Can you be Intelligent AND Emotional?

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.

This is right around the time that I completely compartmentalized intelligent thoughts and emotional ones – never allowing the two to meet.

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.

Smart & I cry a lot…. I won’t be sorry for that.

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!

Edited by Vanessa Reza. Contact info can be found on the ‘Contact Me’ page.

I Was Scared of Working Out

I gained an exceptional amount of weight in a short amount of time. I packed on about 60 pounds in three years. It doesn’t sound like a ton when you’re reading it, but it felt like a hell of a lot when I was looking in the mirror.

This is the part of the blog when everyone gets excited because I’m about to uncover the magic recipe to how I lost 60+ pounds quickly and easily. It’s the blog where I tell you how you can unlock the secret too.

A day when I was celebrating two of my favorite people getting married and I look back and I remember how scared I was to take care of myself. I remember how sad I was behind that smile.

SIKE. This is  the blog where I get unbelievably vulnerable about the “rock bottom” of my relationship with weight. It’s about the photos that I would  cry over, because I had no idea where to start. I hated every single part of my body which in turn made me hate myself as a whole. In the perfect story, this would be the part where I went to the gym everyday, only ate things that were green, and lost all that weight and then some. Honestly, though, I was terrified of working out.

I would say I am decently athletic. I’m no marathon runner, but I could swim some damn laps. I wasn’t necessarily a star, but if I put my mind to it I would at least be better than average.

When I looked in the mirror and saw inches in places that I had never seen, I couldn’t even imagine myself back in the pool. Do people get back in the pool when they’ve retired from their high school swimming career? Where do ‘fat’ people go to buy workout clothes? My Nike shorts were so tight at this point that there was no possible way that I would be seen at my local YMCA. So, seriously, where do you start? At that point, I couldn’t even get in touch with the bones holding me together. I felt gigantic. All I wanted to feel was tiny.

At that point in my life, I needed to work out to lose weight. I didn’t care about my health – mental, emotional, or otherwise. Working out because I loved myself wasn’t something I would learn for a long, long time.

When I started to rationalize that paying $15.00 for an Uber was better than walking 3 blocks to the bars, I realized I had a problem. It wasn’t because I had heels on… When I gained a bunch of weight, I didn’t like wearing heels anymore. It definitely wasn’t because I was too drunk. Nope, I just got all sweaty walking a relatively small distance.

So, I had to start at home. I had to do something in the privacy of my own home that I could sweat unbelievably hard and quit after just 10 minutes. (If you’re looking for a workout that you can do at your own pace but that gets you GOING check out TheFitnessMarshall) I started following women who were in the same place that I was in. They validated me, knowing that I wasn’t able to do everything I previously was able to, but they also inspired me to work hard.

Slowly, I started to feel like I could do more. I made it to the YMCA and worked out in front of people for the first time. I felt totally out of my element and I was extremely aware of the amount of sweat falling from my face onto the machines. I loved looking up those body transformations on Instagram and dreaming about what it must be like.

I started to see actual changes; little toned up muscles here and there. I started to dance a little longer at Latin Night without feeling like I was actually going to die. The accounts that I followed started to multiply and turn into body positive ones.

A big part of fixing my fear of working out in public was fixing my mind. It was convincing myself that people weren’t watching every step that I was taking on the elliptical. I healed emotional wounds that led me to a bunch of binge eating fits. I reformed my inner dialogue after many sessions of therapy.

It wasn’t easy. I tried to take the easy way out with pills or crash diets just to see a different number on the scale and avoid facing that fear.  I still have days when I have to work incredibly hard on my positive inner dialogue when I look in the mirror. There are still days when I avoid my workout at all costs because I still can’t do two hours like I could when I was 15.

But now, working out is something I get up and plan. It’s something that I want to do. Now I am an ambassador for FNXFit – a role where I can prove that supplements and gear aren’t limited to one type of person. I am an example that any body type can benefit from fitness. I am a member of a gym that I love (even if I’ve had to get really creative while staying home).

I’m still carrying a lot more weight than I want to be carrying, but I’m not scared of the starting point. I don’t have to hate my body anymore. I am not terrified of the workout. In fact, there’s even times I crave it.

You can also get involved with FNXFit by trying out any of their amazing supplements or gear. I’m not kidding when I say it made me feel like a total beast & made me actually want to workout! My current favorite is Recharge preworkout in Blackberry Lemonade. You can use my code “emyd” at checkout for an additional 15% off your entire purchase!

What is your relationship with working out look like? Are you having trouble getting into the gym? Contact me on any of my socials below to tell me your story!

Edited by Vanessa Reza. Contact info can be found on the ‘Contact Me’ page!

Purpose from Pain

For a long time, I’ve felt like the victim in my own life. I’ve constantly questioned why the Universe, or God, or whatever the hell is up there calling the shots. I’m a good person, good friend, and I was a really good girlfriend. So, why was I being tested?

Honestly, this mindset is just exhausting though. Constantly questioning the energy that surrounds you and feeling like a victim is just draining. I was definitely ready to stop feeling this way, to let go of the past, and to finally move on.

I’ve always been interested in mental health advocacy and restructuring of thoughts. I’ve been in therapy since I was 16. I’ve read all the books, done all the guided meditation, and done so many journal entries my hands eternally hurt. A few weeks back, I came across an amazing podcast (Align Your Life with Namaste Jenay – seriously, check it out!) that changed a lot about my life. It was divine timing, for sure – hearing about how to approach my lasting pain and understanding how to move forward.

Faces blurred for HIS privacy. You can see that we had that cute, Insta-worthy love. No disrespect… but this one is finally about me, not him.

To understand my purpose, you’ve gotta understand the pain. My ex, let’s call him Tommy, and I started dating at the ripe age of 17. We had dated before, been friends through all those gross acne-filled years, and been through a lot. Even five years later, I can honestly say that I loved that kid with all of my heart. Every fiber of my being that could feel love, did.

I don’t want to discredit him. He worshiped the ground that I walked on, let me be the drama queen I crave to be, and never really argued with me when I got worked up.

Red flags definitely presented themselves, but I loved him too much to see them. I didn’t believe the girls that told me things that should have had me running for the hills. Three years later, our breakup had the ability to be civil, but it wasn’t. After three years, we came to the conclusion that something felt different over text. I moved all of my stuff out of our apartment in an hour… even taking the shower curtain as a middle finger to the dude I thought I would spend my life with.

It wasn’t the breakup that hurt though. Yes, it was shitty. Yes, I cried a lot and felt pain, but it was a temporary, easy to heal pain. The pain came after – days, months, and even years after. The pain came when he was promising that he was coming back, only to be consistently hooking up with girls I was told not to worry about. The pain came from crying on the bathroom floor begging him for closure, only to be ignored. The pain came from being used for attention while three girls were in his back pocket. It came from being driven to the clinic and hearing “I have class at 1, so this better be done by then” as if my mental, physical, and emotional was a chore for him. My pain was centered around trying to articulate what my tears were from, only for him to threaten to hurt himself and result in me needing to apologize. My pain came from him throwing the irrationally thoughts I had hyperventilated in my panic attacks right back in my face, as if him speaking them made them fact. My pain was from finally finding my voice only to be called every name by someone I still loved with all my heart.

I was abused. It took me a long time to come to terms with that and say it out loud. I was allowed to feel like the victim without feeling guilty. Sure, there were moments when I was toxic, let’s not glass over that. There were also things that I said that were not okay; that I wish I could take back.

Life has a funny way of rewarding you or continuing to kick based on whether you learn the lesson or not. The emotional scars he left on me will change how I approach relationships forever. At least now I know that this pain, was the Universe’s purpose. My purpose.

I was forcing myself to laugh here. I left that wedding early to cry in the shower – despite having all of my absolute favorite people around me. I had let my pain run wild – picking up food, packing on the pounds, desperately calling him on the off chance he had something positive to say, and losing all hope on life.

My purpose

When Namaste Jenay first started talking about purpose from pain, I thought “fuck that, there’s some pain that is just unfair and too bad to have a purpose”. I mean, there are still therapy sessions when all I can do is cry at how messed up I feel. There are still times when all I want to do is check up on him. There’s still times when I get jealous of the new girl that I know he’s cheating on. So, shouldn’t all of my purpose be negative? That’s the thing that changed my life… the purpose of my pain is all positive lessons from the Universe.

Your toughest obstacle is your biggest teacher.

— Namaste Jenay

Let’s get one thing straight. You’re body is MADE to fight pain. All types of pain. When you roll an ankle, the other muscles step up to overcompensate. When you have strep throat, cells in your body are made just to kick all those nasty virus asses. Same thing for emotional pain. All your brain and heart want to do is heal, but you won’t do that until you accept the pain and find it’s purpose.

In sending me Tommy, the Universe was trying to teach me a lesson about life and love. A lesson that I clearly wasn’t ready to listen to as I took him back for the millionth time. Today, I can finally say that I’m ready for the lessons that the Universe intended for me to learn in this pain. Also today, the Universe can finally say that it believes me!

Thanks Evan MacDougall with e.mac Photography for these pictures that genuinely show the healing. I’ve lost the weight, turned to family, and found the healthiest coping mechanisms for the bad days.

I’ve bare minimum standards for myself. For so long, I let him come back in no matter what he did. The standards that I thought I had got lost in a desperation of getting him to stay. Now, I can say with 100% certainty that I will never stay with someone when trust doesn’t exist. I will never beg someone to hear me, listen to me, or care. No, it’s not healthy to project my issues onto the next man that enters my life. But, I’m never going to be a “You cheated, let’s work it out” girlfriend again. Never. I will never believe that someone who says they love me can continue to hurt me.

I have the power to help other women. With all the bullshit I went through, I was under the assertion that no one could ever go through what I did. That was my own ego getting in the way. It was a lesson that I refused to learn. Not only are there other women who went through similar pain at the hands of Tommy, but there are millions of people who are in emotionally manipulative relationships. There are millions of people whose standards have been blinded by the intense love for one person. So, if the Universe needed me to feel pain and learn lessons so that I can shed light for someone else, it was worth it. If I can be an advocate for one’s voice, even when it’s been silenced, THAT is my purpose.

Even in the absolute best part of my relationship, Tommy didn’t make me as happy as I’m making myself right now.

I needed to find my own strength. Sure, in 2017 I thought I was the baddest bitch on the street. I was in a relationship with a cute boy and for all intents and purposes, I was really strong. But, I wasn’t strong enough for LIFE. Going through my first breakup, I genuinely thought that death would have been easier. (Yes, I’m aware how dramatic that sounds.) But, I had let a guy complete me for so long, I didn’t really know how to be strong. Now, I see girls going through what I did. All their friends want to do is shake them and tell them to step away, but babe, it’s okay if you don’t see that strength there. It exists. It’s there, it just takes time to tap into. The Universe needed me to learn strength. It needed me to learn that the strength I had wasn’t gone forever as a result of him, it was just hidden until I was ready to find it. And now, let me tell you. I feel so strong. Taking the lesson, running with it, and acting upon it has made me so so so strong – physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Life challenged me. For years, I wasn’t ready to find the purpose, see the red flags, or learn the lesson. So, every time he came back in, I welcomed him with open arms; signalling to the Universe that I hadn’t learned last time. My body wanted to heal. My coping mechanisms were in place to guide me to purpose, but I had to let them. I know it’s much easier said than done. But everyday, I had to get up and say “I’m going to heal a little bit more today. I deserve to let my body find the peace that it deserves.” I promise that it will feel like speaking to a brick wall at first. Someday, though, you’ll start to believe an itty bitty part of it. It’s time, my love. Right now. Today.

Today, I struggle with an ability to connect and trust. It’s been easy to blame that on him. But, for the first time, it’s NOT FUCKING ABOUT HIM. This is about growth in me. Fears that I personally have that will hold me back until I face them. But the lessons, they’re there. On bad days when I seem to be reverting to whatever form allowed so much pain in my life, the purpose is ingrained enough to stop me. To save me.

Tommy is dating a new girl now. For a long time, I found it my duty to let these girls know my story to warn them about him. Now, I know, that my purpose is to share my strength, empowerment, and support as living and breathing proof that you CAN get through it. It’s not my job to air his grievances or make sure he doesn’t hurt people. It’s my job to leave him in the past, leave that abuse and pain in the past, and show that though the journey is long, it’s so so so worth it.

There I am, in all my glory. So, this one’s for you, EmyD! Are YOU ready to let your body, mind, and soul heal with me?

Connect with me on any social media platforms below! I want to hear YOUR mental health story!