12 January 2009

Vol. 1, Issue 3 | Getting Emotional

[originally written 02 March 2006, 11:55am]

I am finding myself emotionally all over the place this morning.

”What is this I'm feeling? Is it pain? Panic? Hunger? Am I hungry? Who's hungry?”

This is, I’m afraid, not the most opportune time for any type of deconstruction of self. Not on a day/night where I devote all my energies to being The Curator. But to deny or suppress these emotions will leave me in a worse state than I’m in now. And, honestly? I know I’m just at the beginning stages, so I should be fine...
First off, I had a negative body image moment this morning, which is odd as I’ve not ventured there in quite a while. At some level, I’m know that we all go through this, and for a year or so now, it’s not really been an issue for me. Anything that I don’t like about my physical shape is within my power to change, ergo I exercise as I see fit or choose healthier food. What still sneaks up on me are things I can’t do anything about, like being taller or having an entirely different skeletal structure. Which is what hit me this morning. That first look in the mirror, wishing that I was perhaps a few inches taller, and built more like these gangly boymen that populate the city. Eventually I shrug it off, since it’s nothing more than idle fantasy, and I can do nothing to change my genetic heritage. But it’s still depressing.

”It is inevitable to be drawn back into human drama.”

Those of you who actually struggle with negative body image on a regular basis, I empathize with you. I find an instance of it mood altering… a lifetime of it would be paralyzing to me.
Now that I think about it, the body image moment was the second thing. I was already dealing with fluctuations in my self-confidence before that.

”Never trust my instincts.”

I don’t, for a variety of reasons. The main one being that I’m well practiced in the art of overthinking any given situation, especially ones that involve another person. I try to create every possible scenario which could occur as a response to one of my actions. I like being prepared. Problem is that when I’m in that state, I can appear more... aloof, stand-offish, because I’m not done analyzing the situation. Of course, when an opportunity presents itself, and I don’t act for said reasons, then I spend an unhealthy amount of time kicking myself for not giving into impulse once and a while. Fortunately, I do learn from these types of experiences, and I’m not a subscriber to the theory that opportunity only knocking once.

”Everybody's coming back to take stock of their lives.
You know what I say? Leave your livestock alone.”

I have had some conversations with a couple different people as of late, of the ‘getting to know you’ variety. Good conversations, long conversations. The kind I like. Which have sparked parts of my intellect, my imagination, my creativity, etc. (This is my long-winded way of saying that my emotional upheaval today isn’t all negative; rather it’s swinging both directions, making it equally confounding.) But there is a curiosity. While I enjoy listening to where people have come from, relishing both the differences and parallels in experiences, I’ve discovered that I don’t really require knowing where someone has come from. It’s interesting for some context, to be sure. But as someone who frequently practices patterns of reinvention, it isn’t fundamental for me to know where someone is from in order for me to know who they are, and where they are going. Sometimes, we as humans, like to have a clean slate, surrounded by people who don’t have any predisposed notions or expectations of us. I get that. I moved to Portland from my hometown for that very reason. And that was near 15 years ago now. In many ways, I’ve become the person I’ve told people I am as I meet them since I’ve been here. Which is why, despite my curmudgeonly demeanor, I try to be accepting of not just who people are but who they really want to be.

Diane Court: Are you shaking?
Lloyd Dobler: No.
Diane Court: You're shaking.
Lloyd Dobler: I don't think so.
Diane Court: You're cold.
Lloyd Dobler: I don't think I am.
Diane Court: Then why are you shaking?
Lloyd Dobler: I don't know. I think I'm happy.

Sweet Fancy Moses. I was just using movie quotes that I find relevant to my current thoughts, but when I ran across this one, I remember having this type of physical reaction, and thinking to myself that I wasn’t cold, but couldn’t figure out why I was shaking. That’s just... well, it’s just. Huh.

I'm not married, I don't have any kids,
and I'd blow your head off if someone paid me enough.

It’s funny... the real reason I started this post was because I came into work, read my email, and was instantly pissed. I mean a good, nostril-flaring rage. It’s been rather tense around here for weeks, and some well-intentioned busybody attempted to undo a couple weeks of my work. But in the course of getting this all down on paper (so to speak), I seem to have mellowed back out considerably. On all emotional levels. Huh. I’ll be damned.
One last reminder to all you PDX folks: First Thursday’s tonight, so if you’re so inclined, come on down & hang out. I’ll be my usual charming self by then, I’m sure.
Portlandia Prevails.

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