I’m easily moved. It’s not uncommon that I suffer gut-wrenching, side-splitting, deep-in-the-center-of-my-being emotive responses to any number of things. It could be the cinematic excellence of all the elements coming together to create a perfect moment on film. For example, I cry every time I see the opening scene of Finding Nemo. Or the brilliant lyrics of a song that makes the hair on my skin stand at attention. Like, listening to “Casimir Pulaski Day” by Sufjan Stevens pretty much means I’m DONE for the day.

It could be a piece of artwork so lovely that the image, the memory of viewing it, is forever burned into the back of my eyeballs. It could be a poem, a particularly stunning line of a book, or even a surprising phrase articulated in conversation. I always have pens and notebooks for underlining or jotting down notes because the fear of forgetting beautiful words is almost incapacitating. It can be any interaction with a person, no matter how brief or trivial. It can be a garden, a pretty view, the perfect moment I feel sometimes when the sun shines and a breeze blows as I walk my dog — anything. The fact of the matter is, I’m sensitive, okay?

I’ll admit that sometimes this emotional epilepsy, the frantic frenzy of feelings, can get me into trouble. I get obsessed, I fixate, I take things way too earnestly, and sometimes a song or a conversation or even a word can have me locked up in my head, thinking relentlessly with no end in sight. But, as frustrating as this might sound, as exhausted as I sometimes am by my own, sometimes embarrassing, displays of emotion, I kind of like it. I like feeling.

I love the constant need to find things that move me, that can take me to that crazy receptive, borderline fanatical place I go sometimes. I enjoy being vulnerable. It’s given me the opportunity to focus on little things, the simplicities of life that make it so very worth living. While there is a downside of blowing things way out of proportion, having dramatic responses that may not always seem entirely logical, I feel like the ability to be so hyper-receptive has made it that much easier to see why this world is so beautiful, sometimes bizarre, and at times overwhelming.

I don’t claim to be an expert in any of this, and I would be the first to admit that I don’t always live up to my own standards. Sometimes, I do make mistakes; I let my negative emotions force me backward away from this state of wonder I try to dwell in. But, I’m being perfectly honest when I admit that this sensitivity I have, while at times is troublesome, has instilled in me an immense passion for culture, for creativity, for the people and things in this strange life that I’ve come to embrace. It is my life-line, my life force, my everything.

Be sensitive to someone or something today and every day. You may just like it.

Stephanie Harper received her Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Fairfield University with an emphasis in fiction. Her work can be found in The Huffington Post, The Montreal Review, Poetry Quarterly, Midwest Literary Magazine, Haiku Journal, Spry “Briefs”, and Now What? The Creative Writer’s Guide to Success After the MFA. She served as Fiction Co-Editor for Mason’s Road Literary Journal and is currently an editorial reader for Spry Literary Journal. She lives in Denver, CO.

Image via Giphy