There is someone with whom I have had few, but very involving conversations. One of the first few times I spoke to him, he asked me “Are you intense?” I mumbled some half intelligent response, “sometimes, about somethings…”. But that question has come back to me time and again since that day. Am I intense? Can anyone answer this question honestly and completely?
I guess intensity is some sort of continuum. You are more intense than some people, less than others. Those flakier than you think you are very intense, those more intense than you think you are flaky. Like that silly line I read somewhere, if you are driving in the middle the one in the lane slower than you seems like a tortoise, the one in the faster lane seems like a maniac.
But leave aside the comparison with others. I ask you to ask yourself, what are those things you have felt intensely about in the last 6 months? In your whole life?
Don’t those things that answer that question form the essence of who you are? The experiences that have moulded you? Have taught you how to view the world? And more importantly, have taught you how to let the world view you?
And what about those experiences that you don’t feel intensely about? Do they not contribute in making you who you are? If life consists of neutral, not so neutral, not so intense & intense experiences, which are the most defining? Which spin that unique magic that is you?
A very simplistic analogy comes to my mind. Cinnamon cake. If you take the ingredients, it has flour, eggs, butter, sugar and cinnamon, in descending order of quantity. But it’s called cinnamon cake. Not flour cake. Why? Cinnamon maybe the smallest in quantity, but its flavour is so intense that it defines the cake. Our neutral experiences are the like flour, the cake of our personality needs the bulk of those blah experiences. We need what we have in common with others so we can belong to some community, like the sugar in the cinnamon cake makes it sweet so it can be clubbed with the family of cakes. But what defines us, makes us unique is what we feel intensely about, our own little stick of cinnamon.
So go ahead and feel all that. Guilt, sorrow, remorse, frustration, hope, joy, love, happiness. It will add that spice & scent which will make you you. I’ll take a piping hot cinnamon bun over pound cake any day.