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Not feeling the feels

October 25, 2014

Amidst the busy schedule starting with a morning lecture followed by an 8 hour office and ending with a forced study session of an hour, things can get a little overwhelming in the final year of chartered accountancy. Every time I get the urge to place my fingertips on the beautiful black keyboard and type something lovely, it is followed by an urge to scan through the maze of legal words and interpretation of laws given by those manning the walls of justice. Even if I manage to choose between these two, the urge to have a long chat with a friend, or to watch a soul-cleaning movie or American Tv show manifests. I love too many things, and I want to do them all. But time is a bitch..!! Hence I have been busy doing things I like, trying to juggle them the best I can since a couple of months now. It really feels like a blessing, when you love doing whatever you do and that keeps you busy. Well, amidst the busy schedule, a long, twisted and weird series of events led me to a meeting with my ex. Well ex is an understatement, really. But  calling him someone I truly and purely loved, and then hated, and then loved again, and then left sounds too corny and confusing. These meetings are usually disastrous events, a ride through feelings, where someone ultimately gets hurt (that someone usually being me). However, this time I had a good feeling about it all. That is it. I marched towards the treacherous grounds where he stood based on a term as abstract as feelings.

Abstracts do work at times. I left the place after chatting with him and on my way back home, I waited for the feelings to take over, Tick-tock, tick-tock. Nothing. I waited some more. Tick-tock, tick-tock…..And perhaps I had a visible expression of utter astonishment on my face. I felt no sadness, no longing, no lust, no love. And I was the most satisfied person at that moment. After years, I was finally able to let go.

Human mind is a funny thing. Science says that human brain is wired to eventually let things go. That is the reason we can survive death in the family, we can survive failure. The intensity of feelings fade as memory fades. Perhaps, I too was a happy victim of this function of the brain. But not really happy. Our feelings and the science behind those feelings are in two different dimensions. As hours passed by I got worried. I felt so normal after the meeting that it felt abnormal to me. I was as fine as I would be after chatting with a colleague from office. The only emotion I was feeling was worry. The science behind feelings intended for me to let go and forget about it. But my actual feelings made me too aghast at the loss of emotions. I felt guilty and inhuman. For days I have been thinking, going through memories, just to feel something but all these efforts have been in vain. Worried but intelligent friends pointed out “The fact that you are thinking so much about it means, it’s not really gone. You are just telling that to yourself.” But I am thinking because the only emotion is worry.

I have felt all possible emotions when I was with him. I have felt kinship, love, lust, happiness, euphoria, anger, hatred, jealousy, animosity, helplessnesses and even sorrow. It makes me feel so inhuman that I cannot manage to have any of these now. And emotions are not something I can fool myself into not having. I use to feel desire to talk to him after the meetings, sometimes lust, sometimes just sorrow or sometimes a soft happiness of past love. People always remember and re-live feelings about the most important events/parts of their lives. A businessman re-lives the feeling of pride after talking about his first deal, a husband re-lives love while talking about his wife, a painter re-lives the passion while remembering his first stroke of brush. How can I be so inhuman that I cannot re-live the feelings, not even a hint of the feelings, when he has been such an important part of my life. Yes, he has been an ass most of the times. But I truly loved him and now I don’t feel a thing. Only feelings I have are humanitarian and nothing more. I have been so busy doing things I love, running around trying to find God, or making plans for solo trips, enjoying freedom etc that I forgot, I simply forgot to remember him. And my brain took the cue and erased the feelings. Yet another emotional tie was broken. It is scary not to have feelings for people. Sometimes I feel too much for the greater good, like gender equality, spirituality and too little for most individuals. There are not many people with whom I am emotionally connected. I might be social, even caring as humans should be, but not emotionally connected. Except a few close friends and family, I do not get too worked up about the lives of others. This helps me be close to those who matter, feel for those who matter, cry for those who matter. Those who matter have now become -1.

I am still musing. But I guess it is futile fighting the evolutionary traits established after years of evolution. Yes I feel terrible about not feeling anything (Major paradox). I feel terrible that time has made a stranger out of someone I loved from the bottom of my heart. I feel the feels about not feeling the feels. I would like to think that the some total of feelings a person feels at a point of time is the same – we just transfer feelings from one place to another – kind of like energy, merely changing forms. For example, most people in India have too many emotions tied to economic survival, they can’t spare feelings for environmental issues. Einstein had too many feelings regarding science, he had none for his family. Perhaps, that is why famous artists see nothing except art around them – all the feelings are tied to art. Yes, I know the saying “Love grows when you love more people.” This doesn’t really seem true to me. If one were to love the world as much as one’s family, the meaning of family itself would be lost. You can’t have feelings for everything and everyone in the world (by feelings I mean something more that humanitarian) as that would paradoxically tantamount to having no feelings for anyone. I would like to think that my feelings have unknowingly transferred to law, to love of freedom, to desire to follow one’s heart, to friends, to family, to the desire to work at an NGO etc and my brain decides to spare him none.

My lack of feelings for him has made space for feelings for so many other things in life, and I can live with that.

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