“Interesting is such an emotionally neutral word…”
I received that comment last night via text just after I had described my family reunion with the word “Interesting.”
While I should have known that she’d call me out, her observation is true. I often aim to divorce myself from much emotion and feelings. It’s not that I’m cold hearted or a Clint Eastwood’esque personality. I don’t aim to be mean, or in any way inconsiderate, but I’ve learned over the years that I prefer a emotionally neutral response. As Dragnet used to say, “Just the facts, Ma’am.”
This trip has been a flurry of emotions, many of which I have a hard time describing. Sometimes the sensation is to just feel full. Other times, it’s an overarching feeling. I think part of my challenge is that I simply have a very sparse ‘feeling’ vocabulary.
Heather has remarked many times before that she simply wants to know how I feel about a subject so my distinct lack of feeling is sometimes a challenge in our relationship. Of course, when she explains that to me, I take to trying to understand her concerns and giving her a response that, to some extent, fits her expectations. That’s another challenge in itself because often, then she feels like my responses are somewhat inauthentic as a start to describe what I might be feeling.
Maybe that will come across here too. In an effort to put words to sensations, I took a quick look at “feeling vocabulary” on google… Let’s see if I can find anything.
I’ll try listing some of the feelings that I’ve experienced on the trip; again this is from a feeling vocab list:
I just learned that when I have a list to draw from, it’s much easier to identify my feelings!
And then I look at the list and wonder, “what does it mean” and “how ought I change them”, but that’s par for the course as the analytic that I am. Ha!
While I espouse the desire for a fairly even keel of emotional response, it’s true that I’m not cold and heartless. I feel things frequently.
Nonetheless, I settle back to the comfort of facts… And I can’t help but notice that while we may all be related, this trip is simply to open new avenues for friendships and shared experiences in the future. I will eventually head back to Juneau and be reinserted into life; at that point these names and this tree will be linked to memories and a few more contacts in my address book. I guess it’s the burden of a fact-oriented mind.
Till next time,
PS – here’s the group photo from our dinner on Friday night at Goofy’s Kitchen: