I am the kind of person who feels emotions really strongly. Sometimes this makes me think that in order to enjoy something or to be happy, that I have to be REALLY happy. But recently, I realized that some of the best things in life just feel natural. They don’t necessarily make you deliriously happy in the moment.
Let me explain.
I talked with my Case Worker today for the Big Brother Big Sister Program. I’ve been doing the program for nearly a year now- spending some time with my little sister about twice a month. When they ask me how it’s going, I always think about what I expected and what my relationship with my little sister is actually like. I expected to walk into her life and be A Hero. I was going to save her from everything bad and she would love me and it would be amazing. It didn’t work out that way, obviously. But that isn’t bad. I love my little sister. She is one of my favorite people to spend time with. She constantly defies my expectations in the best possible ways. But I’m not A Hero. I’m not Amazing and Infallible. I’m a person. And so is she. The best part of our relationship is getting to know each other. It’s our genuine conversations on my couch or at Starbucks or as we are terrified together completing a high ropes course. It’s watching the TV show she recommended to me and texting her when something absolutely crazy happens. It’s how I can be genuine with her. It’s how we can know each other and appreciate each other for who we are. That’s far better than being worshipped.
I recently started a relationship with one of my close friends from college. It’s been very different for me in a few ways- the biggest one being that all of my past relationships have been with someone who I just met relatively recently. In this case, I’ve known him for 11 years. I’m used to the beginnings of relationships being emotionally intense, full of that immediate infatuation you feel for someone you just met and are attracted to. This isn’t like that, but not in a bad way. In most of my past relationships, I felt like I had to change my life and myself to accommodate my partner. I didn’t think of it like this at the time, but in retrospect, that’s definitely what I was doing, and it wasn’t good. What I love about this relationship is that I can be myself. I can still engage in my hobbies and hang out with my friends and also be in a relationship. We got together on the beginning of the JoCo Cruise. We were able to spend some time alone together on it, but we didn’t let that monopolize our purpose for being there: playing board games and hanging out with fellow nerds. I loved that we could do what we wanted, while also being together. It feels like my life, but enhanced.
Sometimes the best things in life don’t always bring amazing intense feelings. These are deceptive: they feel good, but don’t last. Instead, I’m learning to look out for those things- or those people- that just feel right. Those people around who you can be yourself. Who make you happy. Who make you more yourself.