This article is part of a series known as #30DaysOfThanks.
I am an emotional person. It has taken me a long time to learn that, and to accept that.
As a kid, I was always told that I was “too sensitive” and I was teased as I when I was younger for being “a cry baby” and then later criticized for being “too emotional” as I grew into my teenage and adolescent years.
I truly thought something was wrong with me. That I was weak, or inferior, because my emotions “controlled me.” Well, now, let me tell you something that I discovered towards the end of my college career, after a very hard year: I am emotionally driven. I feel deeply.
And that is all okay.
I remember a conversation I had with my father at the beach one summer as we walked the shoreline and talked about how hard of a year I had had. I expressed worry about entering another school year and the stresses it may bring, and my dad said, “I worry that you’ll let your feelings control you. You need to let your feelings go and move forward.”
As I thought about what he said, I appreciated his concern and the reminder that I cannot hold onto fear, anxiety, and sadness. At the same time, though, I don’t believe I let my emotions control me. Yes, at times, I let my anxiety take over all rational thought and I do need to take a deep breath and talk and think over things. Truthfully though, I am emotional, and I always have been and I always will be. I feel joy and sadness almost equally, and I tend to feel things quite deeply.
So, I prefer to describe my thought processes as “emotionally driven.” While some people have very logic-driven brains, and tend to thrive in methodical practice, I thrive in making connections, to people, to memories, and I come alive with communication, especially over expressed emotions.
Most likely, that is probably why I excelled in English and foreign language in school, rather than physics or economic, which I couldn’t wrap my head around though I certainly tried. Constructing a poem comes to me so much more easily than solving a logic problem, though I like to think I’m a practical person.
Identifying that this is who I am and how I process information has helped me hone my skills with writing, communication, and has helped me be more confident in myself.
I better understand the cause of my fears and the root of my anxieties, and I am able to manage my expectations and feelings when they do seem to be taking over my life. I no longer apologize for needing to talk things out, or for expressing unhappiness or enthusiasm. Because I am emotionally driven, I get along well with others, and easily make connections when meeting new people. I am also sympathetic and empathetic, which helps me with my job in customer service.
While it is hard when I am sad or lonely or frustrated because I feel these things so strongly, I am thankful for being an emotional person because letting myself feel and be vulnerable, while extremely hard, has let me develop stronger relationships with my family and friends, and better understand myself.
No one is perfect, and for those of us who are on the “more feelings spectrum,” I remind you: You are not weak.
Having feelings and expressing them does not make you stupid or immature or inferior. Being able to express yourself and your feelings means that you are in tune with yourself, which in turn means you can be the most honest form of yourself. And that, that is something to work towards.
So, I urge all of us to find our niche, and take time to understand ourselves. If you aren’t emotionally driven, that’s okay. Figure out what makes you tick, how you process information and express your opinions, and then run with it.