Last November I wrote an article for Lucky Dip Club that was titled ‘Your emotions are your strengths – why you shouldn’t grow a thicker skin.’ In case it wasn’t completely obvious by my disgusting penchant for over-sharing on the internet, I am a bloody soft sort of person. That article is completely on brand for me.
A bit of background for those of you who didn’t get to read said article (so basically, all of you)- throughout my entire life people have described me as “over-sensitive” and used those words against me, as if having lots of feelings isn’t a basic human trait. I have always strongly believed that being in touch with your emotions is important and absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Not everyone will share that sentiment, and that’s okay too.
Recently things have been a bit weird for me as I struggle to adapt to life as a newly single 29 year old who lives in the back-room of her mother’s house. If that sounds like a winning description to you, it’s only because I’m doing really well at this life thing right now. I think I mentioned it in a previous post but it feels like a lot of my identity has been swept away, with hobbies and interests falling by the wayside and only casual alcoholism stepping up to fill in the blanks. (Yes, I’m looking at you getting drunk in a London park two nights in a row.)
Realistically speaking I’m probably at my most vulnerable right now and because of that I tend to do a lot of stupid things, make a lot of mistakes and ultimately sit about feeling miserable. Perhaps I’m being harsh on myself to even entertain the thought let alone write it out and share it with the world but sometimes I can be really dumb. It’s tough though, when things are up in the air and you’re feeling rubbish the pursuit of just feeling happy again – even for a week or so – is so alluring. As you can imagine, I have had an eventful few weeks.
Last night I went to bed with an unexpected heavy-heart, a feeling of insecurity and instability. I actually started to wonder if being so God-damn soft was really doing me any favours after all. Being in touch with your feelings is one thing, but are emotions really a strength when you’re using them as a blunt object to beat yourself up with? Maybe not so much.
I re-read November’s article and there’s still a lot of truth in it. (Or at least, my truth.) “Feel what you feel and reject the notion that you need to grow a thicker skin – there is power in your emotion.” I like that line. It reminds me that actually, sometimes good things come from bad feelings. I feel like every time I go through a bad situation I take away something new from it – even if it sometimes takes a few weeks for that knowledge to catch up with me (after a hearty few days of sobbing and excessive crisp-intake.) For example; don’t make your own insecurities someone else’s problem. Don’t entertain people with intentions that don’t match up to your own. Stop spending £50 a pop on Ubers from London because you got so drunk you can’t get the tube home. (What? Wasting money on an Uber takes an emotional toll too.) All valuable lessons.
So yes, I guess what I’m trying to say is that is has been a tough few weeks and because I am such a sensitive person it has made it all the more difficult. Sometimes I think I’d be happier in general if I didn’t over-analyse every situation, or potentially ruin good things by simply caring too much. But on the other hand I’m also proud of myself for staying soft. For still being able to care about others when I have been so hurt myself. For giving it a go, I guess. It’s so easy to become bitter, disheartened and numb to it all when you’ve had the year that I’ve had. But here I am, still trying to be as authentically me as possible – still fucking it all up (of course) but still able to laugh at myself and still able to love.
So for now, I’ll be staying soft, thank you very much.