30 Days of Gratitude, Day 26: Emotion

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26-EmotionSo if I look back at the original series of Star Trek, as I frequently do, I come to the conclusion that Spock is my favorite character. I love them all, really, but I think I identify closest with Spock. In a lot of ways, outwardly at least, the Vulcan first officer of the original starship Enterprise was defined by his lack of emotion. Except, as the series goes on, you discover it’s not so much a lack of emotion as it is an ironclad control.

And I very much identify with that. I am an emotional sap.

I feel everything very intensely, and I keep as much of a grip on my emotions as I can, not necessarily because I want to, although sometimes I do, but because I feel like I have to. Which is silly, because in the last decade or so society has loosened up to the point where men are permitted a broader selection of emotions. Although, we’re still not always allowed (and I use the word loosely) to express them effectively.

But while control is a wonderful thing, instead I’m thrilled at having those emotions the first place.

I love me a happy ending, where boy gets girl, or boy, or amorphous alien life form, or whatever. I want the bad guy to get what’s coming to them. I get irritated with commercials that play my emotions in order to try selling me something. Playing to my emotions often works, but I’m quite well aware of the commercial purpose, and find it distasteful, so that doesn’t. if anything, it backfires.

As part of my oldest daughter’s graduation ceremony, they juxtaposed a baby or toddler picture of each child with their graduation photo. My eyes were definitely moist when her picture came on screen. The same thing happened for my son’s graduation three years ago. I have every expectation that all fight tears again during my youngest daughter’s graduation two years from now.

I love my wife and children, and just contemplating the absence of any of them from my life, and knowing that all of my children are, in a relatively small handful of years, departing for post-secondary education, breaks my heart just a little. I read things and see things in the media on a regular basis the provoke a variety emotional responses, from laughter to disgust to sorrow and even desolation.

Life would probably be a great deal quieter, simpler, less stressful, and more straightforward without emotions.

But it would also be bereft of meaning in so many ways.

If sometimes I seek the way of the Vulcan, it’s not because I’m ashamed or embarrassed by my emotions, or because I don’t want them, but because they are mine, and I should get to choose what you see of them.

But I’ll take all the joy and pain and everything in between, and make it part of who and what and why I am.

Be well, everyone.

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