Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The best thing you'll read today

I Have A Lot Of Feelings:
I have a lot of feelings. Like, mountains of feelings. And regardless of what people might say, they are not flimsy or aimless — I feel on purpose and with purpose and I don’t take kindly to people who say I’m emotional because I’m a writer or an artist or an attention-seeker or because I was never able to fully shake the teenage-screamo-music-angst from my skin. I feel in big, sleep-consuming ways; this isn’t something I can shake and I don’t think it’s something that I need to or have to or should shake. It’s who I am and I’m proud of the fact that I feel so much.

Because I want to be moved: fully, completely. I want to wake up in the morning knowing that I’m going to feel something, that I’m going to sink my teeth deeply into the belly of this life, that I am going to express myself with honesty and conviction. And sometimes this means that I spend an hour or two curled up in my bed crying over youtube clips of spoken word poetry. Sometimes it means that I’ll grab a friend and run toward the nearest swingset in the rain and other times it means that I will write someone I miss a letter that I will never send.

When a feeling comes on, I welcome it with open arms. I make room for every shade of that feeling, every hue. Sadness isn’t just sadness but grieving, longing. Happiness isn’t just happiness but jubilation, rejoicing, fulfillment. I make a home for these feelings, allowing them space in my heart and my mind. Not forever, but enough to let them coarse through my veins until I feel cleansed. And sometimes they stay for far too long and sometimes they leave too soon, but I’ve learned to be flexible, to allow for their spontaneity.

Feelings can crush us in two ways: they can terrify us into suppressing them or they can intoxicate us and leave us ravaged when they leave. It’s important to know how to feel feelings and not misuse them or warp them into something that they aren’t. And I’m not saying that the only way to process feelings is by screaming them to the world through impassioned op-eds or ultra-violet love letters or breaking down into tears on the subway, but what I am saying is to allow yourself to feel what you feel when you feel it and no matter how maddening or marvelous, to know that all feelings pass: sometimes quickly, sometimes achingly.
As someone who feels things either very deeply or not at all, this post really spoke to me. I like that I am usually friendly and smiling and upbeat. I like that I am moved to tears by pretty much everything. I'm lucky enough to be deeply in tune with the people around me and though it often leads me to feel more than I should, I wouldn't have it any other way. I like feeling alive. Even when it hurts.

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