Expressing your feelings, no matter the outcome

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Throughout my pre-college school years, I was known as the quiet one. The one who would go along with any plan and never voice my opinion or feelings.
Sometimes that was a good thing, but other times, it put me in situations I didn’t want to be in.
During my senior year in high school that changed. I met a boy.
His name was Christian and he was an exchange student from Germany. Although ours was not his designated host family, we spent a lot of time with him.
My mom made him lunch and he always enjoyed going to the movies with us, spending time with my family and enjoying the sights and sounds of the American South.
Prom season was underway and one day at school, in the middle of the crowded hallway, he approached me with a flower and asked me to go to the dance with him in front of everyone.
I was so excited and it made me feel special. At this point, neither one of us had made our feelings, if we had any, known.
We had a wonderful time at the prom and the next big event was my graduation ceremony.
His family even flew in from Germany for the occasion. I was so proud to have him and his family participate in my life- changing event.
Christian’s stay in America was coming to an end and I realized I didn’t want him to leave without knowing how I felt.
So, prior to a going away dinner, as I drove him to the restaurant, I told him I liked him.
It was not easy for me. I feared rejection, ridicule and a whole host of other things the paranoid side of my brain could think of.
But he handled it with dignity, stating that he was moving back to Germany and a relationship probably wouldn’t sustain that type of distance.
Even though I agreed and cried during most of the dinner, I didn’t regret my decision to tell him how I felt.
More often than not, we hide our feelings. After that day, I knew I wanted to continue telling others just how I felt about things, no matter the situation.
What we must also learn is that there is a time and place to express our thoughts and concerns. But it’s important to do so when the chance arises. You never know what you might be missing out either if you don’t say what you feel or mean.
That’s what I like about writing a staff column. It gives me the chance to express feelings I may be having at the time or share a story, like this one, that I happen to suddenly remember.
I encourage everyone to document your stories. You don’t have to share it with everyone, as writing in a diary is also a cathartic practice. Here at the Item, you can submit guest columns and if you enjoy writing, give it a chance.
You never know the impact your words may have on someone’s life.

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