The Emotional Drain Train

Ever feel like one of those marbles up there? Rolling along, free, full of potential and then you slowly grind to a halt? You’re so close to those other marbles but – You. Can’t. Quite. Reach. Them. Life and the world seemed good and bright when you were all rolling along. You were in it together. Rolling as a team toward the goal. Doesn’t matter what that goal is, the journey was all that mattered and you were overjoyed to be part of it.

You try to speak to them but you can’t be heard. And then you wonder if they’re also speaking but you can’t hear them. You’re listening but you simply don’t hear what they’re saying, at least not at first. Then you see their true colours and it dawns on you what they’re trying to say.

“Hear me. Don’t just blindly listen but understand me.”

You’re so close but far away.

Something clicks and in a single brief moment you’re connected to the marbles around you. The grey mush inside your noggin, that you’d never noticed before, burns away and a gleaming instance of empathy, understanding and true connection opens up. For that minuscule moment you don’t just hear or see or sense the other marbles, you are one and the same. Your fears, doubts, insecurities, dreams, hopes, desires and everything in between are no longer silly notions you keep to yourself. You know those other marbles are the same as you.

They just want to be heard.

And understood.

They want someone to empathise with them.

Today I had an almost overwhelming sense of empathy thrust into my nut. It was both wonderful and scary at the same time.

I won’t go into details about who, why or how as this all happened in confidence at work. A few people pointed out I looked stressed, worn out, drained etc. I felt a bit out of sorts but couldn’t put my finger on why. The conversations and meetings I’d had felt routine for the most part, with the exception of a few key moments where this strange sense of empathy came over me.

I genuinely understood those marbles.

Not necessarily through words, but body language, tone of voice, eye contact and facial expressions. My colleagues, the marbles, had ground to a halt. I found that even though I was still rolling along, my momentum was slowly dying. I’m all about being positive and I pushed myself to infect others with that energy, but sometimes it’s hard. Like throwing marbles at a surge of lava from a volcano and expecting them to change its course.

I was glad to finally get outside, feel warm sun on my face and the cool breeze.

On the way home I mulled over what had happened.

In the living room I ate a cheese sandwich, played with the dogs and watched Big Bang Theory. And then not long ago I turned on my PC and headed to YouTube – some uplifting music was needed. Instead I found my way to Oasis – Little by Little, and the emotional train journey I’d been on most of the day dropped into a drain and I sat staring at the music video, feeling every snippet of emotional turmoil scrapping for attention behind my eyes.

My emotional train had pulled into the station and finally had its chance to be listened to.

A comment under the video, not some random quip by an Oasis super-fan, but a genuine love of the lyrics in the song:

That song touched DannyMadFerit (funny name, doncha think?) where he hoped it would somehow define parts of his life history. I thought of all the marbles in my life – daily marbles, distant family marbles, chance encounter marbles – and would I, at 60, look back and wonder if all those memories will have given me everything I dreamed of.

I was singing along when Noel Gallagher belted out: “…why am I really here…?”

And that line got stuck in my throat.

Don’t get me wrong, dear blog reader, I wasn’t feeling sad. Nor happy. Just emotional.

Haven’t we all asked ourselves this question? “Why am I really here?”

God I hope so. If we can’t ask this of ourselves and arrive at an answer then what are we doing here at all? Part of me doesn’t know why I’m here. I’m not an astronaut, scientist, politician, singer, celebrity or anyone famous. I figure it’s highly unlikely I’ll have that sort of huge world-wide impact on anyone’s life.

But that’s okay. I’m probably here for some other reason. To make people smile? To help? To heal? To throw some light into a dark moment of someone’s life? To be something good to someone who needs it? To be a friend – not just a mate. To be me and hope others like me being me.

I admit it’s quite a big question to ask yourself on Tuesday afternoon.

Maybe if we ask this of ourselves every once in a while it could help us show a little more empathy toward our fellow marbles.

I’d genuinely like to know why you think you’re really here, dear blog reader.

[Marbles photo by Rebecca Barray ]

14 thoughts on “The Emotional Drain Train

  1. People often talk about someone losing their marbles, as in going mad…I wondered what they meant.

    I often wonder what I’m doing here. Yes, I’m a wife and mother, but what else? Is there more to life? Who am I?
    Yes, I’m here for my friends – I’m told I am a good listener. I’m told I’m positive and a great inspiration – that has a BIG down side because when I’m feeling down I have to paste on a brave face and smile. I am not sure about comparing marbles to people though 🙂

    But if it helps your writing inspires me!

    1. Thanks PiP! I’m honoured that I help inspire you! I was tempted to use Weebles as a metaphor for humans. I have find memories of playing with Weebles when I was teeny tiny. But when I saw that photo the marbles looked very happy but also kinda sad and they just reminded me of the colourful people I work with who spend a lot of time talking but not hearing what other folk have to say.

      The problem with being so full of energy and positivity is that when you find yourself at a low ebb you feel you still have to put on that brave face and keep on carrying on. After I’d hit publish I went shopping at Tesco. And now chilli is cooking. Tasty food always brings out the smiles for me!

  2. Awesome question Dave. I often ask myself that as well. Up until 2 years ago, I had no clue. No I think my purpose is to enlighten people on the good things in life. Don’t loose faith, no matter what you believe in. Push away the negativity, and focus on the positive. First and foremost, love your self. My other purpose is to be the best possible person I can be and give my son, Titan, the best possible life. 🙂

    1. Pushing away negativity and focussing on the positive stuff – highly admirable qualities, the world would be a better place if there were more folk like you Bren!

  3. Why am I here? Mostly as a living example that you can create a great person, a great life out of almost nothing. I think that’s it. And, of course, to walk in beauty. But I think they are one and the same, no?

    1. Only just noticed your comment Joss. Apologies. I reckon you’re right there, they’re are one and the same. It’s fascinating to read why people think they’re here. If you can touch someone’s life as you pass through your own, then your time here won’t be wasted.

  4. That’s such a terrifying and exhilarating question at the same time. I don’t really know, but I guess I’ve decided on ‘for those I love’. I have a wonderful family and a fantastic bunch of friends. They make my life worth living, and I hope I do the same for them. If we don’t have each other, what do we have?

    1. It would be a lonely existence without companionship. I guess there’s no right or wrong answer, everyone has a reason for being here, and it’s different for us all. Family and friends can bring colour into our lives, enrich it and make it worthy of remembrance.

Speak to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s