I had a moment this week.
It was on Monday in my office with one of the owners of the company I work for. We were discussing a major decision I have to make in the coming weeks, and she was talking me through what will likely be a life-changing shift in my career path.
I was explaining to her the reasons that I decided against making a business decision that was a bit shoddy despite the almost guaranteed financial gain from it. My only explanation was that it just didn’t feel right.
I’ve known this woman for nearly 4 years. We’ve shared a lot of words, especially over the last few months. And of all the things she’s said to me, I’ll remember what she said next forever-ever. (Foreva-eva?)
She looked me in the eyes, put her hand over her chest and said “Kate, think with this [your heart], and you’ll never go wrong.”
I half-smiled, nodded my head, and excused myself to go get something to drink.
It’s a simple statement really. “Think with your heart, yo!” I’ve probably said it dozens of times. But this time, it got me. Right in the feels.
Part of the reason for it was because this simple, but meaning-packed expression was coming from her, one of the most admirable, strong-willed, hard-assed business women that I know.
The other part is because I remember the last person who put their hand over their chest and told me to ‘think with my heart’.
More exactly, she said: “Kathleen, think with your heart, and keep me there, and you’ll be okay.”
4 days later, my grandmother passed away.
Despite this sound advice, I’ve surely continued my age-old ways of thinking with my brain. I do make somewhat of an effort to listen to my heart, but 9 times out of 10, I can talk myself in or out of anything by analyzing it half to death. The ways of an ISFJ, you guys. Deep set habits.
As with everything else, I’ve given a ton of thought on why I don’t think with my heart by default. The consensus is that my damn heart gets me in damn trouble all the damn time.
Falling for THAT boy. and THAT boy. and THAT OTHER boy. Staying at THAT job. And then there was THAT decision to spend my whole paycheck on adopting a dog from Sarah McLaughlin. I still can’t listen to the Angel song without wondering where my adopted dog “Mustard” is.
The moment my heart gets involved, and I start speaking it, seems like the moment when shit gets real and goes down the tubes. So I’ve become so comfortable with the “feelings left unsaid” method because it keeps me safe, right?
Totally wrong, but it seems rational to me. So this is why I’d rather keep my mouth shut, feelings left unsaid, so I don’t run the risk of being in something unrequited or god-forbid my feelings be reciprocated and I’m actually happy.
Yes, I’m well aware of the shit storm that I’ve been in for so long. I KNOW.
But thinking with my mind, you know taking the safe route, has saved me a lot of heartache and pain in the long run. I’ve never adopted a dog that way. And I’ve thought myself out of plenty of relationships and jobs that never hurt me or broke me down. (They never had the chance to be ‘the one’ or ‘my dream job’ either, though.)
I’ve recently found myself in several separate situations that are tapping me right square in the feels. From career-choices, to life decisions, to relationships and friendships… I have a lot of these things we call feelings. But I try and tell myself I don’t have any because “I big strong Katie and I think with brain. Feeling make Katie human. Katie robot. (or caveman, maybe.)
I believe that if I ignore my feelings, they’ll eventually go away and I won’t have to do the worst thing in the whole world ever and actually feel them. Ew.
The truth is though, that I have them. These… feelings…whether I like it or not. Whether I pretend to have them or not.
Some of the feelings feel so damn good. I almost feel guilty for them.
And others feel so damn shitty. Or scary. Or disgusting.
But they’re there. And I have them. I feel things. I’m not a robot. Except for when I’m doing the robot which I’m so freakin’ awesome at. Truth.
Perhaps this fear of feeling is because I’m only remembering the times when feelings felt bad. Death. Heartbreak. Job Loss. Mustard never sending me any more puppy pics in the mail. (Damn you, Sarah!)
So… now I’m thinking, what if my boss and my grandmomma are right? What if safe isn’t the right answer to my life’s questions this time? What if this one time, gut feelings, love, and desires win? What if that thing in my chest knows a little something about happiness and stuff?
I mean, it could happen, right?
So… I’m Katie. And I have some feelings in my…heart thing.
HOLD ME, OKAY?
Do I get
donuts pancakes or a first-timer’s chip for this?
(Please say pancakes, please say pancakes, please say pancakes!)