How embracing my emotions helped me accept my identity and learn to love

I always thought I was an emotionally unattached person. I never got attached to boys—I never was as deep emotionally with them as they were with me. I always said to my friend, “I don’t know how people can get attached so fast,” “I don’t see myself in a relationship with anyone” and “I don’t understand how someone would want to talk to someone all the time. Don’t they get bored? Don’t they have a life?”

I could never relate to Facebook posts where it would have “cute” relationship quotes. I hated being sent sappy paragraphs—I would roll my eyes and mutter, “Ew, stop.” Whenever I was with a boy I’d never get jealous or protective. All this really made me think I was just a heartless person—like I wasn’t capable of love.

But like anyone, I craved attention. So I went out with boys that I ended up not giving a shit about, and feeling so confused about why I couldn’t form deep feelings for anyone. And that actually helped me fully come to term with my sexuality—I realized I’m not into boys one bit. When I started getting involved with girls, I realized, “Shit, this is what I’ve been missing.”

I found myself falling for girls so hard and quick. I started to realize how and why people got jealous, and how it was possible to want to talk to someone every single minute of the day. I realized how people could fall so quick and hard for someone. If I ever got sent an emotional message, my day went from zero to 100 real quick.

I went from being so emotionally unattached and never getting hurt, to being so vulnerable and knowing that I could easily get my heart broken—and no one wants to have to grieve a loss of someone who’s still alive.

Feelings are scary, and it’s something that I struggle with even to this day. Speaking to a girl or forming any kind of relationship with one scares the living day lights out of me, because it’s such a strong feeling that I’m not used to and haven’t even really experienced before.

I feel like the general population has a lot of experience in heartbreak, which I am envious of because they started experiencing it from such a young age. I’m sure it sucks just the same, being heartbroken at age 18 versus when you were 14. But for me, I’m 18 and I’m only just discovering how much one-sided feelings, insecurities, or breakups can fuck you up so bad—and it’s all so terrifying. It seems like it’s the worst thing in the world.

But I’m trying my hardest not to protect my heart, to embrace the vulnerability inside me and stop myself from always thinking that the worst is going to happen. I want to open my heart to these new feelings. I’m learning that getting your feelings hurt is inevitable and you just need to accept it and move forward as best you can.

I would much rather get hurt a million times than be stuck pretending to be something I’m not, and generally being unhappy and lonely. It’s probably one of the scariest things I’ve ever felt, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Open your heart to love and I promise you it will be the best decision of your life. Love is love—embrace it!

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