I’ve always had a hard time figuring out what I’m feeling, particularly negative emotions. I remember being shown, in kindergarten and first grade, pictures of smiley faces and frowny faces, and being asked, “What does this picture show?” I always got “sad” and “angry” wrong.
I don’t know when I learned the difference between angry and sad. I imagine it was a few years later. I don’t think it occurred to me that “sad” was different than “angry.” I knew I didn’t like the way either felt.
Certainly today I can tell you the difference between angry and sad. But of course I still misread people, still miss cues, still do the wrong things. The world is a complicated place.
But right now…well, I don’t know what I’m feeling. I feel, well, weird. Not happy. Not sad. Not angry. I don’t know what I feel. Nothing happened today that seems particularly emotionally significant – it was a decent day that I spent at home with my wife (and three good meals!). We didn’t spend as much time together as I would like (we both had other tasks that needed to get done), but this isn’t a longing feeling, even if I would have loved if we both had nothing to do but spend the day together. But, as much as I might want that, that isn’t the feeling I’m talking about.
Sometimes I think I was born without a secret decoding ring. I had to spend a lot of time learning “Oh, that’s what HUNGRY feels like!” It took me a while to learn to recognize being tired or overloaded. And I still get these wrong.
Like I am today. I don’t know what this feeling is, and probably won’t ever figure out what I was feeling tonight. That’s okay, I know there are plenty of good and bad feelings in the world. I don’t have to figure everything out perfectly. But, still, it would be nice if I knew how I felt!