By Michelle Naim
I’ll be the first person to raise a my hand and say that if I could theoretically “kill” any part of my consciousness, I would vote to have my emotions run over by a large truck. It would save me, and other people, a lot of pain, suffering, frustration, and heartache. But then I got to thinking about it a little more and while, yes, it would be nice for these tough emotions to be roadkill on the corner of Park Avenue and 34th Street, I wouldn’t want my emotions to be gone forever. Why, you might ask?
It’s true that challenging emotions such as shame, hurt, anger, resentment, and disappointment sting—sometimes to our cores—but they are also the birthplace of emotions that we all want to feel. We all crave joy, hope, bravery, and love. But these emotions come at a cost. In order to feel love, we have to face the fact that those who love us most will also be the ones with the power to hurt us the most. In order to feel hope, we must feel sorrow, or loss, first. In order to feel brave we have to do something really really scary and come out of it with our heads up. In order to feel joy we have to be ourselves, and it may be a bumpy ride figuring that out.
I keep asking myself: do I really want the cliché answer, “You’re going to have to go through some hard times to get to the good times?” No. I’d choose the day that I saw my brother come home with a huge grin on his face after he’d scored 8 points during his little league basketball game over the day my boyfriend decided to ghost me. But those down days make the days that we look outside our windows and think, “Woah, my life rocks,” that much sweeter. They make those former days a thing of the past. They’re still very real, and painful, but we get to live, and laugh, through them. We still cry, but have a friend there with us. We still feel sad, but our roommates will tell us that we’re still beautiful, strong, and independent. We still get homesick, but our moms and dads will never stop loving us, no matter how far away we live.
I haven’t lived for very long, but I have had some incredible moments in my lifetime. Even if they were few and far between, which, thank God, they are not, I would still opt to live with my sucky emotions. Some days, I just wish they would die and never come back; but then there are days when you see an old friend on the subway you haven’t seen in years, the nights you Facetime with your family and just laugh for hours, or the times you just walk around New York City and think: “Wow, I am blessed.”