Friday, December 13, 2013

The Emotional Development Through Life

It is very interesting how my emotions change over time. In a strange way I don't feel like my mental capacity has changed much over time, I simply know a lot more through learning now than when I was seven, even though my ability to solve problems has only changed because of the tools I have learned to use. In other words, my IQ might even be lower than it once was because that test is nearly tool independent, but the problems I solve are much more complex because I've spent 20 years learning how to solve problems. My emotional development seems much more profound on the other hand.

When I was much younger I would watch war movies and get excited by the guys running around (me, excited by running...), shooting guns, and laughing. Now I watch the same movies and seem to only see the parts where a person is having a mental breakdown or a man younger than myself becomes permanently disfigured. Forrest Gump was a prime example, I used to think it was a comedy, but when I watched it once in college I broke down crying because it was so heartbreaking.

I can't point to one moment when I changed to acknowledge the emotional side of life. In fact, it's really more of a spectrum of emotions, I knew enough as a 17 year old so that I did not willfully enlist in the armed forces. Yet, in six months I may be standing on top of Mt. Everest, having not used bottled oxygen and thus risking a 7.6% chance of death on the descent. (Mountaineering statistics are skewed by people who do not turn around and descend when they should. My record of turning around on many major climbs such as Broad Peak, El Capitan, several times on Longs Peak, February 2006 on Mt. Adams, etc... should speak for itself.)

I do not know where my emotional development will lead. Maybe it has already peaked for my life. Maybe it will increase to such a high degree that my emotions now seem elementary. What I can say is that emotions are interesting. Food is emotional. Politics are emotional. Love is clearly emotional. How we mix the illogical emotional aspect of an experience with the logical aspect of an experience is difficult to understand and varies for nearly every experience. Being a vegan showed me how truly emotionally most people view food. Ultimately food is about getting the nutrients we need (science) with the taste we like best (the emotional aspect of food, but scientifically definable).

Emotions are clearly interesting.

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