that few people can. One useful outlet I can pour my emotions into is music. I have been playing the flute for around a decade now, and being able to express myself emotionally through music, to create meaning and beauty when I lack words, has been an enormous help. Strong emotions also mean that while being sad is almost unbearable, being happy is one of the most incredible emotions I can feel. I am able to forget about everything and simply take in the joy of the moment. When I’m happy, I’ve been described to have a noticeable aura about me. In my more recent relationships, I’ve learned that my emotions can be a positive thing. Yes, I require routine cuddling, but I’ve also been described as spontaneous, genuine, and generous.
For those of you, regardless of gender, who identify with at least some part of what I’m saying, I urge you to embrace your emotions. There is a stigma around being emotional, around being vulnerable, but I think emotions just make us all the more human, and are something to be embraced, not hidden away. It takes time to learn how to channel emotions into something positive, and trust me, I haven’t found the formula just yet, but I’m learning to appreciate my feelings, instead of hating myself for them. The next time you feel like crying, don’t stifle it. Embrace the moment, let yourself have a good cry, and remember that your emotions don’t make you a terrible person, they make you a more genuine human.