Don’t Hold Your Pee

I believe in not holding your pee.

When I was in the first grade, I had a wild imagination. So wild that my biggest fear was going to the bathroom.  My six year old self was terrified of the bottomless hole that sucked down gallons of water into an unknown place. I even thought that monsters lived in the pipes of toilets. While laughable to most, this fear was real. It caused me to hold my pee until the very last minute which ultimately put me in the hospital with a kidney infection.

When I finally returned to elementary school, my mom made sure to tell my teacher about what happened and forced the school to remind me to go to the bathroom.

“Emilia, it’s time to go to the bathroom” my teacher would announce in front of the entire class. To me, this was public humiliation. I was traumatized. The other first graders in the room would look at me weirdly and I hated it. At that moment, I began to despise attention.

I lived a long portion of my life hating attention.

I remember my very first day of English freshman year. I went home crying about the fact that we had a participation grade. I actually enjoy giving prepared presentations or reading prayers in chapel. However, sharing my own ideas in front of the class, well that was a different story. Let me set the stage. I shake my leg under the table so much that it causes a mini earthquake on the surface of the large round table. I write down random quotations on a piece of paper and attempt to formulate the perfect sentence. I end up losing all track of the entire conversation and start again at square one. This was a typical Harkness discussion for me.

Others were always somewhat confused about why I was so terrified to participate in class. “Are you scared of your teachers? Are you bored in class?” my parents would ask me. “You just need to get over this a learn how to talk” my advisor explained. In all honesty, I did not have much support from anyone which made me feel as if I had something wrong with me.

I continued to hate Harkness the rest of my freshman year. After a year of tears and fear, my parents finally tried to understand why I was so scared, and began to support me. All I really needed was to feel as if this was a normal stage in my life and that other people are in fact in my same position. After I got over that, my outlook on getting attention began to change.

Now, as a senior, I learned that I can’t hold my pee. I shouldn’t be afraid of what others think of me. I shouldn’t be afraid to be laughed at. I believe that holding your pee doesn’t allow you to fully develop and get the most out of life. I am not saying I am completely confident and I am still not the biggest fan of receiving attention. However, I now know that there is no point in being scared of sharing my own thoughts no matter how silly or stupid they may seem. I no longer cry about participation grades, but I actually look forward to those days when I know I have Something meaningful to share.

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