Growing up I vividly remember the rollercoaster of emotions that I experienced on a daily basis, and the often wild ways I chose to express myself. Be it wild vivacious laughter, dancing and sheer joy, to ultimate devastation, uncontrollable sobbing and incoherent gasps through my tears. In the beginning I was open, I was raw and I was free to express myself as we often see young children do. As the years passed and I grew my wild self expression became something entirely different, it gained a label and gave me a title, The Drama Queen.
“You’re so dramatic!… Quit being such a Drama Queen”. words that I heard almost daily. Words that I’m sure I wasn’t alone in hearing. And with each time I heard them I would protest with as much enthusiasm as whatever I had been previously expressing, because every single time I heard those words, they stung. To me they said “you’re embarrassing yourself, you shouldn’t feel this way, you need to change”.
As a society we seem to be afraid of emotions, of feelings, but even more so of open self expression. We label those who choose to express themselves freely as dramatic, or sometimes even artistic. We shun them when it’s out of the context of an arts class or a dance hall, and we choose to alienate those individuals who are simply naturally passionate, and incredibly sensitive. The years of belittling eventually wore on me and I lost a piece of myself, I started to burry my feelings and emotions and I turned to expressing myself through writing instead. I no longer lived in a place of authenticity, and Instead I wore a mask and lived in my head. I felt like a fraud, and more importantly I never felt like I fit in. The feelings never subsided, I still felt and experienced everything just as deeply, I simply found a way to tuck those feelings away until I could get home and put pen to paper. I became introverted, distant and deeply depressed.
It’s only been in the past 4-5 years that I’ve been learning to re-embrace my sensitive side, to let down my walls and freely express who I am once more. I’m finally coming back to a place in my life where I’m unfiltered, unguarded, and wholeheartedly open and authentic. It’s been an incredibly long journey, and I have worlds of work left to do, but I have seen progress, and I once again feel free.
As a mother one of my goals is to foster that sensitive side, to build up my children and allow them to feel safe to express their full range of emotions. To take the time to see them, hear them and meet them where they are. To never have them feel ashamed for how deeply they feel, how loudly they cry, or how wildly excited they get. To instead empower them to be 100% true to themselves and hopefully bring a wave of change to the world, a change that accepts and honours our emotions and feelings, however we choose to feel and express them. As the mother of a wildly sensitive, driven and stubborn Taurus I’ve already witnessed her express herself freely, and challenge my patience in many ways. I’ve also already had people comment on how dramatic my daughter is, and how I need to correct her behaviour. But instead I simply say a simple reminder, that she’s letting me know exactly how she feels, and that my only job is to love her, just as she is “drama” and all.
We should never be afraid to show up as we are, to deeply feel, and to express ourselves. Here’s to wild self expression, deeply felt emotions and to the Drama Queen in all of us. May we reclaim that word and celebrate the freedom that it stands for, and remove the negativity that’s been associated with it in the past. Feeling is freedom!