What an emotional roller coaster I just went through! I can’t help but wonder when I became this sensitive. When I was 14, I remember snickering at the people who cried when they had to say good-bye to the friends they had made after a week long camp. Looking back at that now, I still don’t know if I that was something worth crying over, but it certainly wasn’t something to laugh at. Because it is sad. It’s sad to have a good time with somebody – whether it be for a day, a week, or 2 months – and then have the finality of the end sink in. When the actual meaning behind the words good bye hits you, especially when it implies forever, why, it just might be one of the most depressing things in the world.
It feels different to leave Berlin than it felt to leave home. I know I’m not really leaving home – it’s just a temporary leave. But to leave this family in Berlin, a family that adopted me into their daily lives with open arms, who introduced me to their family and friends, who let me take part in their traditions…I just never thought it would affect me this much.
I don’t know when I became the girl who is seemingly moved by everything: a sentence, an expression, a photo, a little child running, an old couple sitting on a bench, a nicely arranged dinner table. It’s almost as though my heart has grown two sizes since I was a little girl, or perhaps I’m simply realizing how much emotion I’m actually capable of feeling.
I never thought I’d be the girl sitting on a train in the heat of Berlin, wiping tears from her eyes and avoiding eye contact with other passengers. I never thought I’d be the girl who would wake up early just to stare at the sunrise and actually feel things that I can’t even put into words. I never thought I’d be the girl buying old photo albums that belonged to strangers or the girl who was hesitant to touch the Berlin Wall because of all the feelings it would inspire.
I just never knew I could feel this much. No one in my family is emotional like this – or at least, if they are they don’t express it. Maybe they’re embarrassed to feel. Maybe we’re all embarrassed to feel. I know I am but I don’t know why. I don’t know why I sometimes get embarrassed to show the world that I have a heart, or that I can be moved by things, or that I’m not made of stone. I suppose because it makes me appear vulnerable and weak. But at the end of the day, I’m actually happy that I feel things, even though sometimes the things I feel are sad and make me want to cry. I’m happy I feel things, even though I sometimes feel embarrassed about expressing these feelings.
I hope I never stop feeling things, even if that means I have to wipe tears from my eyes on a crowded train. I hope I will forever be moved by pretty sunsets, and flying birds, and friendly smiles, and the sound of rain. I hope books, and people, and the way the world looks on a lonely winter’s morning will continue to affect me. And I hope there comes a day when I will stop being embarrassed about it.