I’m in rough shape today as I’m recovering from a 48-hour bug, so here is a post I tweaked from July 2011.
I want all of my feelings to be in agreement. I want to be either happy or sad â€“ not both. Particularly not both about a single event.
Until yesterday, I was in Washington, D.C. for a wedding, which I decided to turn into a long weekend trip. I love Washington, D.C. I went to school there, I became an adult there, one of my favorite places on Earth is there. Yet, I live in California and I love California. I love the weather, I love my friends, I love my apartment, my life, my community.
I felt (and feel) sad about leaving the district because not only are my favorite places there, but also some dear friends. My heart is heavy because I donâ€™t know when Iâ€™ll see them again. Washington, D.C. is a special place for me because I donâ€™t have one or two good friends who live there, I have about a dozen. Itâ€™s hard to leave such a large and deep pocket of love and kinship. I was sad to leave but happy to come home. A part of me wants to pick a side, to say Iâ€™m either sad to leave D.C. or happy to come back to California. But thatâ€™s not true. I honestly feel both.
What Iâ€™m learning is my feelings are complex and multifaceted so that means I can feel both. I donâ€™t have to pick a side. I donâ€™t have to move back to D.C. because I miss living there. I donâ€™t have to abandon my life in the Bay Area. I donâ€™t have to do anything really except feel what Iâ€™m feeling. Allow myself to experience both happiness and sadness, yes, even at the same time.
My life these days is no longer black and white, itâ€™s technicolor. I am an unlimited being so I donâ€™t have to restrict myself to feeling one way or another. Perhaps thatâ€™s what it means to be an adult, recognizing there are numerous feelings and life isnâ€™t as simple as I thought it was. I can feel both. I can love multiple people, places, and things, and nothing has to replace anything else. I can have multiple favorites.
I wish everything was cut and dry because life would be so much simpler that way, but in truth, itâ€™s not. So thatâ€™s what Iâ€™m encouraging: to embrace life as it is, in all its technicolor glory.
I dream of a world where contradicting feelings may coexist. A world where we allow for all possibilities and situations without trying to force ourselves to feel one way or another. A world where we accept our complexity and our depth. A world where we know one thing does not have to preclude the other.
Another world is not only possible, itâ€™s probable.