According to the internet, there are 6 basic emotions (7 if you count contempt) and although I don't agree, I get that ideas and concepts are easier swallowed in smaller portions. But, let's face it people...we have an infinite amount of human emotions!! There are billions of shades of sadness, and endless hues of happiness and if you are a normal every day human being, then I am sure you feel a good amount of these emotions.
Emotions are tricky because it's nice and healthy to feel, but it also makes you unbelievably vulnerable. Now, let's go back to when you were just a young buck, running around and peeing in your pants because you had the safety and security of a diaper. You bumped into something you ran out of carrots and burst into tears, snot dripping down your face and you did not give a flying F. You laughed whenever you wanted and talked loudly about having to go potty even if you were in a library. You felt things, out loud and without shame. As you got older though, you learn to disguise these feelings, push them down and maybe even block them out and it's not healthy. We are humans and humans need to feel things! I grew up in an awesome household, where being yourself was #1 on the list of important things to remember (we didn't have an actual list but I am sure if we did, that would be #1) and feelings were welcomed in all shapes and sizes. It was welcomed to feel, anything!* (except hate unless you had like a really really good justification ie. you couldn't hate spinach you had to at least eat some of it)
In high-school, I tried my best to have "cool" feelings, ones that weren't too in your face but were still there. I was a teenager and figuring lots of things out (how to wear bras, and not sweat so much through my shirts from sheer anxiety of walking down a senior hallway). It was miserable at times, but looking back now I can have a good ole LOL. College helped free my feelings a lot more, but I still felt somewhat guarded. I was in a new environment with new people and I did not want to let my freak flag fly...just yet. It wasn't until I settled into college life that I began to ride the waves of my feelings. My feelings ran wild and I could feel their tentacles reaching farther outside myself, outside my comfort zone, every year I got older.
Moving to NYC changed my life, in more ways than one. Living in the city is a whole different enchilada then living in Savannah and Carmel and my emotions went on a roller coaster ride that I think I am still on. I realized quickly that I was ok with crying in public, anywhere really. My first few months, I would sometimes just burst into tears on the subway and more often than not a stranger would offer me a tissue or at least look at me weirdly until they asked if I was ok. I will NEVER forget the first time I started to cry in public. First off, let me preface this by stating that I am a heinous crier. Like nose so red Rudolph is jealous, eyes so puffy people with bee stings on their eyes feel bad for me, skin so blotchy I look like a patch work doll- bad. (was that too many metaphors?...whatever you get the point) Aaaanyways, I felt that feeling right before you're gonna cry and you can't hold it back. Hot pinpricks began to poke at my eyeballs and my chest started to tighten. I was running late for a class so I couldn't avoid the fact that I had to get on the subway...like ASAP. As I headed down the stairs I was SO embarrassed. I put in my headphones and kept my gaze down. Of course I chose the slowest subway in the history of subway-dom and as we scooched along at an impeccably slow pace through the underbelly of the city, I sniffled and tried to deep breathe and de puff my self. I felt like a salty tear faucet that could not be turned off and I kept on crying! IT WOULDN'T STOP. After I lost about 40% of myself in water weight I had to look up to see where I was subway station wise, and a woman a bench down caught my eye. She looked to be about my age but she was a wearing a jewel toned green pant suit and wait for it, she was crying too! Now, we didn't go and run into each other's arms to hug each other and now we are bffs and go to brunch once a week. But we did kinda smile and nod to the fact that sometimes you need a good cry no matter where you are, whether life sucks or doesn't suck or you just feel too much. Crying is therapeutic and figuring out how to be an adult is hard and scary and weird! So from then on, I was never ashamed to cry inside or outside my apartment. I could fill a journal with places I have cried in NYC, both happy and sad.
I learned that day that it is ok to cry and more importantly, it is ok to feel. Actually, I think that it is lucrative to feel and definitely feel more than just the 6 standard emotions because those are for robots and people who aren't good people (like the one's who don't return library books). So, feel all the shades of mad and colors of happy and I promise that when you do, you will feel world's better (unless it's just all shades of mad because then you will not feel better you will probably just feel more mad so try to feel some happy in there too ok? ) OK good, I am glad we understand each other. Now go out there and feel g-dammit!