I can cry if I want to

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who loves spinach dip the most of all? Me.

Do you ever make excuses for not going after the things you love in life?

See what I did there. I tried to make witty banter, then pummeled right into the serious stuff. It makes me feel like I’m too emotional to ever go to jail, because it wouldn’t be a successful experience. “Haha, I understand Betty, it’s hard to slow down when driving fast makes you feel like Buzz Lightyear! Also, do you believe in miracles?”

Emotions can be complicated, but if you’re a human being, emotions are inevitable. There is a side that loves to laugh, cry, and sigh, and everything in between. Even when feeling balanced and comfortable in my own personality, there are days when I’m hot or cold. There are days where I alternate between moods and it could possibly be confused as an identity crisis. Are you ever like that? When I get that way I usually channel it through artistic minds. They really understand and celebrate emotion through various media. Directors of movies and authors of books work hard to evoke human emotion, so basically, I just watch TV or read a book. I’m simple.

Commercials. I feel deep emotion at commercials. When my husband doesn’t cry along with me I accuse him of having the emotional range of a peanut. The kid in the commercial grows up from a baby to an Olympian! Are you kidding me? I’m weeping for the future of the children! But also, I will buy the toothpaste they are trying to sell me.

I appreciate a good, happy cry. Or the world changing cry. The kind were you watch a hippy documentary and come out on the other side feeling like when your tears are finally dried out, you will donate something to the cause! Their propaganda worked its charm and you’re not ashamed to say so. Not all feelings seem to be strong, there are pretty mellow ones too.

Awkwardness didn’t always seem like an emotion, but the past century it’s been embraced more as a verb than an adjective and somehow transformed into our nation’s favorite emotion. Irony: even trying to describe “awkward” is awkward.

Awkward. During a relaxed wistful gaze, you’ve also been making eye contact with a stranger the whole time. Bodily functions in public restrooms followed by muffled laughter. When someone looks like they’re waving at you, but it’s to the person behind you. When they are actually waving to you, but you don’t do anything because you’re not sure. When someone uses the word “wiener” instead of hot dog. Dolls with blank stares. Watching TV on the couch when your head slowly slides farther into your neck until you’re in full Jabba the Hutt mode, then your husband walks in. Awkward.

Emotions are too broad of a subject. They can be intense, like passion, anger, shame, or hatred. Breaking a vase. Punching a wall. They can be happiness, euphoria, or wonder. Slowly dancing with ribbons. Star gazing. They can be bored, indifferent, or depressed. Waiting for the bus. Reading this article. Or they can be my personal favorites like, love, hope, joy, and courage. Pretty much every Spielberg movie ever created.

There are times the perky people wish they were a little more melancholy. We’re the ones that keep talking when we’re nervous. The sympathetic people that wish they were apathetic. Watching family members make bad decisions over and over again. Kind hearted people wishing they were more outgoing. Why does trying new things have to feel so challenging sometimes? In the mix of all this we basically take what we feel and then react to it. With kids we’re always teaching them to control, redirect, or embrace their emotions before they’re allowed to react. It’s fair to say even as an adult it’s a lesson we are still learning and practicing. We teach them this because what do you get when you mix a group of people with out of control emotions? Chaos. Crazy people. But really. Jerry Springer had 23 seasons. You do the math.

Here’s the thing: Emotions play a constant role in our life, but learning how to handle them seems (for me) like a lifetime of discipline, because they are something we will literally deal with our entire lives. Might as well use them for good and not evil. Might as well use them to better ourselves instead of self destruct. I found this quote with the almighty genius of the internet: Feelings are much like waves, we can’t stop them from coming, but we can choose which ones to surf.

From a one to ten, I’d probably rank 9 on the emotional scale, but you know what? I’m only human.

Kasi McClure enjoys being a wife and mother of two in Kenai. She can be reached at columnkasi@gmail.com.

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