A sociologist beau told me about "super feelers", people who feel things more acutely than others. Shoot, just what I wanted, to be my beau's test study -- which didn't soften the blow at all when he later rejected me for what he admitted were "superficial" reasons.
I am who I am, and I don't feel apologetic about it even though there are plenty of people who like to say us sensitives ought to toughen up. I don't regret having a tender heart except when I'm crying a river over losing someone I love. At least I can love, and you know Dumbledore said love is the highest form of magic.
I've been trying to decipher what parts of myself and my beliefs are self-created, and which parts have been put into me from others. Happy memories of a playful, loving boy makes my heart feel more open and healthy. Loving that boy was true to my heart.
When I was in college, I fought with myself to create art that I thought would earn good grades. I wasn't doing the art that came naturally and easy to me. I was following someone else's vision instead of doing what makes me different than everyone else, and I was often stressed and unhappy.
Perhaps one of my best lessons came from a bad teacher. He favored modernistic simplicity. My highly rendered work got Bs and Cs while what I considered lazy art got As. I fought the good fight for a while, but eventually caved and made lazy art too. I got an A. Fine. I learned better things from better teachers and quit stressing about the stupid drawing class. In fact, since I no longer cared about that class I had more time for homework in classes I respected more.
Making lazy art let me do what came easiest to me. In a way, this lousy teacher was inspiring me to be truer to my own nature. I started taking more shortcuts in other classes. My grades remained good and I ended up with enough free time to get my first job in advertising. I had everything I wanted: time, money, self-expression.
I am sensitive. For some people, too sensitive. Okay. I'd rather be empathic, and I can't change my nature anyway. I'll use my sensitivity as I see fit and express it in my art -- and while I'm making that art, I'll discover other aspects of myself that are true to me instead of what I've been told to be.
When we're true to ourselves, our hearts are happy. We leave positive footprints in our world and in the hearts of others. This is why we're here. It's why people are different from each other. In the words of Dr. Seuss...