Shades of emotions

Feelings take on such a different shape a decade on.

They often come in layered complexity now; in a tenuous indecision that lingers.

I remember rolling in bed during a particular break week in secondary school , frustrated at not being allowed out, which in my opinion was a bloody waste of holidays. Cooped up at home when everyone was out! I indulged in this emotion for probably about 10-15 minutes; a conscious moment of indulgent mourning and almost-boredom before I toddled off to nose myself in a book. That was a scene I remember vividly, one intense but fleeting.

Emotions were straightforward. Everything was linear and simple; conversations naturally desired writing, and writing to sharing and conversation. Nowadays, conversations―or rather, liaising―exhaust and drain, leaving me empty and searching for something to refuel.

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Recently I realised I don’t understand the feeling of loneliness; I can’t remember ever having experienced it (more on that next time). It also struck me that the feeling of boredom has changed; it’s no longer ever boredom but perhaps restlessness, uncertainty, a feeling there is much more. Time has become a rare commodity, as so has silence. It is all to easy to find a quick solution when you’re more able―distractions that come in various forms such as people, events and the materialistic―all that build a nice bright bubble around you that you admit one day it only highlights the hollowness within.

Then it returns to the same cycle of restlessness, the intrigue of something new, temporal thrill and mirth, and the hollow back louder.

There is of course always the puncture of what is awaiting. Excusing yourself during Wednesday drinks for a morning meeting the next day, cancelling on meetups because you can’t leave the office or your child is sick, a Sunday dinner with an eye on the clock. Not to say it’s a bad thing, just the growing up that comes with better judgement and analytical skills which comes with more standards and responsibilities which comes with the disappearing ability of carefree behaving. The natural progression is such that one is supposed to be weighing the consequences―a game of deciding what is more worth it: a hangover or missing a drinking session with old friends.

The mind has caught up with the heart now. A well-matched tug-of-war, perhaps with roles reversed. This complicates feelings, because they aren’t that―not just feelings.

And it’s easy to replace feelings or the lack thereof (such as restlessness, feeling lost, emptiness) with logical and/or tangible achievements like money, possessions, ranking. Beware if they are sole motivations.

Find instead what gives you something you didn’t fully understand before: peace, joy―and the ability to appreciate the simplest.

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