Anyone else hate writing about yourself? Yup, me too, hence why I’ve always backed out on starting my own blog. So, when Emy reached out for me to be a resident blogger on her blog, I felt like that was the world telling me I couldn’t say no any longer.
Well I’m here, so lets get into it. I’m a 28 year old Indiana native who moved to Texas 6 years ago for my first real big girl job out of college. I’m a proud dog mom to 2 Boston terriers and I also have a husband.
Because of my background in fashion, I decided to finally take the leap in switching my instagram account into a creator account. Similar to the me ‘wanting to start a blog’ situation, I was also too scared to switch my account. For as long as I can remember my girlfriends always wanted me to help do their hair and makeup as well as borrow my clothes.
I’m a sucker for a good deal, I love trying out new beauty products and like my bio says I’m trying to live that Gucci lifestyle on a target budget. Welcome to the blog if you’re new here and if you’re not, welcome to my perspective.
My sweet friend, Kate, recently sent me a message asking me how I got to where I’m at: how I put myself out there, how I overcome insecurity, and how I don’t worry about what others think. Truth be told, I did all of those things for a long time when I first pressed “Activate” on my own website. There’s still days where it overcomes me. Even if it doesn’t seem like it everyday, there’s a lot that goes on behind the blog.
Why I Started
As you know, I’ve been writing for a while. I’m a huge advocate for journaling because it’s been one of the only ways I can express my chaotic emotions in a healthy way. Blogging, though, is different. Different in a way that when I finally finished…it was out there. It was on the internet. In a way, sending those words off into cyberspace has almost released the tension from inside my brain.
Along with that release, comes a wave of anxiety about what people will think about what you just wrote. Will they like it? Will it resonate with anyone? Is anyone even going to read this? Truth be told, when you initially post you don’t have any of those answers. If you’re looking for outward gratification in comments, likes, and messages, you’re not going to get it every time. If you’re piece changed one person, though, it was worth it. That includes you.
When I say that, I don’t mean that every Facebook status is worth posting. In fact, I would like you Baby Boomers to take just one more second before you send that aggressive novel of a status. Instead, I mean that sharing, posting, and relating to others through our own experiences can be hugely beneficial. We can literally make a community behind our blog that makes every post easier.
Out with the Old
These days, I’ve started to care less and less what old acquaintances think of my blog or what Timmy from church has to say about my way of life. One, because they aren’t paying my bills or contributing to my serotonin levels. Two, because it makes me feel good. So back off, Timmy.
Even if this blog had zero views, (which I will brag that it does in fact have more than zero) the fact that I feel more and more comfortable talking about things like addiction, body image, and mental health is worth the price of a website even if no one was reading. It’s worth the time it takes to write.
In With the New
When you’re on Pinterest, you seem to think there’s two camps of bloggers. There’s the Tumblr blogger that you would only come across in a rabbit hole.Or, there’s the blogger that makes millions of dollars, has all the deals, and has definitely published a book or two. Absolutely not.
I was surprised to see just how big the blogging community was. It’s full of people who exclusively post on Instagram in photo blogs. There’s people making a ton of money from their words and definitely will have that book deal we were talking about. There’s also mid-sized bloggers (like EmyD!), specific niche bloggers, and so many others. The coolest thing is that they all support each other. It’s not cut throat and weird like other businesses you could get into.
I was okay with letting go of the hope that everyone from my small Wisconsin hometown was going to read my blog when I saw how many people actually understood me across the world. There were so many people that, like me, just wanted to write, create, and make money while doing it. Suddenly, the dreams that seemed too big for my little town felt too small for the groups I was encountering!
Behind the Blog Today
Everyday there is something different going on behind the blog. One day, I can’t even get a cohesive sentence out. There’s no way a blog is going up. There’s other days were scrolling through Instagram is mentalling exhausting. Yes, I’m fully aware of how unbelievably ridiculous that sounds, but when you work and hustle online you’d want to throw you’re computer out the window somedays too. There’s other days where I literally cannot tell enough people about how cool my job is.
I consider myself a blogger, an influencer, and a PR strategist. Taking my own life into my hands, I decided that writing and social media was going to be the way that I was going to make my living because it made my heart feel good.
Are there days where I’m scared? Yes. Do I push the boundaries of my own self confidence to post some things? YES. I mean, for God’s sake I said how much I weigh! But, at the end of the day, would I change a thing? Nope.
Are you thinking of starting a blog? What’s stopping you? Connect with you on any of my social media platforms to learn how YOU can start your own brand and make money online!
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I live in a place where not everyone is sold on masks. It’s not like New York City where people want to wear masks because nearly everyone has either had this virus or seen a loved one have it. I live in Wisconsin where open farmland stretches between every big city. There’s a lot more space and less people so the case numbers don’t look so bad on paper. You’d think that it would only push people to wear masks in the bigger cities…nope. I guess I never really had to think about why I wear my mask.
People DON’T Wear Masks?
I’m not going to trash Wisconsin too much in this post. There’s too many die-hard Badgers on all of my social media feeds. Also, it’s still the place that I call home. Milwaukee and Madison make up a huge percentage of the State’s population which tend to be very liberal parts of the state. Smaller counties tend to be more conservative with far less people. There’s obvious outliers like cities with big universities or one’s that are closer to the Illinois border, but you generally see those liberal vs. conservative trends throughout the state. Living in two fairly liberal counties for all my life, I always thought that Wisconsin was split. Then, I started to go up north.
After we all took COVID tests, self-quarantined, and bought enough hand sanitizer to fill a bathtub, my friends and I went to an AirBNB in Somerset, Wisconsin. It’s a tiny little town near the Minnesota border. I would definitely consider it “up north” even if my friends would laugh at me.
While I’ve been buying disposable masks for my car and researching where to buy good hand sanitizer, I would bet money that half the residents of these small towns didn’t even think to buy one yet. In small town Wisconsin, the threat of a pandemic truly hadn’t brought stress to their everyday lives – not because they couldn’t see it on their TV or weren’t worried about their families, but because they hadn’t necessarily seen it with their own eyes yet.
Why DO We Wear Masks?
As humans, empathy can be hard. We have to watch our role models care about things that might not directly be affecting them. We feel sad when mommy cries even if we have no idea what’s going on. As we grow up, we’re really angry that our friend got bullied on the playground, even if it wasn’t us. We learn that the actions toward others and of others can affect us. Enter global pandemic and perfect opportunity for us to show our empathetic sides!
My sweet friends, Megan and Nathan, have put masks on their children since March. Their kids are a whopping 2 years old and 3 years old (he would tell you he’s about to be 4 and he wants an ankylosaurus for his birthday). They know that taking their children into public places, like a quick Target run, does not guarantee anyone in their house safety. They know that the little piece of fabric covering their child’s face doesn’t protect against everything. They’ve taught their children, however, that masks are what superheroes wear to keep everyone else safe.
They know that they have to wear their masks to keep others safe. So, those little babes and my sweet friends teaching them empathy are why I wear my mask. Because if toddlers can wear masks for a grocery run to keep other people safe, my grown 23-year old ass can.
I Wear My Mask Because…
I wear my mask to keep people like my grandma safe. That little lady has spent the better part of 5 months in her house with only a couple adventures to the outside world. As someone who is extremely high risk, my grandma and other people’s grandparents are braving it to get their errands done. I wear my mask to do whatever possible to keep them safe!
I wear my mask for my amazing hair dresser. I’ve been seeing her for years. Even if I wasn’t picketing with signs about it, my roots were looking pretty rough in quarantine. I’ve done enough hair treatments to sing “Beauty School Dropout” as my theme song. Truthfully, I will be adding those Shea moisture products (here are the ones I use) as a source of amazing self care long after COVID, but a girl needs some stylist attention too! Her business and clients are a livelihood that she depends on for financial security and her own sanity. I wear my mask to keep her safe so that she can snuggle her grandkids on the days she has off. If I want to enjoy the luxury that is going to get my hair done, I can prioritize health in that process.
I wear a mask for my immunocompromised friends who’ve already had a hard go at life. I’ve watched some take their blood sugar before we go out and give themselves insulin. Some have lost a ton of muscle mass just trying to figure out what they could eat. Others can’t even go a week without having a fever. I wear a mask for my friends with asthma, allergies, and colds. Those who normally feel fine but wouldn’t be okay I exposed them to something.
I Wear My Mask Because I’m a Superhero
At the end of the day, I wear a mask for me. I wear a mask because it sends the message that I want to send out into the world. It says that I care about others – that I’m empathetic to their health, well-being, and lives. It shows that I will do what’s in my power to end this weird period of pandemic. I wear a mask to set an example that it’s the “cool” thing to do even though I’m surprised it’s a discussion. I wear a mask because I’m a superhero and they always help others.
Why do you wear YOUR mask? Tell me using the links to any of the socials below! I want to hear your story!
My favorite self-help queen, Rachel Hollis, is in what she calls a “difficult season” right now. She’s gracious enough to share these little glimpses of her life as it drastically changes. She’s allowing her followers and readers to see a little bit of her pain through her emails, podcasts, and posts. However, as someone who’s felt pain so deep that you feel hollow, I know that she’s only allowing us a glimpse. She’s set a healthy boundary on what the world is allowed to see into her private, personal life.
For a long time, I’ve broadcasted pain, hurt, and embarrassment online. I’ve told the Internet how much I weigh and that one of my family members called me fat. One time, I told my podcast that I wanted to kill myself for about 75% of my Junior Year or high school. I’ve given you my prescriptions. My stomach sank as I let the world know that my boyfriend was cheating on me. I’ve told you all about my migraines that make me feel like an alien. Still, I walk around with next to zero regret for any of the things that I’ve shared online.
As a blogger, it’s difficult to separate what I should share and what I should keep to myself. In one frame of mind, the more that I’m vulnerable with you, the more you might feel empowered, safe, and strong. On the other, though, where do we draw the line between vulnerability and tearing your heart out?
Here’s Rachel’s argument on setting boundaries:
In her podcast, “Seven Things that Are Helping Me Through This Dark Season,” Rachel talks about how people are really quick to judge what, how, or when we’re willing to share our grievances. For her, they’re expecting another New York Times Best Seller when all she wants time away from her life. In my case, I think I’m expected to put everything I’ve been through online. As if not blogging about it makes it less of my truth; my story.
As Rachel says in the podcast (which I think you should go listen to even if you’re not going through a dark season), no one gets to tell you how to mourn. No one gets to tell you how to handle the things that pop up in your life. Even the therapists that we pay the big bucks don’t instruct us how to deal with our problems. Rather, they help us wade through chaos or mixes of emotions we can’t quite get through on our own.
Truth be told, even as a blogger, there are things in my life that you don’t know about me. I’m a pretty open book, but there are struggles in my life that are no longer relevant to the journey, uplevel, or message I want to spread now! Does that make them any less a part of my story? No. Does someone telling me I don’t have a story make me want to tell them? Still, no.
At the end of the day, when you close all the apps, shut your laptop, and actually power down, you have to be proud of that person laying there. Setting boundaries is one of the healthiest things you can do in any relationship or friendship. It can also be so successful for feeling good about what you’re putting out into the world via social media. Setting boundaries allows you to advocate for yourself. When people try to tear down that wall, a clear boundary is the highest, strongest, fortress you can arm yourself with.
Having trouble with setting boundaries with your online sharing? Want to learn the benefit of setting boundaries? Get in contact with me using any of my socials below – I would love to hear from you!
I told myself that I wasn’t going to write a blog about accepting internet hate until I had a full-on, blatant troll. I get a lot of passive comments from people who don’t really understand the complexities of mental health. My political posts are subject to debates at times. For the most part, though, people have been super supportive of me and my journey to blog for a living.
Recently, an internet troll got upset when I used #thickwhitegirl on one of my body positivity posts. Of all things that I could do to upset someone online, it was a hashtag. Who knew?
At first, I was a little taken aback by the comments. What does a comment like “girl, you ain’t thick,” mean? Anyone with working eyeballs can see that the post was not made to accentuate a tiny waist or thin legs. It was about accepting compliments because you always deserve them. You shouldn’t set standards of perfection for yourself before you allow yourself to feel a little hype.
I warned the user that my page is one exclusively for love. While it’s not part of my protocol to censor what others say, they were walking a thin line between speaking their mind and triggering those that support me. So many people came to comment lovely messages about my beauty, confidence, and content. There were people that I knew and those that I did not. Followers that I had previously interacted with and ones that I gained from the experience.
Body shaming isn’t fucking cool no matter who you are, what you look like, or what you think your credentials are. I’ve been down the whole fatphobic hater train before. In my experience, it’s usually something along the lines of how I’m glorifying obesity or unhealthy lifestyles. Let me make one thing abundantly clear here: being overweight isn’t healthy. When I post my pictures, I hope that what you take from it is body positivity, confidence, and a sense of acceptance. However, my health is something that I speak to my doctor about, rather than the trolls online. I’m not glorifying unhealthy lifestyles or obesity by saying that it is okay to find beauty in figures other than hourglass. Rather, I’m saying that if you want to get healthy, give a shit about your organs, or find motivation to work out, the first step is loving the skin you are currently in.
I’ve gotten in my fair share of Facebook fights circa 2013. A healthier mindset (and maybe a few therapy sessions) will teach you that the best way to respond to hate online is just to ignore it. It’s so hard. However, bullies thrive on the reactions of their victims. If there’s no reaction, they usually end up feeling stupid. You can also channel the queen of all queens, Michelle Obama.
“When they go low, we go high”
– Michelle Obama,
It’s easy to start spitting fire back. You have every ability in the world to choose confrontation in these moments. The people that we look up to, though, are the ones that can kill them with kindness even when they’re being ruthless.
Haters are always a triggering experience. They say stuff that we say in our heads when we’re having a bad day. They say it online for everyone to see. This user told me to lose 200 pounds. One, doing that would bring my weight to about that of a second grader… Two, those words aren’t just bullets shot at me. They shower down on anyone that comes across that post. That’s why I have such a problem here.
Anyone that came across the comments of that post ran the risk of being extremely anxious about their body image. It doesn’t take a diagnosed illness to see someone spewing hatred and reflect it into our own lives. However, those who struggle with body dysmorphia or eating disorders were especially at risk.
Internet trolls and real-life haters have a way of projecting their own insecurities onto others. In this case, that user probably saw that I had confidence in the photo and lacked their own. People place their discomfort in themselves through anger, sadness, aggression, and hatred. While social media is a beautiful thing because it allows people like me to spread messages like this, the other side of the coin is that it can offer anonymity to people who would never say these hurtful things to your face.
At the end of the day, I’ve been called much worse than fat, disgusting, or unhealthy. It’s not my business how those who don’t support me or my blog feel about me. None of us should take the precious time out of our days to worry about what internet trolls have to say about our bodies. Truthfully, it’s none of our business. The only business that is ours and that we have to attend to is our supporters. Those relationships are ones of value. They will continue to help us grow and thrive. Where is a hater getting you? After the whole ordeal, my friend, Max, reminded me that, “if you have haters you must be doing something right.”
If you’ve exhausted all options, my sweet, don’t be afraid to hit that block button just like I did! You don’t need that negativity in your life. Haters gonna hate, but that doesn’t mean we have to see it.
Are youdealing with online hate? Have you in the past? Let’s talk about it! Slide into the DMs on any of my social media profiles below – I’d love to hear your story!
For the most part, I’m okay. I haven’t always been able to say that. I mean, for most of my formative years I would grumble, “I’m fine.” Everyone around me knew that was a lie, but I thought I was pulling it off decently. It wasn’t until I found myself in writing that I felt comfortable sharing that maybe I wasn’t okay. At that time, I needed help and I needed it fast.
I wrote a blog at the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Month about the guilt associated with my happiness as a vocal advocate for the mental health community. In that blog, I talked about how I have mostly considered myself to be in the recovery part of my mental health journey. The bad days don’t come as often as they used to. When they do, I’m usually equipped to handle them in a healthy way.
That doesn’t, however, mean that I’m cured. I absolutely love to hear success stories of patients who struggle for a bit, go through some intense therapy, and move on with their life leaving depression in the past. I absolutely believe it’s possible. Everyone’s mental health looks so different. What might need temporary help for one person might require lifelong care for another.
Personally, I feel great. I feel healthier and happier than I ever have. The group of friends that I have are ones that I would call my “forever friends.” The things that I’m doing and planning right now are setting me up for my life, rather than just for next month or next year. I’m genuinely recovering. However, I still have my depression and I still take medication.
Like every human on the face of the Earth, I have bad days. Like every person who’s ever gone through a treatment or recovery, I have moments of weakness. You put being a human together with the natural rollercoaster that is “getting better” and VIOLA! You’ve got some perfect storms brewing!
My depressive episodes are nothing like what they were at 16. Even though I occasionally get sassy with my family (Sorry, guys), they’re mostly full of tears and isolation. Here’s an example: During a depressive episode, I won’t change my clothes for 3 days. I’ll sit and cry over seemingly small things, do everything in my power to stay in my bed, and lash out when someone tries to motivate me. Then, I’ll start feeling bad for not working out, showing up for the business, or blowing my friends off and I’ll cry some more. I eat as many carbs as I can find, which I subsequently will beat myself up for later. All of this is separated by about 4 two-hour naps throughout the day to aid my emotional exhaustion.
I don’t want you to pity me. I want you to look at this situation for what it is: reality. To be honest, my episodes are pretty mild compared to those who suffer from bipolar disorder or those who haven’t had any sort of mental health treatment. Episodes look different on everyone, but I can promise with 100% certainty that they’re never glorious
I’m lucky. My family and friends are loving enough for me to approach and explain how I’m feeling to them. We openly talk about mental health a lot. But, being able to explicitly say, “I’m not okay and need some time,” is never easy! If you’re years into this battle or just starting off, speaking the fact that you’re having a little bit of a breakdown into verbal existence can be extremely difficult. But, it can also lead to much easier communication down the road. You don’t owe anyone an in-depth look at your psyche, but simply saying that you need time and space is neither selfish nor rude.
I’ve been hesitant to share my breakdowns on social media. I’m supposed to be a mental health blogger and aspiring coach. In my head, that means I’m supposed to have this knowledge that makes me valuable to you. You know what, though? I have breakdowns. I have moments of weakness when I cry over getting the wrong taco (seriously, that happened). I have times when there’s total chaos and I’m not as centered in my life as I would want to be. But, above all, I am human.
Reading this, right now, so are you. You are a human being with feelings, emotions, weaknesses, strengths, blood, guts, and boogers all making up this beautiful thing that is you. You get to have moments of tears where you don’t need to flex your muscles. Because you are human, you are bound to have moments when life hits a little too hard. It could be a depressive episode, an anxiety attack, a breakdown, or just a big bitch fit. Guess what? It is OKAY.
We’re not going to stay in that space, though. We’re not going to waste time letting life beat us up. We’ll let out a few cuss words or tears and get back up. Got it? It’s not about what the episode looks like. It’s about how you recover from it. Because yeah, I might have cried over a taco, but you’re damn sure I got Taco Bell right after that.
How has your mental health been? Are you flying high, experiencing a little bit of an episode, or chilling somewhere in the middle? Connect with me on any of my social media accounts below. I want to hear your story!
The fact that I’m even writing a blog like this hurts my whole heart. The fact that I’m preparing for it to be met with some hate on my Facebook or Twitter feed makes me lose all hope. For those of you who this blog does not find well, I’m not sorry. I’m not sorry that you’ve chosen to close your eyes and mouth to the clear lines drawn in the sand. I’m not sorry that you’ve chosen to act like your privilege was something you “earned” rather than something you were genetically encoded with when you came into the world with white skin. If this finds you poorly and you want to spit some fire back, go for it. But, I’m not going to be silent about this & passively sit back.
I’m tired of us killing each other. I’m so tired of us using fear of what we don’t know or refuse to understand as a reason to shoot at, choke, or murder each other in cold blood. And honestly, saying “each other” is doing a disservice. I’m tired of us killing people because they have black skin. It sends a shiver down my spine that we refer to this as “brutality” when it’s only one thing; murder.
Now, I’m not going to sit here and tell you about the experience of a person of color. First, because I can’t even begin to understand that experience; thus, write about it. Second, there are millions of more important narratives you should be reading if you want to truly understand the experience of a person of color. What I am going to do, though, is check my privilege.
Truthfully, there’s never going to be a time when I fully understand my privilege. I try my best to be aware most of the time of my circumstances, but I, like many others, don’t have to walk through life thinking about the color of my skin. I was born into this world with white skin which gives me an unbelievable amount of privilege, that I can acknowledge. But, I don’t think I’ll ever fully understand my privilege, purely because I won’t ever understand the experience of not having it. Does that make sense? Not everyone gets to walk around and not think about the color of their skin all the time like I do. Not everyone gets to walk out of the house worrying only about if your outfit makes you look chubby, rather than drawing implication on who I am as a person. The experience of a person of color is one that I will never have, be able to speak on, or claim to know.
I recently shared a post on Facebook that really made me consider all the things I have the privilege of doing without thinking twice.
Some of these stuck with me more than others, of course. My younger brother and I have been sitting in our home for 2 months. We’ve never been scared for our lives. Even if a police officer knocked on our door, we wouldn’t be scared of THEM. We’d be scared of the information that they would calmly give us.
I mean, I’m a blonde, white girl. When I’m in the gas station, I worry about men yelling inappropriate things at me rather than calling the police because they just assume I am shoplifting. When I tell people I’m a first generation college student, they’re genuinely surprised. It’s as if my pale skin indicates that my parents are ultimately together, rich, and successful. However, with my black classmates, struggle has always just been assumed and thus placed upon them. Even if you’re NOT struggling with family or money or foundational stressors, the constant assumption that you are can lead you to a pretty angry and lonely lifestyle. Not to mention that the lack of confidence that the world seems to have that you’re tasked to disprove is like a ladder that just keeps getting taller.
The REALLY fucked up thing is that these notions are placed upon us before we speak or act. Purely by looking at me, I appear “safer” than women of color. To police in this country, it’s been made obvious that my life is worth more. But, why?
The obvious answer is inherent racism set on us due to years and years of oppression. Institutions that came from trying to punish slaves and maintain Jim Crow laws, such as the modern police force, are still in place – just as the War on Drugs has been unfairly prosecuting people of color since its creation. Reforming institutions that are so clearly based on the foundation of racism is not possible. New and improved models are needed in the 21st century after years of technological, scientific, and academic advances.
I don’t hate police officers. However, I’m not going to sit here and say, “There are a few bad apples just like in everything.” That is diminishing these events. If good officers passively stand by and watch their partners or fellow officers commit murder, they might as well hold the civilian down. If the department puts those officers on “paid leave” until giving them a slap on the wrist, that’s condoning murder in their precinct. Maybe that’s an unpopular opinion. Maybe this paragraph is going to be the one that ruffles the feathers. But, feeling nothing, saying nothing, and DOING NOTHING makes you an instigator, whether you want to be or not. Holding criminal justice as we know it, officers who joined for the right and the wrong reasons, accountable for these actions are the only way that change occurs.
Truthfully, white people don’t have to worry about protesting… we saw that in the peak of the pandemic. thousands of Americans screamed in the faces of police officers because they felt their Constitutional rights were being infringed when asked to wear a mask. Some were armed, but of course, that is within their Second Amendment right. Oh, and they were white. But, people of color and their active allies take to the streets to protest the blatant murder and they’re called “rioters” rather than protestors. Their right to peacefully assemble, which is covered by the Constitution, is almost always interrupted with tear gas, violence, or more death.
And you know what, I don’t have to worry about it. I had another blog that could have gone up. I could turn my head and keep going without saying a word. The privilege that I was born with could carry me through this life. OR, I could say something. I could join in on the conversations, not just for the clout of saying something, but for more information from the black community in how to be the best ally. I can be an active part of the protests. I can write to my representatives because their bias to listen to my voice coming from my skin tone can be seen so clearly sometimes. I can check my white privilege every day and then check it again. So, what can you do?
Let’s talk about this. If you have a way to get involved, donate, or advocate, please get into my DMs and let me know! For anyone that reads this post, or any post in the future, you are so welcome here. I am proud of you. You are worthy. I will not stop advocating for OUR freedoms.
I have a habit of crying when I’m going through something. I mean, I’m a blogger. I should be able to use all of the adjectives, nouns, and adverbs to accurately express how I’m feeling before I get that upset, right? Lately, though, I’ve been having these overwhelming moments where it’s hard for me to separate my emotion from my narrative. It’s difficult for me to say what I really mean without adding some tears behind it.
Normally, this would be a journal post. It would just be a couple pages of scribbles before bed that I would sleep on and only think about when I went to therapy a month later. Normally, this wouldn’t make me think twice. But, I am. I’m thinking twice, three, even four times about this. Why is my mind so caught up on separating an emotional thought from an intellectual one? This week, I officially verbalized that my frustration is that I’ve never felt I could be emotional and intellectual at the same time – even though they are huge parts of who I am as a person. So, the question remains, can you really be intelligent and emotional at the same time?
Not to toot my own horn, but I’ve always been a little too smart for my own good. Take that at face value, of course. I didn’t graduate medical school at 14 or invent something to change the world, but I pride myself on being smart. I let everyone around me know from about the time that I could formulate words together.
After confirming with my parents, I would also say that I’m fiercely independent. So much so that I began to subconsciously believe that the things that my parents wanted me to succeed at were things that I did alone – swim, school, theatre. That’s a conversation we had behind closed doors, but we all agreed that I was obsessed with things that I could do all by myself and take all the glory for. I seem like a gem, right?
I didn’t start getting outwardly emotional until I felt it well up inside me and had nowhere to put it. Part of adolescence is learning how to effectively express your emotion without punching a hole through your wall or slamming your entire body on the floor. I failed in this area. Sure, maybe my behavior wasn’t as visible to the public eye, but my way of dealing with any emotion was to bottle it up, let it fester, and eventually let it come bursting out on whatever family member was closest.
I started using the phrase “I cry because I’m frustrated,” a lot throughout my late teens and very early 20s. I was especially using them in romantic relationships when prodded about why I was getting so upset. Essentially, I was telling my partner, the world, and anyone that would listen that when I’m emotional I’m not able to coherently speak my truth. Damn, did I believe that truth for so long.
Fast forward to a couple years later and my twenty third year of existence, I’m feeling more woke than ever. I feel more in touch with my emotions and my intelligence in ways that I never thought that I would before. There are moments, though, that make me realize there are still wounds from my past that still need a remedy. There are still issues that I need to realize, accept, speak out loud, and move on from.
Like I said before, I’ve been getting really emotional for reasons that seemingly go over my head. My dad recently said I’ve been “overreacting” and I reacted as if he called me the worst curse name in the book. I couldn’t understand what triggered me in that scenario to make me SO upset.
You can look through my blog feed and learn a little bit about a past relationship that shaped who I am as a person today. I feel so strong and healthy that it’s hard to imagine that there’s still realizations for me to make about why I said or did something all those years ago. There are still connections that I can make to help me better understand myself in all of my relationships.
In those formative years, I thought that I had to make a clear distinction between emotion and intelligence. Every time I let a tear escape my water line, my argument suddenly became a little less valid. When conversations needed to be had, it was to be done without tears and without too much emotion behind my words. Twenty year old Emily began to link emotion to weakness and intelligence to strength. I started to hold my tongue when I knew the tears were coming. I started to question my intelligence if I felt anything in my head. Most of all, I started to question who I was as a person.
Now, my dad never taught me to think like this, nor did he mean any harm in saying that I was overreacting. But, he did unleash a dragon that felt like her intelligence and emotion could not coincide in the same castle – which absolutely destroyed me.
Let’s just get something abundantly clear here; and I’m saying this just as much for you as I am for me. I am a grown-ass, educated woman. I can properly express how I’m feeling because I know the words to do so, I’ve been practicing them since I was way too smart for my own age, remember? I don’t need anyone to write my narrative for me or tell the world how they think I feel. Got it? That being said, I am a grown-ass, educated woman! So, me crying because I feel bad does not diminish my intelligence level. If I feel the urge to cry, I can cry! If I feel the need to scream, I can scream! Having emotion does not equate to a lower intelligence level, nor does it make your argument weaker.
You know you’ve felt that prickle behind your eyes of tears at exactly the wrong time, but what exactly makes it the wrong time? Tears can help us put up clear boundaries of where our heart and minds want to go, even when society is pushing us to keep going. Tears can help signal to the world that you fucking care! Tears can tell stories that sometimes, even all the words in the dictionary can’t be strung together to tell. You, my beautiful reader, are not less because of the emotion that you let out of your body. It’s what you do with that emotion, how you harness it, and how you put it back into the world that makes or breaks you. Because emotion and intellect together, they are an extremely powerful thing.
So, I’m no scientist. I haven’t looked at the scans of a brain with all the colors to give an official answer. But, if I could put all my money on one argument it would be: Yes, you CAN be intelligent and emotional all at the same time. Furthermore, anyone that’s telling you otherwise is scared of how powerful you are when you are both… I’m just saying.
Have you ever had a problem separating your intellectual thought from your emotional ones? If so, why are you separating them? Get into the DMs of any of the socials below to tell me your story!