We are all emotional beings, but some of us keep our emotions closer to the surface than others. I wear mine on my sleeve. I am the one you will make fun of for crying at the commercials that are sappy. I tear up watching one of my kids do something I’m proud of. I bawl when I read a really good book and I cry with hiccups when I’m at a sad movie and don’t want people to hear the loud sobs I’m holding back in public.
I’m a crier.
I’m also a laugher. I get the giggles easily and once I’ve started, it’s really hard to stop. Sometimes the thing that starts me off isn’t even that funny, but something about the tone of your voice or the way you looked makes it funnier and I’m off. I’ve been known to laugh so hard that I actually get this frog thing in my throat and make a horrible honking sound, which of course, makes me laugh harder – even though that sometimes hurts. Or makes me piddle.
I feel things very deeply. Hurt me, and I will remember it acutely for a long time. I hurt you? I will remember it with a knife of sorrow and regret wedged in my chest. Make me proud and I will likely tear up when I look at you or think of you for the next week.
I used to let these super emotions of mine run my life. I would wallow in whatever feeling I was going through at the time and allow the waves of happiness, sadness, pride or regret to crash over me again and again, pulling me out of whatever was going on in my life and near drowning under the deep, deep waters of what I was feeling. As healthy as it is to express yourself and feel your feelings, what I was doing was not healthy. It was taking me away from the reality of ‘now’ and it was sometimes self destructive.
But, I have learned to work better around my deep emotions. I feel them still, absolutely, but I don’t allow them to take over my life. Yes, I still cry easily and laugh easily, love easily and get angered easily. But now I acknowledge that these feelings don’t have to consume my every waking moment. They can sit there, in the background, making quiet commentary on what I’m doing but not running the whole show. It wasn’t an easy thing to learn to do, and like most worthwhile things in life, is something that I have to actually work at every day.
Don’t get me wrong, my emotions can actually come in really handy sometimes. I’m a writer and being able to insert myself emotionally and mentally into the mindset of a character means that I can better convey what they are going through in whatever situation I’ve put them in. Yes, I’ve laughed out loud at my own work. And yes, I’ve also cried.
Today for some reason, the tears feel like they’re close to the surface. But that could just be because last night I went with my kids to my daughter Kathryn’s last band performance of the year and I realized that my baby girl is growing up so fast. She is going to high school next year. I watched her with her friends (and took plenty of pictures) and immediately had a mental image of those same girls a few years from now in their prom gowns and I felt it, hard, right in the heart. I’m still riding that lingering feeling this morning.
The kids grow fast. Faster than I was ever truly prepared for. The years roll by as if callous of the fact that we want to cherish the time we have. And yet, I live in the moment now better than I ever did in my teen years or twenties. Or even most of my thirties.
With that, dear friends, I head off to work. My new job in my new city which I love and enjoy more than I knew I would love a job again after my last great job. I hope you all have wonderful days and remember to always give yourself permission to feel whatever emotion you have, as long as you don’t let it consume you to the exclusion of enjoying your lives.
Be happy, be healthy, laugh and cry!! And above all, love.