Emotions are weird, why did I learn to feel them?
My wife has called me a robot for years. And I totally understood why. I never used to feel emotions like normal humans do. And I rarely understood why humans were acting the way they did when they got all emotional about some trivial (or even not so trivial) thing.
When something happened in my life that I wasn’t fond of, I’d simply do whatever was required to address the issue and move on. I wouldn’t dwell on “how it made me felt”. In fact, if the problem was dealt with, I would typically forget that what ever had occurred took place and would move on.
But then I went and bought a gym
And buying a gym had one particularly odd consequence. All of a sudden I was exposed to a wide range of humans and their various human related issues and feelings. People started telling me their life stories and problems and expected me to have some form of response that sounded human like.
And by being exposed to these strange aspects of human life, I started to understand humans better and experience these odd things called emotions myself. And my wife started noticing that I was becoming some what less robotic. She actually started to like the fact that I was becoming more human and understanding these emotion things slightly better.
I was experiencing this thing called empathy as a result of talking to humans about their lives and life related problems. And through learning what this empathy thing was, I was also personally experiencing a wider range of emotions that I really wasn’t used to experiencing.
And then came the time to sell my gym, and move on to something new and different
My business had been performing poorly for roughly 12 months so I needed to decide whether or not the business was worth saving, or if I should simply go back to my old career. Before owning a gym I worked in the mining industry as an environmental scientist. I am very fortunate that this career pays well, so recovering from a failed business wouldn’t be too difficult.
So for the past few months, I have been trying to sell my business and find employment again. And this past Monday I not only signed the offer documents for a new position in the mining industry, but I also received a formal offer for the purchase of my business. In fact both of these things were completed within the same hour.
And this is where the title of this post begins to make sense: Signing the letter of offer for my new role brought with it an extreme sense of relief and happiness. The position is one that I had been really hoping to be offered. And I had worked extremely hard to impress my new employer. So setting a start date and reviewing the employment documentation brought with it a great sense of happiness, relief, pride and excitement.
But signing the formal offer for the sale of my business brought with it a great feeling of sadness along with some regret. I’ve worked so hard on this business for the past 3 years. And further to that, I have built an amazing community within this gym. The members are all so warm and friendly, and a lot of fun to spend time with. And after recruiting Personal Trainers for the past 3 years, I have finally built a team of trainers who are friendly, intelligent and hard working.
So, during that hour of signing paperwork, I felt a the bizarre sensation of being both extremely happy and incredibly sad all at the same time. What a confusing sensation. Is this what being human feels like? I don’t like it. Can I go back to being a robot?
Something tells me that I can’t.