Honesty is the scariest thing I’ve ever known. By being vulnerable and honest with your emotions, you open yourself up to a world of hurt. Your honesty can be taken advantage of. It can become the reason people are apprehensive to spend time with you. And no, I’m not talking about “mean” honesty. Not “Sorry I’m just gonna be honest…there’s no way he’ll ever like you”, but instead emotional honesty like, “Oh I’m good…actually no. Honestly, I’m feeling really weak today and I need help”. While all types of honesty are important in this world, the kind I try to base my life on is emotional honesty. I don’t know what the scientific term is for this concept, but to me, emotional honesty is telling people about the emotions you are really feeling at any moment. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been honest with my emotions to a fault. When I was really young, I cried all the time if I was sad, and I carried that into teenage-hood too. People around me always try to put on a smile and a positive attitude. While that is healthy sometimes, honesty should prevail.
By putting on these fake smiles for other people’s sake, we bottle up our emotions, leading us to never attack the cause of the pain. Honesty leads to your self-awareness and thus makes you better at handling day-to-day problems.
Honesty also helps build connections like nothing else can. The best friendships I have are the ones in which both of us can be honest when we’re hurting. By sharing our struggles, we build a deeper trust that is so much stronger than that of friendships composed of fake smiles and pretending to be okay.
Honesty lets us feel like we aren’t alone. If we all put on these fake smiles, logically everyone will appear happy when that is so far from the truth. However, if we wear real smiles and real frowns, depending on what we’re feeling at that moment, we will be able to see that we are not alone in our emotions at all.
I could go on and on about why it’s better to be upfront about the way you feel, but before I start shoving all my beliefs at you, let me introduce myself.
My name is Anna, and I’m a 16 year old living in Pennsylvania. I have been running cross country and track for about three years now. I’m obsessed with summer and can’t wait to eventually live somewhere warm. I take mostly honors and AP classes and they kick my butt every. single. day. I volunteer with kids at my old elementary school every week, and I love my friends and family to pieces.
That’s all surface level though, and my goal with this page is to always go beyond that. You may know the characteristics above if you go to the same school as me or if we’ve talked a couple times. They make up important parts of who I am, but it’s so important to go deeper.
As a kid I was bullied A LOT, and it has died down a lot but still is a concept prevalent in my life. I didn’t know English until I was around five years old, and this language barrier stopped me from standing up to the people that hurt me because in a way, I felt inferior to them. School isn’t awful for me, but it’s surely not where I want to spend my days. My grades are not bad by any means, but still I knock myself down when I compare my grades to those of my genius friends. I’ve had my fair share of crappy relationships. Too many times to count, I’ve made my happiness depend on someone else even though I knew it was wrong. These aspects of my life are below the tip of the iceberg for me. They are what make me who I truly am, and not just the well-rounded happy kid that I would love to convince myself I am.
I share these things with most people because I see no point in trying to hide my struggles. Again, the strongest connections I have are the ones I have made by being honest about my emotions. Of course, there are some obstacles that this honest approach can bring to life. At parties, I’m not usually the person dancing and having the time of my life; I’m the person listening to someone vent about what they’re struggling with. I love that role of mine. I’m not good at a lot of things (just ask anyone who’s tried to do a lab with me) but talking and listening are two of the things that I’m best at and genuinely love doing. Through these conversations, I grow and hopefully help the person too. I wouldn’t trade these honest conversations for the world.
At times, my honesty can be too much for people. Society often doesn’t want to deal with constant negativity and complaining, and that is completely natural. I often come on too strong to people. I tell too many people about who I like at the time and eventually I even tell the crush himself. Whether or not that’s good is still unclear to me, but what I do know is that telling people is so much easier for me than bottling it up. Whenever I have problems in my relationships, I confront them head on. This, I know, is healthy. But honesty is often repulsing to people, and that’s fine. I’ve learned that the people who want you in their lives will embrace and grow to love and reciprocate that honesty.
My friend and I came into my room once, and she asked why I always have my curtains open. There’s a huge tree next to my window and unless someone was REALLY looking, he or she really wouldn’t be able to see into my room. Still, my friend had a point. Most people wouldn’t want someone to see what goes on behind their curtains. And while I agree that I wouldn’t want a stranger to see me changing, I have no problem with the risk that they’ll see me having a solo dance party when I’m happy or bawling my eyes out when I’m sad. This simple conversation was a light bulb moment for me as I realized that everyone naturally wants to keep their metaphorical curtains closed. My goal is to encourage you all to open your inner curtains.
I don’t have a lot of credibility. I haven’t taken any psychology courses or anything like that. I haven’t even graduated high school yet, but I truly believe my experiences are shaping my view on the world and thus helping me gain so much wisdom. I’m not much different from a regular teenager, but I know my perspective is pretty unique. I promise this page won’t become a public diary, but instead a place where I talk about ideas prevalent in the world we live in, but without all of the sugarcoating. If something sucks, I want to acknowledge that instead of pretending it’s all peachy keen. Whether you’re a relative, or someone that goes to school with me, or a stranger that has stumbled upon my page, I hope you keep reading along, but more importantly, that you open those curtains proudly.