December 16, 2010

caught off-guard.

It's a strange, delightful, compelling sort of thing when you surprise yourself.

By its very definition, every surprise has the power to excite--or, perhaps, terrify--but you think you know yourself so well that there could never be any surprises. You assume there's nothing you could say or do that you couldn't have somehow predicted. You think you know your character. You think you know your disposition--how you react, how you internalize, how you process your day-to-day world. 

And you think--almost certainly, almost without question--that you'll never catch yourself off-guard... that is, of course, until you do.

I'm an emotional person. And this, to anyone who's ever known me personally, is quite the understatement. An epic understatement, really. Perhaps it's the writer in me, or the actress, or just the fact that I'm my mother's daughter--but whatever it is, I've never failed to let my feelings grasp me wholly.

And I lean toward the same set of emotions, too. Anxious? Often. Elated? Of course. Guilt? Oh, we're best friends. But then, of course, there's love, empathy, fear, melancholy, nostalgia--my go-to standbys. I feel them all, and I feel them fully. For better or for worse.

But lately, for whatever reason, this tendency toward deep feeling--toward thick and wholehearted emotion--must be taking time off. It isn't that I've been numb--no, it definitely isn't that. It's just that I'm able to breathe right through a feeling--as if it's air, mist, a bubble i'm able to pop. The feelings drift in, nod their acknowledgements, and then float on. They don't settle. They don't dawdle. They don't loiter around looking for my attention.

And I like to think that this is me learning grace. Learning ease. Learning how to move through this world just a little bit better, with just a little bit more conviction.

It's been a lovely little surprise, this newfound grace.
Yes. A lovely little surprise indeed.

(Photo: kate)


Lillian Chang said... [Reply to comment]

That's such a lovely post, Laura. I'm so exactly the same way! My mom always says my face is like an open book - whatever emotion I feel, you can see it instantly in my face. And I feel things so fully too, like empathy for others I take for my own pain. And, most embarrassingly of all, an overwhelm of any emotion (sadness, anger, joy, touched) makes tears shoot out my eyeballs. I can't help it!

But, like you, I've also noticed that my emotions brush off easier recently. I think it's because of the meditation class I took recently. I learned about the difference between your mind/emotions and you, your soul. There's a distinct difference and if you can find a way to gain that tiny bit of distance, you'll become forever transformed in the way you view yourself. It's an incredible feeling, though.

But it's so true - it is getting a bit closer to grace. And when you do, you'll see that you're a bit different than before, and others will see it too. People gravitate towards those sorts of people because they are closer to grace and closer to peace within themselves. :)

lrs said... [Reply to comment]

i'm a very emotional person, too.. and i have felt what you are feeling now. it's a nice break from having to be wrenched around by extreme emotions :)

Rachael said... [Reply to comment]

I love knowing how whenever you post, it'll be a good read :)

Kelly said... [Reply to comment]

I can relate to this post so much right now! thank you for writing it and sharing it : )

s a m said... [Reply to comment]

this is the way we surprise ourselves in the good way (... not the 'oh wow - I didn't realize that would make me cry' way!)

and love this line " the feelings drift in, nod their acknowledgements, and then float on. they don't settle. they don't dawdle. they don't loiter around looking for my attention. "

word play perfection.

my name is lauren. said... [Reply to comment]

i love reading your musings. You have the most beautiful words :).