Here’s the thing about being 26 and shockingly and newly content. According to the TV I’m supposed to have known for at least the last eight years who I am. Four years for sure. As it turns out it’s a lot closer to maybe the last three months. My college brain was in such a little safety net that it didn’t matter how much I thought I knew myself. It’s not until I actually have to make logical decisions on my own without thinking about how it will impact another person in my life that I really start to feel like maybe I am who I am. Even if I still don’t completely understand who that is.
I play my life pretty close to the vest, a phrase I hate, but it’s hard to explain. Maybe it’s more logical to say I keep my emotional bullshit as tight inside me as I can without having to worry about it impacting someone else. Because of this I try to process things as detached from my emotions as possible Some times that’s impossible, but not always. Usually I can separate the logical from the broken emotional state that is almost constantly rattling my brain. If I couldn’t separate the two, I’d never leave my bed. I just wouldn’t.
As it is that means my 26-year-old brain and heart are almost consistently at war with one another. My brain can’t comprehend my heart, and my heart absolutely hates my brain. My heart is a whiny 13-year-old who simply wants to be listened to and feel loved, while my brain would just like to see things get done and have everything work out without any stupid fuss. Because of this my brain shuts my heart down a lot. My heart starts to hurt or swoon, and Jack Donaghy arms waving my brain declares “Shut it down!” And my heart quietly whimpers into the oblivion of the day.
When the time comes to need my heart, to let my heart be in charge of the situation it destroys me. The smallest of feels turns into a cavalcade of desperate emotion that rips all logic and reason apart. Pity turns into utter heart-break and desolation. Actually, most emotions, when I let them run free, turn into this ripping and self-destructive heart-destruction that renders me useless. Maybe I’ve always believed my emotions were invalid. Maybe I’ve always believed my emotions were less relevant than my thoughts. Maybe I’ve always believed my emotions would only get in the way of life or become burdensome to those around me. Or maybe I’ve always believed that my emotions would detract from the emotions of others. Maybe I’ve always believed all of those things. That seems less important than the fact that now I have no idea what to even do with emotions except stifle them until I can be completely alone to deal with them.
Let me tell you a thing about being alone with these emotions of mine, if you haven’t figured it out yet. It’s a bad plan. It’s necessary, for now, until I can figure out what else to do with them. But for not it’s a very bad plan for me to be alone with them, because my emotions are the girl in your 5th grade class who sent you to another girl to play with to distract her from hanging out with the popular kids. The thing about that is that, yes you’ll make a pretty cool friend in the process, but you’re also being totally used and sent away for a reason. You also were not cool. My emotions are that girl. They’re bullies. They’re pre-teen bullies. Determined to destroy. And without a knowledgeable and aware adult to help me deal with them they’ll eat me alive.
For now? I’ll be bullied. Until I can figure out how to stand up for myself without killing my emotions. Because that’s the thing about bitchy bullies. You just sort of have to deal with them, whether you like it or not. They aren’t going away, but some day they’ll get better. And some day? So will I.
Semi-related, if you’ve never taken the Myers-Briggs test, I really encourage you too. As a freshman theatre major we all took it, and I think it really helped us 1) understand our own brains a little bit, but 2) understand each other. As it turns out though, for me I need to be isolated to take personality tests, otherwise, I give my answers based on my environment rather than actually mulling them over. When I first took it I was an ENFP. I am not. At all. I’m an INFJ. And some times that’s an enormous capital I, which looks a lot like this.
And some times it looks a lot like this.
Also, some times when you’re 26, you don’t brush your hair for two weeks, and you just don’t even care.