Today, I’m feeling.

A sad yellow smiley face, with big blue eyes and a red frownYes, I’m feeling.  That’s all I know for sure.

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.
A yellow angry face, with eyebrows slanted towards where the nose would be, a black frown, and eyes looking downward

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!

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