My Feelings Are My Superpower

I will no longer tame or apologize for them.

Photo by Joshua Abner on Pexels.com

I’ve always been an expressive human being. I came into this world screaming and crying, and I haven’t stopped since.

For years as I was growing up and into my adulthood, I’ve been warned not to show emotions. I’ve been manipulated or called out because of them. I’ve had to learn to keep them in check. I’ve had to chain a large portion of myself in order to properly function in society. I’ve been told to keep emotions out of important discussions.

I’ve learned how to cage them. I’ve learned how to hide them. I’ve learned how to ignore them. All in the name of survival.

I recently got into an intense discussion about a topic I’m both knowledgeable and passionate about with a loved one. At one point, I started to get emotional. As my emotions started welling up, I felt the familiar “mayday” feeling in my body, along with the practiced physicalities that go along with attempting to hold everything back.

But then I thought, “Fuck that.” And I let my emotions run free.


Suddenly, I felt liberated. I felt like myself for the first time in years.

I didn’t start uncontrollably sobbing. I didn’t start angrily screaming. I simply let myself feel what I wanted to feel, and communicated that feeling in my words and tone.

I was debating something that was personal and important to me. Part of me feared if my emotions entered the equation, I wouldn’t “win” the debate. But whether or not I showed them, emotions were already involved. They always are, even though I keep them internally hidden.

Emotions are intrinsic to our humanity. Pretending that only worthwhile discussions are the most “logical” and “emotionless” ones is divorcing humans from what makes us special. And it’s also a tool used by the patriarchy to discount and diminish women and their contributions (though that’s a discussion for another time).

For me, I figured it was worth “losing” a debate in order to express myself authentically. I’m tired of this perpetuated notion that we should somehow be divorced from our emotions at all times in order to live our lives. Sure, sometimes we do need to compartmentalize in order to survive. But those instances aren’t as common as we think.

In everyday life, we all should feel free to let our emotions be as much involved in our discussions as our logic. One isn’t inherently more important than the other. They’re both parts of who we are and both worthy of respect. The more we repress our emotions or pretend that they can be divorced from our everyday existence, the more out of touch we get with them and the more power than can gain. When they do rear their head up (which is inevitable) we have no understanding of what’s happening or what we’re feeling. So it all becomes overwhelming and sometimes even dangerous.

Regularly expressing, feeling, living with, and understanding emotions can make us not only more effective human beings, but also generally better and more healed ones.

For example, if I recognize and admit I’m frustrated or sad when it begins to happen, I can take note of my situation, what might be causing those emotions, and express them in order to learn from and heal them. But if I feel those things and simply ignore them, they tend to only get stronger and stronger until I can’t control either myself or anything about the situation I’m in that makes me feel them.

In marriages, research shows that the couples who are willing to express all their emotions (and argue about them) stand the best chance of staying together long-term. They don’t repress or ignore or bottle up. They let it out when it comes then grow from the experience.

The same is true in our everyday lives. I am both a thinking and a feeling person. My thoughts and my emotions are both constant and, at times, overwhelming. And while I don’t need to share every single emotion as it happens just as I don’t need to share every single thought when it comes up, I can at least honor and respect them as equals.

So I, for one, won’t be apologizing for my expressed emotions anymore. Nor will I chain and hide them from the world. They’re as much a part of me as my limbs and my organs. And from now one, I will treat them as such.

I suggest you do the same.


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I’m Going In

October was an odd month for me. Lots of ups and downs. Lots of being really in touch with my gut and lots of waking up in Cavecold anxiety-provoked sweats because something was off but I didn’t know what.

Maybe I sound dramatic. But that’s my style. So deal.

It really was an odd month. A bunch of strange things that kept making me feel more “off” than usual. For various reasons that I’m not going to get into here.

Needless to say, it was a bit of a wash of a month for me in terms of my positivity and productivity.

And I kinda just let myself wallow a little bit. And I don’t regret it. Because I didn’t want to push myself. As a woman who can easily push down her emotions and let good old denial take the reigns, I have to be careful to not just ignore how I’m feeling because it’s inconvenient and not productive.

I was tired and sad. So I let myself be tired and sad.

I was lucky that one of my bestest friends in the world and one of the most positive people I know happen to also be going through a weird month. I wasn’t lucky because I wished that on her by any means. But we both agreed it was kinda nice to have someone to wallow with. It made us both feel a little less alone.

But we decided November is the cut off. Once November starts, the name of the game is productivity, positivity, and proactivity. We’re going to distract ourselves into thinking we’re back on track. And maybe by doing so, we’ll actually get back on track.

I stayed in on Halloween and spent the whole time writing emails and making an ambitious schedule and setting clear goals for the rest of the year. And journaling. God I journaled the shit outta those emotions.

And I woke up November 1 excited and ready. I’m no longer going to wallow. I exorcised those demons on All Hallows Eve. It’s time to focus on me and focus on the things I love most- creativity and entertainment. I call this “going in” because I’m about to turn my focus into hyperdrive. I’m gonna be on a bleeping mission for the next several weeks. And I’m gonna accomplish a boat load.

I’m going into the cave of wonder and focus. If I’m not out by the holidays… just know I went down doing what I love.

Disappointment or Despair?

disappointment (1)I was nominated for an award a couple weeks ago for a project I created. I mentioned to a close friend I was excited about possibly winning because I thought I stood a good chance. They said, in effort to lovingly protect my feelings, “Don’t get your hopes up. I don’t want you to be disappointed.”

And I had a visceral reaction of complete disagreement.

I don’t ever want to lose the ability to hope. Because if I don’t even have hope that I can accomplish something, I’m setting myself up for a life of despair.

Spoiler alert: I didn’t win the thing I was nominated for. And truth is, I wasn’t all that disappointed. The person who won did a spectacular job and I was glad to even be considered. The cash prize attached to winning would have been delightful, but maybe it’s making way for something bigger and better. Who knows!

You never know how these things pan out and I choose to believe they happen for a reason and the universe is always conspiring to create your greatest good. So I don’t know what every small decision will lead to. All I know is I have to trust my gut, do what I think is best, and choose to believe I can achieve something spectacular if I just keep going.

When I was living in Chicago, I got this pretty great audition for an awesome opportunity. I was already considering moving, but I told myself that if I got this really cool thing, I would stay in Chicago and ride this wave out. I didn’t get it. I was a little disappointed. But that set in motion my cross-country move to a city that thrills me, and to a life that I feel very excited and satisfied by that is setting me up for the career success I’ve always wanted.  A minor disappointment turned out to be a major gift in the grand scheme of things.

I’ve got some major stuff coming down the pipeline. On Sunday, I’ll be in show where I’ll be arbitrarily evaluated based on standards I’m not told by people I don’ t know who will decide an outcome I have no control over. Do I want them to like me? Of course I do. Am I hoping to do my best and to live up to their standards? Of course I am. I’m hopeful that I’ll have the outcome I want. I’m going to do everything I can to get that outcome. But if it doesn’t happen, I’ll be disappointed. But that’s ok. Because it’s proof that I cared in the first place.

I’d rather believe in myself and my abilities and look forward to the best possible outcome than to walk around always telling myself that I probably won’t get what I hope for.

Because you never know. So I choose to stay hopeful. And I choose to continue to let myself feel- both the good and the bad. And to remind myself to keep perspective on everything because you never know what’s around the corner.