Sometimes I think I my heart is deformed. My capacity to love is limited. As scary as it sounds, I can turn off my emotions. I can feel nothing. I can make myself feel completely numb and uncaring.

I turn off my emotions as a defense mechanism. When something bad happens, I stop caring. I turn to books, music, homework, silence―anything to isolate myself from the rest of the universe. I am selfish because I don’t want to get hurt, even though I know I should care. But if I let myself feel, my emotions are intense and uncontrollable, like releasing a dam of feelings. I avoid emotions. But just like dams, there is a limit to the walls one can build until they crumble and the water rushes out.

My sister has always had a big heart. I was always the stingier one, the socially awkward one. She is so capable of love, and just radiates joy and energy. She is able to find good people to surround herself with can connect with virtually anyone. I respect her capacity to love and her ability to connect with virtually anyone. I am too cynical, too cold, too unforgiving. I see both the good and bad in people, but I have trouble bringing out the good in people because I see their faults too clearly. Even though I find success in school and will later in work, I am not a good person. It’s hard, because no one teaches you how to be a good person. Only life does, but it is always too late.

So before I regret not developing my emotions sooner, I need to start opening up now. Since high school is supposedly the period of self-discovery, I will experiment in this little realm and learn how to let people into my life. Right now, even my closest friends don’t truly feel close. We have connections, but I don’t think I have truly opened up. I know that they are great people, but I am scared to make the conscious decision to take a leap of faith and love them. Love is so vulnerable but so worth it if invested in the right people.

There is a disconnect between how people view me and who I truly am. Some people at school may even say that I am open, loving, and sweet. Little do they know how far away they are from the truth. Little do they know how much I lack a heart, and that my sweet side is just a facade. I want to close this connection, to make my presentations a little less sweet and make my true self a little more loving.

Maybe this is just a phase I am going through. It’s probably just today. I know yesterday I was happy. Most of the time, I feel like I love the world and all is going well. Maybe this momentary numbness is part of growing up. But I know deep inside that these rare, dark times when I feel numb and heartless hold the most truth to my character and in order to develop as a person I must learn how to control my emotions.

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