I wonder how many times I’ve written the words “I’ve never felt like this” in my diaries. Growing up has been a lot of never-felt-like-this-before moments and it’s odd that I’m still going to have these little blinks at times where the emotions running through me are unfamiliar. My favorite thing to tell other people who are afraid of the unknown is that they should try their hardest to see the blank page as exciting instead of daunting. I wish I could take my own advice more often.

Instead, the fear holds me like a puppet on strings. I’ll feel a new feeling and instantly revert to a baby who has just farted for the first time. First of all, what the heck was that? Should I be afraid? Well, let me just start crying anyways.

In true ambivert fashion, I’ve had these scary moments among large groups of people and all alone too. The most recent was at a small art show that I was being featured in. It was taking place during a time when I felt like everything in my life was going horribly wrong and I had no control over it. I focused all of my attention on the very short film that would be shown. I was so proud of it.

When the night of the show came around, I dressed up for the first time in a while. I laid on the floor with everyone else and watched as all the films were projected onto the ceiling. Every time one of my peers got the much deserved applause that followed their work, I got a little more excited for the cheers and claps reserved for me.

“That’s all the films!”

No the heck it is not. My film has not flashed against that eggshell colored plaster, so why is everyone getting up?

I rushed to the person running the projector to ask what was up and they informed me that there was no more time so my film wouldn’t be shown. Just mine.

I’ve never felt that kind of disappointment and embarrassment in my life. So many people had come to see my work and it wasn’t happening. I cried in front of the art for longer than I want to admit.

On the other end of extremes, I’ve been moved to tears by waking up to a beautiful sky after camping without my family for the first time. The time I walked to get coffee alone by myself in San Francisco was next level freedom for me and I cried into my cup when I got back to the hotel room.

There are going to be a lot of times where my feelings are completely new to me. I wonder how different my life will be when I see them as skills instead of setbacks. ♦