Sometimes the girl I want to be and the girl who I actually am are two different people.
I’d like to call myself reliable, consistent, and steady. I want to be one of those down-to-earth girls who isn’t constantly giving the people around her whiplash from her tumultuous emotions. I’d love to be someone who can be counted on to be cheerful, hardworking, and even-tempered. No roller coasters for me, no tidal waves of hormones changing me from bubbly to despondent at a moment’s notice. No. This is not the girl I want to be.
But I think I’m her.
One day I’m in the depths of despair, agonizing over this horribly hard life I’ve been given to live. The next day I’m on top of the world, singing Disney songs at the top of my lungs and dancing in the kitchen all by myself. One minute I’m doing fine, having a good day and feeling ok about how things are going, and then disaster (aka a minuscule setback) hits and I’m on the bed weeping and moaning.
This is kind of embarrassing to admit.
You probably are embarrassed for me. I see you there, shifting in your seat. Hoping we can move on to a less pitiful subject.
But it’s true. And try as I have to convince myself that there are no rollercoasters in the Oharah household and my husband has been blessed by such a reasonable and controlled wife, I keep finding myself on the bed crying over nothing. (It was something, I promise. I just can’t remember quite what it was.) I try to change, to manage my unstable feelings, to make myself into the laid back, easy going person I would like to be. I don’t use much make up, I drink black coffee, I wear the same thing every day, I drive old cars. I do everything possible to keep myself a low-maintenance, drama free girl. But no amount of lifestyle changes have affected my inability to keep the myriad of emotions from whirling through my heart and spilling out into my day.
I am Greer, and I am an emotional girl.
There is so much pressure in our world to be a certain way. Inside and out there are stereotypes that we are trying to avoid and personas we are trying to take on. We are told no one wants drama, that we don’t need to get so worked up over small things, to save our tears for something that matters. Hide the things that people don’t like and put on the things that are more socially acceptable.
The thing is though, our strengths are inescapably wrapped up with our weaknesses. And to hide one part of ourself is deny the full potential of who we could be.
I don’t love the way my eyes start stinging with tears when I’m sitting at the piano accompanying a choir rehearsal and the songs seem really hard. I don’t love the feeling of disappointment sweeping over my entire body when a hoped for plan gets changed. I don’t like the stomach aches I get when relationships get complicated or circumstances get tough. I don’t like that the hard feelings get wedged so deep into my soul.
But something I do like? The euphoric glee that swells in my heart when something happy occurs. The tears I cry during beautiful scenes in movies and TV shows. (The Office finale anyone?) The giddy excitement that I feel racing through my entire blood current when I’m in my groove and on a roll. I like the joy that bursts out in solo dance parties and Disney sing-alongs. I like that I can feel inexpressibly happy.
I’m not fully myself without both these sides of emotional disposition. I can’t shut myself off to half of my feelings without impairing the other part of who I am. I can’t choose to embrace only pieces of myself and expect to be a whole person.
If there’s one truth that needs to be whispered into my heart over and over again it is this: It’s ok to be you.
It is ok to be you. You – with all your emotions and feelings and idiosyncrasies and pet peeves. You – the girl who dances in the kitchen and cries in the bed, the girl who breaks down over choir music and cries during sit coms, the girl who has the capability to be both blissfully happy and woefully distressed.
And you? You with your own set of oddities and personality traits and unique characteristics? It is ok to be you. We don’t have to keep trying to change who we are, we don’t have to adjust our wiring, we don’t have to pretend we are drama free or outgoing or like to exercise. We can say yes to all the parts of who we are, we can embrace all the pieces – even the hard ones. We are allowed to be who we are. We can just be us.
Emotions and roller coasters and drama and tears and dance parties and all. It’s ok to be us because who we are is fearfully and wonderfully made. Let’s be wholly ourselves.