Every encounter you have in a given day results in an emotional reaction. Think about it. You’re not wearing any makeup and you’re on your way back from the gym. You see the guy you like in the distance, so you decide to cross the street. You choose to do this because if he sees you you’ll be embarrassed. You’re conditioned to believe he will no longer like you if he see’s you in your current state. You go to class and see that you’ve been given an A on a paper you passed in last week, you’re either going to feel accomplished because your hard work paid off, or grateful that you were able to half-ass the assignment and still manage a good grade. Associate something with no emotion at all? Its called indifference, and it too is a feeling. Emotions are invisible reactions to circumstance or anticipation, and we are conditioned to allow our surroundings to trigger them. Subconsciously every decision we make is a result of past or present emotional experience. That being said, think of how complex of a person you are.
As I was writing this Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison came up on my Pandora station. It’s a song that is popular enough that if I were to play it out-loud in a crowded room at least half of the people in there would have heard it before. Sha la la la la la la la la la la te da.
Laughing and a running hey, hey
Skipping and a jumping
In the misty morning fog with
Our hearts a thumpin’ and you
My brown eyed girl,
You my brown eyed girl.
Every time I hear this song I think of how my aunt would react if she was listening to it too. Brown Eyed Girl is the wedding song she chose for her first marriage. I was nine years old, their wedding was at the Harvard club, and if I were to try to give you any details of the wedding I would probably fail at doing so. What I do remember, was that her and groom’s first dance was to this song.
So hard to find my way,
Now that I’m all on my own.
I saw you just the other day,
My how you have grown,
Cast my memory back there, Lord
Sometime I’m overcome thinking ’bout
Making love in the green grass
Behind the stadium with you
My brown eyed girl
You my brown eyed girl
While it’s obviously never been discussed, I can imagine my aunt associates this popular song with the failure of her first marriage. I’m certain the song was chosen as their wedding song because my aunt has brown eyes and its a cutesy upbeat song. Ironically, if you listen to the lyrics, in the end the singer doesn’t end up with his “Brown Eyed Girl”. To most of us, it’s just a mainstream song, but in this case it serves as an emotional trigger.
For a couple of years I couldn’t listen to “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz. The song, which I associated with an ex-boyfriend, would actually make me physically ill every time I heard it. I still can’t listen to “Live Like You Were Dying” by Tim McGraw without thinking of my first kiss, which was during a slow dance to that song in our church hall. Certain movies I will always associate with the guy I first watched them with. My first “date” was to see The Illusionist in theaters, and my first “real date” was to see Hancock. Neither of which are experiences I would like to re-live.
To an outsider, the breakup of another couple means no longer seeing those two people together anymore, a minor adjustment at most. To those two people it means a change in lifestyle. Socially, they may be losing friend’s they had met through their former lover, they may have failed their own friends by being seemingly absent since the beginning of their relationship. It’s not just a change in “Facebook status” to the people involved; it’s a combination of freedom, failure and heartbreak. To you and I, the end of someone’s relationship serves as a topic of conversation. To them, it’s the end of a chapter of their lives.
We all act out of our own self-interest, of course. We are conditioned to do that which generates positive emotions, it’s why we have one night stands and eat cupcakes. However, I think we could all benefit from being more conscious of the feelings we inflict on others, especially those we love.
I’m a flirt.
I’m a girl-flirt, and I can openly admit that I am a total girl-flirt. I’m guilty of making “besties” with girls at every parties. I find it really easy to get other girls to open up and relate to me. I love to make new friends, but I am horrible at committing to friendships. Becoming close to people has never been an issue for me, but maintaining friendships has always presented a challenge (school full-time, work part-time, and an ADD diagnosis is to blame).
Although I am resistant to admit that I am also a traditional flirt, I definitely am. It’s not the attention, although everyone undoubtedly appreciates the flattery, it’s the game I love. I play by the rules, flirt like an actress, and I think charm is a poison.
I’m also notorious for the “fadeout”, I go on dates with guys, get them to fall for me, and when I feel they’ve become too attached- I slowly stop responding to text messages and phone calls until they stop coming. Half of the time it’s almost as if I see myself from an out-of-body perspective, its absurd, its wrong, and I have made a conscious effort not to do it anymore.
I never wanted to hurt anyone, but if I don’t feel anything for someone I’m not going to force it, or fake it. But we ALL know when we’re being “faded out” of someone’s life, we ALL know when a guy receives your text and chooses to ignore it. We’ve all fallen victim to a player, and we’ve all let someone else fall victim to our charm. It’s so weird but whenever I notice someone I used to “have a thing with” is in a relationship I can’t help but feel a little bit jealous. It’s not that I want to be with them, it’s not even that I want a relationship, I just wonder what the person they are with currently had that I didn’t. It’s absolutely subconscious, but it’s there. You feel it too though, I’m not crazayy.
Now that I’ve sidetracked a little bit….back to the point;
We cannot look at someone and know their life story. The person I walked passed on my way back home could be going through more heartache right now then I have felt in my entire life. Everyone has their own separate entity. It’s hard to imagine the existence of life outside of your own realm. We cannot physically see the impact we have on the feelings and emotions of those we associate ourselves with. However, the friends you’ve distanced yourself from, the guy you never called back after he took you out, they aren’t just characters in your life story; they are human beings with equal importance as you. I can no longer use manipulation to satisfy my own insecurities.
About a year ago I warned a guy that developing feelings for me wasn’t a good idea. I had to explain to him that it takes a lot for me to become attached to someone, because I see my love life from an out-of-body perspective. Due to the undeniably entertaining stories I would have as a result of constantly doing absurd, ignorant things, for years I had been told “there should seriously be a movie about my life”. When I first I told this to him he laughed it off, probably assuming (or hoping) I was kidding. However, a couple of months later, in the middle of a fight he said to me “Your life isn’t a movie. Your life has real situations and real people”. Don’t you think that statement would be incredibly obvious to a rational human being.
The conversation resumes even after you’ve let the room, and you can bet your recent antics will be discussed. Your first love will have a second love too, people will move on from you just as you did them. While the death of a loved one may change your outlook on life, to their acquaintances it may be just another funeral obligation, and to the grave diggers; just another hole. While you may be living your life story, the universe doesn’t revolve around your auto-biography.