(Long post coming your way, make sure you have time to read it thoroughly, haha.)
In June 2016, we had a dance performance, and immediately after our Sunday performance Ruthie and I had to leave early to go to Camp Carl. A lot had happened at this show, and I found myself crying in the backseat as we drove silently. Ruthie, noticing, asked why I was crying. I didn’t answer because I didn’t even know why; I assumed I missed the show, as I usually do. But Mom answered Ruthie with, “Rachel likes to take time to process things, like the show, and when she doesn’t get to do that, it hurts.”
Wow, Mom. You hit head on what I hadn’t even realized at the time. I guess you’ve been very watchful. 😉
Well, lately I have been thinking about this a lot and what it means. Over and over again since June I’ve seen this in myself. When something important happens — a dance performance, a youth retreat, a concert, a date with a friend, even a significant dream or encounter with someone — I have to take time to myself to think about it, journal about it, and treasure everything about it so I can remember it later. It’s just an added bonus that by picking things apart I find their deeper meanings and hidden implications.
…or maybe it’s not a bonus, maybe that’s necessary for me too.
As made obvious by Ruthie’s reaction to my crying, not everyone processes things in this way. I am going to make an educated guess and say that introverts tend to process things, and extroverts (like Ruthie) tend to absorb things. I don’t know if that’s true at all, I don’t know if there are two ways to deal with the outside world or if there are 8 billion ways, because this isn’t something we talk about often with other people.
This past weekend, I went with Ruthie and Caroline and a few other friends to see twenty øne piløts perform live, which was a literal dream come true. We got home so late that we just crashed, and when we woke up, I was still exhausted in every way — physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, you name it. Caroline probably felt the same way, since she’s also an introvert (but if you didn’t, Caroline, sorry for falsely representing you). She and I stayed in my room for hours, listening to the setlist, looking at pictures, ordering merch, doing art, and watching videos. It was nice just to be able to unwind with her.
However, the rest of the weekend wasn’t this chill. Basically, things happened — all good things — but things that gave me no time to sit down and work through the concert, which was what I really wanted to do. I ended up breaking down, but over the course of Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, I somehow found time to write down every memory I could think of from the emøtiønal røadshøw, which made me feel much better, and which actually helped me realize some very important things.
So yes, I do feel things deeply. It’s often much easier to notice the curses that come with this rather than the blessings.
I get frustrated when I can’t take time to work through things — when people, time, events get in the way of my Processing Process™, I get mad, and I get moody. (I need to work on that, by the way.)
I get frustrated when I can’t cry as easily as others — there are too many emotions running through my mind, so fast, that I can’t pay attention to all of them. I have to be really worked up to cry about something.
I get frustrated when I’ve worked through something and I’m ready to talk about it but it seems like there’s no one who would understand, because they haven’t gotten that deep yet.
But at the same time, there are so many blessings.
I notice more things. I’m so in tune to beauty in nature, music, and people. And when I see beauty I can revel in it.
I think and find things that touch me more deeply; things that mean much more than what’s on the surface.
And when I do find someone who feels things the same way I do, there’s an almost instant connection. We understand each other so much more, understand each other’s thought processes.
A moral of the story is —
We all process things in different ways, and some people need time to think about things before they can talk about them or move on in life. It’s too easy to be impatient or misunderstand, I know. I’ve actually been there myself. But let’s show some respect for the other people God created and loves, okay? And if you are like me and are sometimes frustrated with yourself — slow down for a minute. Take a break. Pull out a notebook if you need to, make some art, write down some memories. It’ll be okay.