We live in a generation of humans who are flirting with the idea of being together, yet 100% available. In case something better comes along. Yet, the unspoken rule is that you can no longer date anyone else, because that would be similar to cheating, yet, we see it all the time. Hence the reason we often find ourselves unsure of our relationship status until we have “the talk”. These stipulations of being together yet single, but also expectations to not see anyone else can be disheartening. And honestly, super confusing.
It’s convenient for the one’s who are trying to play the field and not wanting to get into anything serious. But what about the other player in The Game? The one getting unavoidably attached and getting their hopes up for a potential relationship?
Because truly, how embarrassing is it to show that you actually care and have your pride utterly crushed.
What a way to live right?
And don’t believe the “I’m So Busy” excuse. People make time for the things that they want.
Feelings come and go like waves when it comes to dating, but delving into the biological and societal background of why and how we experience emotions outside of the newness of relationships is what I find intriguing. I am interested in what “normal emotions” look like in daily life, excluding the dating scene. As a psychology major, there should be no surprise that I gravitate towards science when it comes to relationships and compatible personality traits. There are a variety of different “feelers” out there. What I mean by that, is that there are personalities that are studied to help you better understand your emotional wellbeing and learn to adapt to other personalities that seem to clash with your own. I took the test below and got ENFJ, extraverted, intuitive, feeling, prospecting, and assertive.
This information helps me understand how my feelings affect my daily decisions, while enlightening me how my brain works when it comes to my emotions, and how to possibly navigate these feelers before I succumb to the overwhelming confusion and anxiety they often carry with them.
Because of my “intuitive and feeling” characteristics, I tend to absorb other people’s emotions and find ways to please them, putting others before myself. Which can be a wonderful trait, but sometimes I find myself bending over backwards, draining myself, physically and emotionally, whether it’s with work, relationships or friendships. I absentmindedly go overboard trying to please everyone until I am worn and physically ill. Generating a colossal breakdown at the most inappropriate of times, like the workplace, somewhere in public or to stranger with an open ear. After bottling those emotions for months on end, it leaves me wondering why I feel so depressed, sensitive, angry, crazy and lost.
The Psychology Of Emotions, Feelings and Thoughts couldn’t express emotional states any better than this;
“An emotional state is a very complicated thing. If someone knew completely their emotional state, they would know everything they were feeling right then. Then they wouldn’t really have any “unconscious” emotions, because they would be perfectly conscious of what they were feeling. But then again, it is impossible to feel the full force of all your feelings at once, so it is not possible to be completely conscious of all your feelings. Your unconscious feelings must be dimmed down, or only large in a way that isn’t completely conscious. Like you know you have a large emotion, but aren’t in touch with it.
Emotional states are complicated, it would be easy to say, “my emotional state right now is really messed up” because that is what emotional states are like, people have several emotions they are experiencing all the time, it is just hard to identify that this is occurring because I would say that people can only identify when they have a large, clear emotion that they can understand.”
When you hit rock bottom, there is no better time to fully rebuild yourself and use your emotions as guidance and useful signs, rather than to write them off as psychotic or crazy.
Why was I feeling angry? Possibly frustrated at myself for taking on too many hours, 85+ a week, with too many jobs. Leaving myself grasping for hours to chase sleep or have enough energy to exercise. I exposed myself to unrelenting pressure, allowing my emotions to burst into vulnerable sadness, tender from the rawness of pure exhaustion, letting my immune system weaken and leaving me sick for multiple weeks in a row. No amount of money is worth that!!
Trying to figure out a way to build a solid foundation for your future in the 20-something stages when you’re trying to figure out your place in the world can be unruly, comfortless and dismal.
This past week has been a week full of tests for me. What I mean by tests is that the universe put everything in its power to disrupt my mindfulness and inner peace.
Due to abrupt unforeseen events, I lost my job. Two days earlier I was struck on my passenger side in an intersection in the middle of downtown Portland in Chinatown around 1am, the driver didn’t see anyone coming, and I happened to be in the wrong place at the right time. Having worked both jobs that day feeling exhaustingly sick, as a barista from 6am to 1pm, then rushing to my waitressing job from 2pm to 1am since no one could cover for me. The last thing I wanted to deal with was a car accident. Luckily, she was super sweet and we both ended up tearing up and hugging each other in the middle of the night, both two souls looking for comfort from life, even if we were complete strangers. And I am thankful, because it could have been far worse.
At this point, losing a job that was my main source of income was not ideal. That day, as I turned my burning red face away from my now ‘previous bosses’, cliche rain falling from the dark clouds above, trickling down my even cloudier mind. I managed to hold my tears until I reached the comfort of my door handle of my recently-damaged car with a $60 parking ticket on my windshield, leaving me with an even deeper sense of affliction in the crater of my being. Could anything else possibly go wrong? I realized at that moment, I could rise above my emotions, pretend everything was fine, or I could fully immerse myself in these dismal, raw emotions my body was shaking from, and begin the process of overcoming them with faith that life will get better. I have the strongest emotional support system I could ever ask for. The best of friends, roommate, and family I wouldn’t trade all of the cinnamon rolls in the world for.
However, sometimes it’s not that simple to transfer your emotions to thoughts of logic. I would be lying to everyone if I said I was fine. I am the absolute opposite of fine. In fact, I feel like a failure. The one job that I had to save money for my future endeavors such as graduate school, a new car, and living expenses is gone. How would I be able to afford my apartment in Portland? How was I going to explain this to everyone?
Regardless of my embarrassment and feelings of failure, this job will never reflect my character or change who I am as a person. Resilience and coping skills have never been my strongest traits, but these last few years have changed that. You can ride with the waves, or drown in them. Perspective, perseverance and faith are the key factors to surviving when you’re broken. And broken is okay, feeling broken cloaked in vulnerability are the most beautifully real feelings we can experience as humans before we can understand success and discover pure, divine peace.
That night, I could hardly lift my head from my pillow. I undressed, peeling the clothes from my cold, palmy skin. With a clouded mind, I hazily made my way to my walk-in closet and laid my body onto the neglected piles of clothes that have been begging for my attention to be folded or hung for weeks. I couldn’t feel anything.
The shower continued to pour out of the shower head without caring it wasn’t being used for anything but adding cushion to my electricity bill.
Minutes went by, maybe hours. I couldn’t be sure. I pulled myself from my needy clothes and realized I had one of two options.
- I could suppress these emotions, pretend that everything was fine, shower off the day and continue to live my life as the bubbly Brit who never seems to have a care in the world. Wait until the breakdown happens, most likely during a stressful time at work, or during rush hour traffic. Allow the stress to invade my immune system, lose sleep and wait for sickness to seduce my body bed, offering the only comfort in the world. A way to hide through slumber.
- Fully immerse myself in my emotions, allow them to flood my blood stream, spread into my veins and let the salty liquid fall from my eyes. Try to understand them. Make peace with them. Find the tools I need to move forward. Taking it one day at a time. Focus on my passions and heal through physical exercise and mindfulness, giving my body time to heal.
I don’t have all the answers. I can only go off of what I have experienced. I wish I had the answer to what would make you feel happier after you lose your job, that completely isolating yourself from the world actually helps. But it doesn’t. Maybe for a short amount of time, sure. But months pass by and my only comfort is the 4 walls of my bedroom with the blinds closed, suppressing feelings such as feeling unlovable, undesirable, lost, and completely dejected, living a life to merely get by, to pay bills, doing what society suggest, living colorless and vapid.
As I said, I don’t have the answers, but the one drive that fills my soul is passion. I love to write, I love to run, find new music, meet new people, read and research, and travel. I know if I am immersing myself in any of these activities that I will no doubt have a smile plastered on my heart soon enough, thanks to resilience.
However, sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to do to get to your envisioned destination. Nothing is always butterflies and smiles.
Don’t let anyone hush or judge your emotions. Expressing your emotions and fully allowing yourself to figure out what they mean will only help you heal sooner. In fact, I find people who take care of themselves and take the time to be mindful and honest about their feelings are confident and healthier.
To read a beautiful, enlightening article written by a brave, talented friend of mine on her struggle with depression, I recommend reading ‘the girl behind the mask’ here on the link below.
“I think people need to be more open about their flaws and broken parts. Scars tell stories. Scars mean survival. Scars mean you showed up for the fight instead of running from it.
Life requires guts. It requires bravery and courage… It requires vulnerability.
It’s time that we bring mental illness to the table.
#BeVocalSpeakUp | #BreakTheStigma”