my friend says, chuckling and pulling me into a hug. I smile. I nod. I accept the hug and squeeze her back. I take a sip of my drinking and look out the window at the California sunset, barely visible behind the evening clouds. I try not to think about what she said, about how she’s right, and yet when those words leave her lips they still voiced more like an insult than compliment, even when I know they’re true.
For the longest time, I lived my life biting my tongue. I was the girl who wrote, who loved lyrics, who had a diary, and journals, and stuffed animals, and a million and one reasons to be made fun of in middle school. I was the girl who always had her nose in a volume and her impressions on the page, the girl who was pestered relentlessly because she cared too much.
And so I grew up being scared of the audio of my own voice. I didn’t want people to read my penning because I didn’t want to be chuckled at. I didn’t want to be weird for loving, for my deep thoughts, for having a soft heart and sharing that softness with the people around me.
So I didn’t.
And I persuaded myself that sensitivity was something to be ashamed of, that having a big heart stimulated me weak, rather than strong.
Those were the words the seventh grade bully said to me when the educator attained her give me my diary after reading one of the poems aloud to her group of friends and chuckling. The tears were rolling my face and I wished I could stimulate them stop. I wished I could be tougher, stronger, care less.
I didn’t know that year later, she’d follow my penning page, comment, “Wow, I love this, ” and tag those same friends.
Those were the words my ex-boyfriend said to me when we were fighting at his kitchen table. I thought he was trying to protect me, induce me tougher, make us a stronger couple.
Later, I’d look back and realize this simple truth–if someone truly loves you, they’ll understand the intricacies of who you are and accept them, even if they don’t agree or live that way.
Those were the words I grew up hating, the words I dreaded, the words that always came as a jab, as if there was something wrong with me and my heart. But now they are the words I wear proudly, the words that I celebrate, the words I own as my identity .
I am sensitive.
And I am proud of that.
I am proud of the route I write, the style my emotions are to be found on the page. I am proud of the way I’m not afraid to be vulnerable in a world that’s frightened.
I am proud of the way I care–about household, about strangers, about friends. I am proud of the route I don’t give up on love, even when it doesn’t come easy, even in a world that’s so damn temporary.
I am proud of the style my heart keeps beating, keeps think, keeps opposing. I am proud of who I am.
I am proud of the style I care about things that apparently don’t always matter, like writing handmade birthday cards, like calling people just because, like stopping to see if a person’s okay even if you don’t know them personally, like throwing away other people’s junk when they leave it outside, like little things.
I am proud of the style I’ve learned to love the skin I’m in, to accept that I might scream, might take things personally, might overreact or read into situations that I shouldn’t, simply because I want to make sure everyone’s happy.
I’m proud of the way that I no longer let people make me feel as if I have to apologize for the way my heart beats, for the route I ensure the world.
I am proud of the way I’ve learned to accept and love myself in the way I’ve always been so comfy accept and caring of everyone around me.
I am proud of being sensitive.
Of finally owning who I’ve been, who I am.
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