This post is for the woman.
The woman who was brought up to be guarded, dare I even mention the word “submissive,” and proper.
The woman who felt then—and still does—SO. MANY. EMOTIONS. Who just wanted to be heard, noticed, appreciated. Acknowledged that having those emotions was, and is, perfectly okay. Whether that’s being really really happy, a little (or lot) depressed, or just plain moody.
Whether you were raised in the church to always “guard your heart,” whether your parents or relatives were good at discipline and children had to be “seen not heard,” or whether there was a boy who just couldn’t “handle” your tears, I’m here to tell you not to change.
I’m not going to apologize for being emotional, for feeling everything, for “being crazy.” And neither should you.
You are either 1) not crazy, so stop thinking/saying/feeling that you are, or 2) that “crazy” is the beautiful hot mess that is you—goofiness, wonder, passion, interests—all bursting out during moments of energy. I love it. Keep it up, okay?!
I had a rough time in high school where I couldn’t decide whether sharing my emotions was going to turn people off from being my friend. I was moody, dark, somewhat depressed, and I wore black a LOT (long live the band T-shirts). I knew that I had a lot of empathy for basically everything under the sun, but I didn’t know about anxiety disorders back then or the chemical cause of depression. I thought having a boyfriend meant that he’d take you as you are, emotions and crying episodes and all. I didn’t know how not to feel.
And I remember feeling inadequate when I was rejected for showing my feelings. For being “crazy.”
And then, halfway through college, I realized that I didn’t need to apologize anymore.
I don’t need to apologize to my now husband for bursting into tears unexpectedly. I don’t need to apologize to the world for not feeling well enough to venture into another crowd. For being too anxious to pick up the phone. For feeling depressed.
Men, this doesn’t just apply to women, obviously.
I’m simply referring to the generations before us who taught us that women “shouldn’t” you-fill-in-the-blank.
I’ve slowly and gradually learned that there’s only so much you can do to “self-improve.” Find where that stops and celebrate who you actually are.
There’s no stopping my emotion train, but there is therapy or medication for anxiety disorders for those who need them. And then there’s just really emotional people, and sensitive people, and artsy people. And poets. (I could go on)
And I am so so blessed to have a husband who recognizes me and my emotions for who we are and lets me be me. I’ve stopped apologizing and spent more time bursting into laughter over emotional breakdowns now.
Women, stop being sorry. You are beautiful for all the neurons and brainwaves and things you feel. KEEP FEELING THEM. Don’t apologize.