My friend A has a sense of adventure that I admire as much as I fear.
She galivants around the world — by herself — hitch hiking and talking to strangers who quickly become stories in her never-ending journal of interesting conversations that seriously, no one else has. She is truly a curly-headed wonder woman who takes risks and creates a bucket list of things she actually ends up doing.
I consider her one of my strong-willed and fiercely independent companions — someone who praises me for having the balls to walk away from something wrong for me and then telling me an obscure fact about elephants a beat later. She’s not traditional but she does believe in traditions of great families, like the crazy one she comes from, and though she doesn’t care for those vulnerable pieces that make her beautifully gushy and maternal in all the right ways, I love it about her.
But she’s afraid of feelings. Actually, she says she’s not good at them.
And I’d have to agree. She has emotions — overpowering, vivid, passionate ones — that when she articulates them can sensationally take your breath away. But it’s a rarity when she lets it all out, when she makes herself tender enough to shed a layer of her sturdy walls — the ones meant to protect her and everyone she knows. Her emotions can overwhelm her in a way that she can’t process in the second the moment happens. And then the moment turns into a memory and then she has enough time to feel the feelings without avoiding them, and then that memory becomes a new fascinating, gripping tale she tells you.
The truth is, I wish I was like A. I wish I could think before I speak. I wish I was brave to tackle uncharted territory and I wish I was bad at feelings.
Because frankly, I’m almost too good at them.
Which is why Dr. Heart made it to this blog. Or why I developed faith in him before getting to honestly know him. In this case, I let the heart lead the head and the head found reasons to steer the heart away.
I hearted too soon.
As I often do, but this time, I went with my gut and the lessons I learned a little too hard from Mr. P and I got away from a negative nelly before he got the best of me. I also learned an important lesson about my own heart after prematurely naming someone a love doctor before truly getting to know his heart and seeing if it actually matched and beat along with mine.
I didn’t let feelings really develop before calling them emotions. They were, in all actuality, just thoughts. And while those are quite powerful demons when they want to be, when heart strings and brain waves work together, something wonderful happens. When they don’t, nothing really can ever work.
Those feelings, whatever they may be, they must be given time to foster.
Regardless if you’re good or bad at feelings, it you’re afraid of them or crave them, if you express them way too often or not at all — you have to have them.
And through relationships and anything else that’s tied closely to those pesky little butterflies that direct so many of our decisions, you have to feel your way to figure out which direction is best.
You have to try to fail, you have to cry to swell, you have to hope to cope, and you have to think you know, only to find out that you, well, don’t.
I’m not sure what’s next for me and whatever mister I muster the courage to welcome into my life, my bed, my never, ever giving up soul — but if anything, I’m not worried. I can feel my way through and figure it all out with those feelings.
Just like I always have, just like A has, even if we verbalize them differently. Even if being bad or good at feelings doesn’t really mean anything — the most important thing about those annoying, constant and sometimes fascinating flutters, is that after every disappointment or struggle or relationship that never actually became such a thing after all… You still have them. You still let yourself feel them.
You let them figure it all out. After all, good or bad, they do know best.