Saturday, December 11, 2010

Humbling to say the least

I read on a Catholic blog once that a good practice of mortification is to ask three close friends what they would change about you if they could. I asked three friends and they gave nearly the same answer: emotions. They wouldn't change my emotions per se, but how I express them, or I should say the lack of expression. Of course I get angry and I get sad and I get all the other things a person without asperger's would show, but there is something different about the way I do it, or don't do it.

When I heard the answers I was surprised in a way because I don't think of myself as someone who doesn't show emotions. I laugh all the time, and I do plenty of other emotional things, but there is a learning curve in seeing that what I think I look like is in fact much different than what other people see. Oh yes, this has become very very clear. And this may be why I'm drawn to Jesse Eisenberg's portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg. Sure, he is a monster in the movie, but all the good things he possesses are the same things I value on a personality level. The guy is an outright atheist and a run of the mill dude/heathen (at least in the movie he is), but the way he talks to people and the way he handles himself is frighteningly similar. The movie was a caricature, though I hear he isn't much different in person, which makes me think that he is an INTP or something very close to it.

Ok, I didn't make a 1600 on the SAT (I didn't even take the SAT) and I am no prodigy at anything as far as I can tell, but if there was a Mark Zuckerberg ballpark, I'd be in it. Oh yes I would. But how does this tie in to emotions?

He walks over people, sees them as objects, operates according to principles, is insensitive, blah blah blah. There's a scene in the movie where his emotion shows itself in an odd way. The opposing lawyer asks him if he has his full attention and Mark responds by saying, "It's raining." You can see how sad he is at what's happening and the Mr. Spock persona is cracking under the pressure of all the talk about the court cases and his past infractions. For a moment it peeked. That's a start.

But for anyone who is like Mark, it makes perfect sense. We hate rom coms and overly sentimental blathery because it's nothing but feeling and the last thing we want is to be thrown around the room by someone's poor portrayal of life as this awkward, smily, teary something that life is in those films. It's soggy cereal that's become one with the milk and formed a blob of dull gray goldenness in a bowl.

I won't begin to worship my emotions like many seem to do, I don't think that's possible for me. That's the fear, but it won't get that far. Where does one begin when this task is before them? I asked three friends what they would do that change me, but they can only point to it while I have the work ahead of me. I don't know if it'll be all that bad.

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