Who stole your enthusiasm?

6:10 PM

I've gotten into the habit of saying "get excited" sarcastically. As in "Spanish quiz tomorrow, get excited!"or "About to start that 20 page research paper... Get excited!" And recently, I've been struggling to be actually excited about things. Whenever I'm truly excited about something, I tend to play it down and my demeanor suddenly becomes "too cool for school" as I pretend to be mildly amused while suppressing the desire to jump up and down and laugh and giggle at something that sets my heart aflutter. Where did this reservation come from and why can't I shake it? What causes me to cover up an excitement that is bursting from within me? My theory is that somewhere along the line, high school probably, someone convinced me that my enthusiasm made me nerdy or childish and so I chose to reign it in and tone it down in order to please some standard I thought I had to meet.

There's a well known quote from John Green that says, "That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt." But I think that could be said for most emotions. Enthusiasm demands to be felt, happiness demands to be felt, insecurity, fear, awe, they all need to be felt. In my Theatre and the Church class this morning, my professor was explaining aesthetic experiences and she said "We were created for intense emotion."If we don't allow ourselves to feel our emotions we stunt our growth as people and eventually we'll have to experiences those feelings. If we want to live as we were intended to, we have to let ourselves feel, we have to let ourselves get excited and sad and whatever else we need to. So maybe I'll work on showing my excitement and delight when I feel it, and stop hiding it lest I be judged by some faceless entity that has no real value and purpose in my life. 
-E

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