Getting All Emotional in My Middle Age

I don’t cry very often. Even during last semester, which was hard and miserable and lonely and made me feel completely unsure of myself and my abilities as a student, teacher, and scholar, I only actually cried a couple of times.

However.

I find myself, the older I get, the more apt I am to tear up at something beautiful and deeply touching: TED talks, listening to Judith Malina talk, so entirely sincerely, about the anarcho-pacifist revolution after the death of her second husband, Neil Gaiman’s “Instructions, and Carl Sagan’s words, are just some of the things that have made me get all choked up and while I don’t actually cry, my eyes get teary and my voice will break with emotion and I’ll be on just this side of the line from crying. This seems to be happening more and more and I don’t know if it’s because I don’t cry regularly and so it all gets bottled up and threatens to come out when I encounter something that strikes me deeply and emotionally or if I’m just less guarded about letting certain things affect me. The other thing is that these are not sad moments. In fact, most of what gets to me (like my recent post about the Virtual Choir 2.0) are words, music, images, thoughts, and descriptions about beauty and humanity that come from an honest place and that communicate something true about what it means to be alive and to be human or something about what it means to be the best we can be.

I don’t have a real point or lesson to draw from this observation, but I wonder if anyone else my age is having a similar experience. As we get older do we get more sentimental? Do we simply have less at stake in guarding our emotions from ourselves?

On this day..

3 thoughts on “Getting All Emotional in My Middle Age

  1. Yes, only from my experience can I say yes to holding back all the years that I never cried, yes age, and with so many things happening in the world, I think that the simply beautiful images and music and words just make some of us become very emotional. Hope that you don’t try to hold in emotions as much as I did. Comes to a point when some commercials make one get teary, that is really bad!

  2. I’m just as moody as I’ve always been 😉 but I’ve found that in the past few years I too tend to tear up more over visuals plus music- although sometimes in response to the oddest things (AMVs of the Avatar cartoon, some of the opening/closing sequences from FMA Alchemist – go figure). Additionally, I’ve found that familiarity with a piece tends to make me more, rather than less, sensitized (the last of episode of B5 gets worse every time).

    I tend to think of sentimentality as being a better appreciation for all the flavors of experience, and the reason we have less stake in guarding ourselves is because we’re so much stronger than when we were young (even if it doesn’t always feel that way).

    -Nick

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