When I saw a concert post up recently featuring Dashboard Confessional and Third Eye Blind, I almost fell off my chair. After purchasing tickets, my next hour consisted of Youtubing back in time. Screaming Infidelities, Jumper… I remembered what it was like to be 17 and FEEL EVERYTHING.
Do you remember? It seems so long ago, but once that music plays and those gut wrenching lyrics flood your consciousness, you will.
I was reacquainted with an existential teenager who thought she was way ahead of her time. Didn’t we all? But seriously, My So Called Life couldn’t scratch the surface of my emotional intelligence during those formative years. This could not have come at a more appropriate time. I’ve had a few stressful weeks and, well, as an adult I don’t pour it all out like I used to. Nothing happens by coincidence, so I went with it.
I've led a pretty blessed life and have made it to adulthood barely unscathed by issues like sickness or loss. As you get older, these and other scary realities begin to creep their way into your life. I realize it’s normal and part of the process, but sometimes it all seems heavy and I can’t breathe just thinking of it. On the one hand, these changes make me hurt, period. On the other, I feel guilt enjoying my life or even complaining about the things that stress me out because they pale in comparison to life’s heavier issues.
It’s very confusing… a lot like like being a teenager when all your emotions are on hyper-mode. Your passions flare up just as much as your anger or sadness. You feel everything at a 10. It’s not a place I reside in a lot -if at all- these days. As one gets older, one learns how to chill the hell out. But once in a while, these emotional floodgates catch you off guard right when you least expect it. And it’s tough because over the years, I hold even more things in, as many of us do. I figure, I’m an adult living in the free world with enough income to live comfortably and travel. I surely don’t have anything to complain about. If only Clint Eastwood could hear my inner monologues, he would surely point me out as part of the "pussy generation" he often complains about.
However, if it’s one thing I remember from my teenage years, it’s the euphoric feeling of release right after spilling your guts. You know the one. It’s quite similar to how your body feels after you’ve literally thrown up. Your muscles stop tensing, your face relaxes… for a split second the heaviness subsides and the skies open up. We cannot forget to feel things. We should never hold the heavy (or the light) stuff in.