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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

CADY: Be brave, show big feelings

Graphic by Kendal Bell
Graphic by Kendal Bell

I never really outgrew being the little girl who loved too much.

We all experience emotions, feelings, love and hurt in our own ways. All of these big feelings were ones I carried with me and never really learned to put down. I have always been the lover, the mediator, the fixer and I took these roles very seriously throughout my childhood and adolescence.

If a friend needed a shoulder to cry on, I was that. If there was an argument in my family and we needed someone to calm the storm, I was there. If I encountered an issue with someone I loved and it needed fixing, I did it. Anytime someone I knew was experiencing something I was right there with them.

In eleventh grade, I had a teacher who was very influential on my life. I had her write my letter of recommendation for college because I heard she was great at it, and that was all that I really thought of it. Little did I know how much this letter would change my life.

In it, she discussed my academics, credentials and why I would make a good student at any college. But, that was all very standard and generic. What captured me was a word, a characterization that I had never heard of: empath.

This meant that when I walked into a room, I let the emotions of everybody in it overtake me. When I spoke with people, I held their words close to my heart. When I loved people, I never really let go.  

I sometimes feel that I am really a composition of everyone I have ever loved and lost; they never really leave my heart.

All of this to say, I have really big feelings and I always have. I love people wholeheartedly even when it hurts, sometimes especially when it hurts. My heart breaks for people who have broken mine.

This sentiment works in reverse. I also become very easily excited by what some would classify as “the little things in life.” Sometimes people tend to categorize enthusiasm as obnoxious, I would disagree completely. I love to feel the rush of a new coffee shop or have a good conversation or finish a great book. These things make my heart happy and that is important.

The ebb and flow of human emotion is far from a simple thing, but it is inevitable.

My whole life the number one criticism I have gotten is that I’m too sensitive. I used to be made even more sensitive by that comment because it made me feel weak or as if I was some kind of glass vase that if nudged too hard would shatter everywhere and nobody would want to stick around to pick up the pieces.

A lot of people feel that way which is why I think it is important to shift our perspective on sensitivity. Especially when we’re going through our formative years as teenagers and young twenty-somethings.

During this time in our lives, we are going to face a lot of confusion, build and break important relationships and probably lose sight of ourselves a time or two. Throughout all of this, there are going to be a lot of big feelings and emotions. If you’re like me, somebody with thin skin and a vulnerable heart, these things will probably take a significant toll on you.

It is okay to feel. It is okay to love too hard and have your heart broken. It is okay to have big dreams and be elated when they work out or shattered when they don’t. It is okay to empathize with people even if it hurts you too sometimes. I’m not advocating for anybody to suffer – I’m simply saying that feeling things intensely is okay.

At the end of the day, I would rather have a good heart and put that into everything that I do, everyone I love and everything that I am instead of doing things apathetically, or half-heartedly. I always want to have an open heart because living any other way would be dishonest to myself. And that is the only disingenuous way to live.

This story was written by Grace Cady. She can be reached at [email protected]

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About the Contributor
Grace Cady
Grace Cady, Managing Editor of the Marquette Journal
Grace Cady is a senior at Marquette University from Delafield, Wisconsin. She is majoring in journalism and political science. This year she will be the managing editor of the Journal. Outside of the Wire, Grace likes to read, write creatively, watch movies and spend time with friends & family. Prior to this year, she served as the executive opinions editor at the Wire and has held intern positions at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee Magazine and the National Federation of Federal Employees in Washington, D.C. Additionally, Grace is part of the O'Brien Investigative Fellowship program this year alongside Julia Abuzzahab.

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