Let me start by acknowledging that I've always struggled separating "real" emotions from chemically-induced similacra of feelings. In the end, does it matter whether what you're feeling is a response to real stimula or just manufactured because of hormones? Maybe it matters in terms of how seriously to take it. How much to base decisions off it.
But even if it's "fake" emotion, doesn't it come from somewhere? Isn't it you, too? Just you hyped up on life's greatest little gift to women?
I've got this on my mind for two reasons.
1) I've got my first period after having a baby just 4 months ago in April. Some of my girlfriends are getting their first period after 2 years! I'm guessing the difference is that I'm back to work and therefore pumping instead of nursing during the day, which my body knows is not nearly as good as the real thing.
Because of #1, coupled with post-pregnancy hormones and breastfeeding hormones, I'm having intensified fears, anger, and feelings of helplessness around my job situation, which is not so viable right now. I'm not sure what to do about that or what I can do about that, hence the panic.
2) I had a dream two nights ago that I decided to cheat on my husband with this guy we know. We were at a party and flirting, and in the dream, I consciously chose to make plans to meet up with him later that night and do it in a bathroom somewhere in the house. (That's the language of the dream - very high school somehow...)
I stood in front of a mirror and went back and forth. Is this worth risking my marriage? I pictured Eric's face, tried to feel what it would be like to lose him, tried to rationalize the fact that I was going to make this horrible choice. I decided maybe I wouldn't sleep with this guy, but I would make out, and if things got out of hand, I'd deal with it then (and that meant I'd probably go all the way).
So there we were, lounging in the bathroom, not touching. It was awkward for both of us, and we knew the stakes were high. It would take a lot to get over the hump and actually start touching. But the air was electric, charged with what might be anticipation if we let it become that. We talked, laughed, and somehow got on the subject of puppy poop. We made joke after joke about stepping in poop on the lawn. And ... the dream was over, spell broken. My brain hadn't been able to go there.
But I woke up totally guilty. I had decided to cheat! I imagined it! I played the scenario out in my head in detail!
Do I tell? It means nothing. Was a dream. Is not real. But my feelings of guilt are real, and I was still soaked in the dream, like cigarette smoke on your clothes after an evening in the bar.
So I told. Apologized. Said I felt guilty. And do you know what my fabulous husband did? He wrapped me up in a big ole hug and said, "Oh, honey. I'm so sorry!" Sorry I had that dream and felt bad about it! What a guy! And so I felt close to him again and knew that I wouldn't make that choice in waking life. And knew that our relationship could weather my dream indiscretions.
But still, what does it mean that I went there in a dream?
And the job thing? I just don't know. It's one of those decision points - what do I want to be when I grow up? What am I capable of? What's realistically possible, given this economic climate?
I feel my best when I'm facilitating public involvement processes. Could I find enough work to make a living doing that?
I also like using the technologies of project management - budgets, spreadsheets, schedules. Is there a job that allows me to mix a little of this in, or would this just auger well for owning my own business?
I love putting together documents - desktop publishing, editing, technical writing, etc. Are there jobs where you get to do that? Jobs that I can still do bits of the above?
I love teaching. How does that fit into all this?
And if there is no perfect salaried job out there ... am I brave enough, smart enough, saavy enough, connected enough, and motivated enough to make a go of it? And is it a viable idea given the craziness out there? Given that I have a newborn and a husband whose job is similarly unstable?
Good lord. Is it any wonder I'm emotional?