Feelings are funny things. So vivid and yet impossible to touch. So consuming and then so… gone. You can fall out of anger with the same bewildering speed that you fall out of love. With the same, “Where is it? I swear I had it just a minute ago…” ruthlessness. They come and they go like unmanageable tides. No rhyme nor reason.
And you think you’ll grow out of them. You think, at 16 or 26, that 40-year-olds don’t really have feelings which is surely one of the reasons why seeing ‘old people’ in love is so uncomfortable. Not because their skin is less elastic, but because they should know better than to feel deeply. They should grow out of emotion.
And yet feelings still wax and wane with teenage speed and irregularity. Maybe we don’t act out quite as much but the mini-triggers of the day can send us from serene to quietly hysterical, from content to incredibly sad. And back again.
It’s the back again that is so interesting. From one day to the next, sometimes one hour to the next, it feels like a different life. From tremendously anxious, discontented woman to peaceful, satisfied woman in a matter of hours. Not seconds – we are not actually 14 – but certainly a cosy life can fit very differently in the evening from the way it seemed to strangle in the morning.
Mindfulness, they say. Well, it’s a disaster to some of us. It only serves to make us hugely aware of a distressing present. You’re not doing it properly they say. Maybe me, tonight, will vow to try harder. Me, this morning, would like you to please get yourself and your worthy lectures and your concerned head tilt the hell away from me? Do you have different lives, are you different people, all in one day?