Wednesday, January 14, 2009

There and Back Again: A Journey of the Heart

I am repeatedly awestruck by the writing on our humble blog. What beautifully woven stories. Jason, your travel camp musings bring me back to the years I spent riding bikes to nowhere, getting half an hour of "nintendo time" at my buddy's house, and eating McDonald's for breakfast, pizza for lunch, and a sensible dinner (McDonald's again). David, your tale of love lost (hopefully not forever, my friend) reminds me of just how much we humans suffer in our search for understanding and companionship.

Thanks to writing of this caliber I have had a rather striking revelation about myself: I ache for the ability to synthesize the events of my own life as well as those of my Gentlemanly counterparts. I am a natural debater that could wax philosophic for hours on any given topic. I rant at will, and sometimes against it. But when it comes to matters of the heart I find myself awkward, tongue-tied, or outright speechless. This fact has always been a matter of great distress to me (and certainly distressing to anyone who has been close enough to me for it to matter).

I tell myself I am an open book and to a certain extent it rings true. I'm the kind of guy that will freely share the most significant and emotionally intense events of my life with people I barely know, if they ask. But nowhere in my coping process do I believe I actually delve into the core emotions involved. Instead, what I do in emotionally charged scenarios is review facts and apply (cold?) logic to determine potential changes in my operating assumptions.

This has not turned out to be an entirely negative thing, far from it. I am proud of my ability to look past "the me" of the situation to see how my problems are just like everyone else's, only different. This has helped to keep me (relatively) humble, to care for others, and to truly empathize with people and populations that are often far outside of my daily perspective. It has also helped me to develop an outward personality that is (almost) unflappably positive. My problems suck, but all told I've got it great!

However, without the ability to put painful feelings into words, even in my own head, I generally end up just reinvesting them deeper into a realm of silent heartache or self-consuming anxiety. Ever held a guitar up to an amplifier and plucked a chord? It can sound awesome when it's a good note and you know how to control the reverb, but at its worst it turns into a shrieking banshee that creates an overwhelming urge to flee the immediate area... same deal here, but all in my head/heart.

This is a bridge I know I must cross, from logical mind to emotional heart and back again. If I cannot develop my feelings into thoughts expressable to myself and others I may never (again) be able to open up in a way that allows me to develop and enjoy a truly intimate relationship. So I think the most significant asset I hope to gain, and give, from being a Gentleman is a more open and honest understanding of myself, even if that means offering that understanding up to the interpretation of teh intarwebz.

So this is me stepping off the edge, hoping Dr. Jones Sr.'s diary was right about the invisible bridge.

I genuinely fear the alternative.

1 comment:

Stephen said...

Did somebody say McDonald's?

Spill the beans man, don't hold back.

Also, courier rules.

Teh Interwebz habe spokened!