I have to give my roommate, Zoe, so much credit for my thoughts. They’re my thoughts, my opinions, my feelings and emotions but more than 80% of the time, conversations with Zoe helps me understand them. I could have a huge, pressing problem that I wouldn’t know about until Zoe helps me sort through my feelings. I’m getting better at it, my emotional maturity is slowly getting higher and my vocabulary to explain my thoughts is growing, but I still rely on Zoe or my counselor to help me through the jumbled mess in my mind. It takes multiple conversation’s sitting on my counselors couch or on Zoe’s bed for me to be able to say out loud “Oh yeah, I’m really insecure about that.” And then Zoe just laughs and goes, “I’ve been telling you that for years.”
I grew up in an extremely emotionally charged home of girls. I love my family more than anything, but if you stick two exceptionally ‘blue’ personality girls in a house with two other girls, and one unfortunate father, you get a petri dish of confusing feelings. I was uncomfortable and slowly began to shut this part of my life out. I didn’t want to feel all those emotions I kept witnessing, so I chose not to feel anything. Honestly, I’m just now learning what emotions are. Because of that, I have a very limited vocabulary to explain what I’m feeling.
One day I’ll get a new word, one that explains this strange emotion I’ve been having, and I can’t stop using it. For example, when I realized what anxiety was, a whole world opened up before me.
“Oh, my gosh, I have that anxiety thing!” Well, What did you think that feeling was when your heart starts beating really fast, you get restless and you can’t catch your breath or sort through your thoughts? “Normal?” No… That would be anxiety.
Or when I got hold of the word “vulnerable”. Man, you didn’t want to be around me the weeks after learning I was afraid of vulnerability. “I’m afraid of being vulnerable!” She said to the group of people she didn’t know like it was the best news in the world.
I also recently figured out something that should have been obvious.
When I’m having a conversation or a debate with someone, I actually have feelings about the topic.
Yeah… I actually didn’t realize this until a few weeks ago. I thought everything was separated from my emotions. So in my head I was having a perfectly normal debate with some dude about feminism, but inside I was getting hurt by the things he was saying, because shocker, I have feelings. There were emotions behind the words that made me feel something. I didn’t realize these conversations were tied to my feelings. I knew I cared but I didn’t realize I cared to the point that my emotions were involved.
When I found this out, I ran to Zoe and delivered the most exciting revelation ever.
“Yeah, duh.” –Zoe Mckinney.