As much as I like to say that people are capable of changing their lives if they want to, I’m afraid I’m not very good at doing it myself. Although it’s not my life that I want to change, but how I feel about it.
A guy I dated pointed out that I was pretty emotional, and it was a shock. I never thought of myself as emotional. I was rational, logical, happy, analytical. Emotional? Not me. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was true. (Then again, maybe just dealing with him made me that way, who knows.)
But whether he brought it out in me or just made me aware of it, I am now cursed with an overabundance of feeling. I feel everything SO deeply, to my own detriment. I rarely find myself floating peacefully through the day. Instead, any little thing turns me into an emotional wreck. I’m elated, I’m devastated, I’m incensed, I’m giddy. That heart that I used to wear on my sleeve? You know those women who carry those humongous bundles on their heads? Yep, that’s me.
I’m not saying I like it. I’m saying that’s the way it is. And I really want to change it, but I just don’t know how. I’m bone weary of hurting, of working myself into a state as I react to an imagined slight – on a real one. Of spending hours and days and weeks lost in pondering and fretting and bemoaning what was, and what isn’t, and what could be, and what shouldn’t be.
Then again, maybe it’s not my heart that’s the problem. Maybe it’s my brain, thinking too much. Maybe if I just let my heart take over, and shut down that thinking thing, I could find some peace. When I distract myself for a while, and get busy doing something besides fretting over – well, everything – the day passes easily, and my heart breathes a sigh of relief. Until I stumble into one of those countless emotional landmines that dot my landscape and that fist grips my heart, my stomach plunges, and I’m smack dab in the midst of miserable again.
The first step toward changing a behavior is recognizing it. So far, so good. Now, I just have to figure out how to take that second step, and third, and fourth, until I find myself back on stable emotional ground. In a place where the days pass easily, and I feel that steady, calm peace. I’m not sure how to get there; I’ve tried Google Maps, but when I type in “nirvana,” it directs me to an Indian restaurant in New Orleans.
Who knew that peace of mind could be found in a plate of Chicken Tikka Masala?
Anyway, maybe you like me because I’m so passionate about everything. Maybe I need to learn to embrace that passion, instead of suffering from it. Maybe I should become one of those wild artists who wear riotous colors, long fringy skirts and dangly earrings, and run around raving about life and love and everything in between. Maybe expressing my feelings, instead of bottling them up, is the key to getting rid of them. Or at least controlling them.
I’m not sure what the answer is, but I need to find it before I burn myself out. I’ll try the not-thinking thing, and the expressing thing, and see if they work. If not, maybe chocolate or tequila.
Or, if all else fails, I’ll head to New Orleans…
Chicken Tikka Masala, anyone?