There’s this thing that I really struggle with called, feelings. I share those struggles with you often. Last night at therapy, my counselor pointed out an interesting perspective on this that I often take for granted.
I struggled to articulate to her that I’m overwhelmed with emotion right now, but none of it is negative– they’re all really great feelings. See, for as deeply I feel sadness, I feel joy just as exaggerated. I’m talking an all-encompassing, too moving to speak, skipping, and tears of joy kind of happy. I’m only now coming to grips with the fact that a lot of people don’t feel their happiness as intensely. Growing up, I assumed that everyone had their own happy triggers– their own things that they were crazy passionate about. I recall friends telling me that they wished they had “things” they were as into as I was about an amusement park and a band. I was sure they did, but that they were too distracted by my own gushing to recognize those thoughts.
I’ve gone out with people who quickly surmise my affinity for Coldplay, and ask me all of these questions about them just to watch my face light up. Honestly, this is usually a test for me because if the guy sitting across from me is emotionally aware, his eyes usually reflect the light in my own. If he can’t wrap his mind around the density of my emotion or empathize in any way, I know the thing won’t pan out. Point is, just like every other dramatic emotion I feel, happiness isn’t immune.
A while ago, I wrote this post about an incredible month I spent in the UK. The gist of it was that I was blown away by the connection I established with two humans who were not women. For those of you who read it, you’re probably all, “No, Morgan, that’s not what we remember. We remember you outing your feelings for one of those dudes.” That happened too, but it’s kind of not my point.
Recently, I caught up with one of these friends. It had been a couple years since we even acknowledged that we knew each other; so, I was not-so-midly excited about the interaction. The blog post I had written came up, and the grace with which he responded to reading my thoughts on the trip, as well as the exchange we were having, blew me away. See, I remember that these guys were genuine and cared for me, but the memory had grown distant. Communicating with him dredged up the reality that my month in Liverpool was transformative not just because the trip itself was spectacular, but because, apart from my father, these are the only two men who have respected, cared for, understood, encouraged, and fully embraced all of who I am. Ever. I am not exaggerating.
I am very fortunate to have female friends in my life who love and understand me. I do not take them for granted– they are incredible women. But, there are only three men who have cared for me as genuinely; and, one of them shares my DNA. Ulterior motives, y’all, that is typically the only reason men come into my life. It is what it is.
Since catching up with my dude-friend, I have been bursting with emotion and energy. I don’t feel so much like dating anymore, and I’m having a hard time coping with the joy I’ve been feeling. I’m encouraged to continue expressing myself and reaffirmed that my perception of that life-altering trip wasn’t all in my head. I told my therapist last night that I needed help swallowing all of this because I am overwhelmed. The perspective that she offered me then, was gratitude.
See, people live their entire lives without experiencing the feelings that I am having right now. I’m quick to remember that fact when I’m sad, but not so aware of the opposite. Some people will live out their lives not knowing what it is to be connected, loved, or understood by others– namely the opposite sex. A lot of women don’t form any positive relationships with men or experience the standard that I’ve come to understand actually exists, and that is heartbreaking.
So, I wanted to write this to release some of my feelings, and to encourage others who haven’t felt them. Kind and generous people do exist, and they want to love and support you for who you are. Remember this, and don’t you dare compromise any bit of your individuality.