Friday, January 22, 2010

Extinguishing feelings

Extinguishing feelings, is it possible?    I find myself pondering over emotions again, which seems to be a yearly occurrence, maybe it's the doldrums of winter. 

There are multiple things going through my head that prompt the question on whether it's possible.  There's a huge difference between resolving feelings and extinguishing. To me resolving feelings leaves you with little regret, extinguishing means burying it. 

If I had my choice, I'd like to always resolve the emotions, after all, who wants to live with regret and while many of us strive to live regret free lives, as I grow older I begin to think that the concept of regret free living is either not achievable or that by doing so you'd wind up with a rather boring life. 

Before I get into writing on what I'm thinking about, I do notice a difference in where I was at last year in regards to feeling like this.  Last year at that time, it felt like regret was owning my life and that I was faced with dealing with it day in and day out for many years to come.  Getting older will do that to you, as a big part of that feeling was that life is more complicated now, so changing direction seems like a monumental task.  I don't feel like regret owns me anymore and even though enacting change in a complicated life is about as difficult as I expected it to be, the experience of dealing with it, makes me more comfortable in dealing with it.

I seem to be at the crossroads of past, present, and future today. This weekend I was thinking about whether I want to pursue another band if the current one goes with a new singer.  Part of me wants to, and part of me says I'm not up for another roller coaster ride. Have I extinguished my need to sing live?  My guess is no, if I don't take another chance with it, I'm going to regret it, so while I sit and wait on the group's decision.  I keep thinking about what my options are. 

It doesn't help that this whole band situation brings up one of my pet issues.  Rejection, not that anyone likes rejection, but I seem to take it fairly hard.  It doesn't help that I've got a pretty good memory, so it's easy to think about all the other times you've been rejected. None of this helps my current mood. 

While I think about my mood, I also begin thinking about the things that are on the horizon, my wife is continuing to look out of state for a teaching job.  I understand her need to obtain a job in the field she's worked so hard and support it.  One of the issues though is how to deal with leaving behind a fairly large network of family and friends.  I know that moving away isn't going to remove those people from my life, but it will affect relationships and inevitably I will lose touch with some of those people. I've struggled with how I feel about this for some time now, my wife is convinced that I would hate the move and resent it.  I don't think that's the case, but it would affect me.  Which is why I'm thinking about my ability to extinguish feelings, whether or not I can put aside feelings that I'm inevitably going to have in order to function and enjoy life somewhere else? I have to give that some more thought.

This is my third day working on this post over the course of a week, and my mood has changed somewhat, but the dilemma is still there, just in a different muted tone.  As I finished the paragraph previous to this one, I started thinking more about the concept of 'extinguishing feelings'. I'll risk being gender biased here and say, this is definitely a male issue and approach to dealing with feelings.  Resolution isn't in my thought process for things like this, I think of squishing the feeling and making it disappear, not getting it out or fixing the problem. 

I find it kind of fascinating, that I'm able to separate myself from the thought process here and view it with this perspective.  In addition to that, I'm even more concerned surprised that I recognize the danger in continuing to try and extinguish and on many levels see this as the correct path to proceed down. 

And I wonder why sometimes I'm so emotionally strung out.  It's funny that I consider myself an emotional person, yet I've effectively extinguished emotions over the years.  In a brief retrospective, I can completely see how I've worked to squash feelings that I didn't like; relationship issues, work disappointments, and all sorts of rejections and failures. 

Interesting, I think this is what they call a breakthrough.  I think there is definitely something to be learned from here, although in fairness to my actions, that repression also fuels passion to succeed at other times.  So while I can see the danger, there is benefit there.  I'll have to think about this some more, unless of course I decide to extinguish it.

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