In five years, will you remember what you did today?
I’ve done my best to answer “yes” to this question as often as possible this year. Today, I had the perfect Saturday. Despite a slight hangover (I’m aging, what can you do?), I had a great breakfast and did something that I never do—nothing. I sat on my couch and watched Pretty Woman. I have proof:
After that, I ventured off with one of my favorite couples for a music blasting, wind-in-hair joy ride. The road took us to Hessian Lake in New York’s Bear Mountain State Park. It was perfect. The coolest thing about it is that I had not anticipated such bliss when I woke up this morning.
I love when life does that to me. When you have an amazing experience by accident and you’re aware enough to notice it. After heading back, we coordinated dinner plans and parted ways.
For dinner, we met up with my cousin and his girlfriend. As we all caught up, it dawned on me that 6 years ago, when I had first arrived to New York, the 5 of us lived here. Yes, we were all back in the Northeast, the original 2007 NYC crew was back together. Who’d have thought? So much has changed. People moved away. People had gotten married, starting families. Some had been let go from jobs, taken new ones and one of us was even back in school. We had grown apart and somehow found a way back to the same table to talk about it. I learned two very important lessons tonight and I had to stop myself from pulling out a notebook and beginning this post at dinner.
At dinner, a friend of mine shared a story. She was expressing fondness for someone and her mother jumped up and said, “the point of having feelings is to express them.” We all laughed because my friend had actually been talking about how kind a waiter had been to her while out. Her mother encouraged her to hug him.
It got me thinking though—I’m extremely emotional and it annoys the sh*t out of me. More often than not, I wish that I could reel in my feelings sometimes the way that others do. I have emotional hangovers and shame myself for days. I try to stop, but it’s no use. My face twitches and the words just come back. Make. It. Stop.
I thought about it when I got home and …my friend’s mother is right. I think that is something that I have been working towards establishing in my own life and on this blog. The purpose of having feelings is to express them. Yea, some are sappy. Unfortunately, we can’t always be the cool kid in the back of the classroom that doesn’t give a sh*t what anyone else thinks. Let’s face it, that kid is the bully that has no friends and is angry. Don’t you guys watch ABC Family?
Think about how often you move away from feelings. I don’t think that the mountain to tackle is in expressing them to others. We all have a way of doing that and I have no interest in encouraging you to go around hugging people that you shouldn’t be hugging. What I am saying is… express them to yourself. Learn to get that far.
Have a thought, have a feeling. Fine, don’t tell anyone, but at least be aware of it. The awareness will help you make the decision on whether to share it with someone else. Not everyone is worthy of our vulnerable moments, but you, sir, are worthy of your own.
The second lesson was much simpler. Everyone found their way back to the table. Like the joy ride I had earlier, you never know where you are going to end up. And you never know when you’ll get to come back to things in better shape than you were before. Everyone filled their years with awe-inspiring experiences and we all got a chance to come back together, update each other on them, and then, reminisce about the old days. When Pink Elephant mattered and tables at clubs were a Friday tradition.
But I guess to reminisce, you gotta let things change, don’t you? So, let things change. Focus on where you are headed and let the things around you find their place. Because they will, they always do. Oh, and enjoy the ride while it happens so you can look back on it over dinner and indulge.