I was walking into one of Columbus’ hundred-billion malls one day with two of my really good friends. We were chatting about whatever, typical nonsense, when somehow we started joking about how attractive we each were.
“Jake, you’re a 3 on a good day,” one of them said.
“A 3!?” I responded with mock (maybe) indignation.
“I must be at least a 5!” I replied with a fake laugh probably.
“Nope,” he responded. “A 3, on a good day.”
And I don’t know why, but it bothered me. Little stuff like that always bothers me. I don’t “shrug things off,” I don’t “chill out,” I don’t laugh and move on. I dwell, and obsess, and moan, and process. And maybe this situation doesn’t apply exactly to you, but if you’ve ever felt inferior because you got emotional about a so-called “trivial” situation, we are in the same boat I think.
Some of us feel emotions more deeply. We react to things faster, and more intensely than other people do. We don’t feel emotions like a long sip of wine, we feel them like an intense shot of tequila.
And that doesn’t mean we are weak. That doesn’t mean we are soft. That doesn’t mean we are less.
We feel bigger. We love bigger. We experience life bigger. Nothing is just “blah” or “meh,” everything is either great or absolutely terrible. Nothing on this planet is bland or mundane. And while sometimes we wish it could be, we are seeing the Earth for the fullness it has to offer, and not just blending it together in indifferent shades of grey.
We have a powerful understanding of the world. Nothing is trivial. Nobody is trivial. Everything has a meaning that can be experienced and learned from. We don’t shy away from things that make us uncomfortable, because we seem to always be uncomfortable. We embrace the world head-on, even the parts that hurt.
And yes, we worry. We worry about this, and that, and the other thing. We worry about what people think, about what people thought, and what people could think someday. But in-between all this worrying we find an inner sense of caring and concern.
Which is why we are consumed with empathy for people. We understand the power of words (because they have hurt us before, even carelessly). We treat people with the tenderness and concern that we wish for ourselves. We go out of our way to help people—even with the smallest things—because we know the feeling of needing help.
We are less judgmental. We don’t judge people who are having a rough night, crying, or ranting. We know the power of emotions, and how they can drive people do things that are out of character. We understand what it is like to feel hurt and have nobody understand. We forgive faster, and let go sooner.
We are always improving. Very very few people have “worthless” feedback for us. We care about people’s opinions (maybe too much occasionally) and are always willing to listen to somebody’s take. We pick up feedback that other people might ignore.
And like, there are probably dozens of days a year we wish we could just “chill out” and take life as it is, we can’t. But that’s okay. Because what we experience by feeling makes up for it all.