I find it really interesting how the weather can sometimes show exact congruence with a person’s mood, sometimes have the exact opposite effect, and sometimes be completely non-predictive. Congruent weather is often used in movies and TV to depict the emotion or situation. For example, it is often raining at funerals in movies (sadness), sunny after the character has accomplished something (happiness), storming when a conflict is about to happen (fear or anger), and others.
(EDIT on 10/31/14: A song that I heard today perfectly complements this post as well as what my mood was when I originally wrote this post… for those that want to re-read it!)
I woke up today with light rain falling outside my window. I must admit that I am feeling a little down today from the emotion of my favorite radio shows ending. Interestingly, though, yesterday I read an article suggesting that people on the spectrum do not lack empathy–rather they are overcome with it and will not show it on a regular basis… in the guise of fear. (The full article is at Seventh Voice, a fellow WordPress site).
In that case, I wonder if part of my sadness at the end of “Sunny-Side Up” is more related to empathy for Kristin and Lindsay than it is my own sadness. At the same time, with the positivity and cheesiness that they exhibited on every show, the show DID become a part of me. (And before anyone asks, no, neither of them are my girlfriend. I get fixated on things that I like, which is why this radio show has been mentioned in so many of my recent posts.) Yet, I will modify a fairly well-known quote from Dr. Seuss. This is inspired by Kristin’s comment about emotional vulnerability, and my increased awareness of my emotions in the past few years:
Don’tFeel free to cry because it’s over; but don’t forget to smile because it happened.”
Of course, they encouraged all of us at the end of the show to have a “sunny-side-up day every day”, and even if it is sad that the show is over, the sun HAS risen, even if it is obscured by the clouds. After all, rays of sunshine are capable of peaking out of your heart, rather than just the sun itself!
Let me move on to a sunny day where the sunny day was indeed predictive of my positive emotion. That date would be August 17, 2012. In my journal, I had written, “Fully started [the day] to sunshine–a good sign!” Indeed, about 5 hours after I woke up, I got these words from my committee coming out of the conference room:
PROFESSOR BAYLISS: “Congratulations!” (offers handshake)
PROFESSOR KATH: “Congratulations!” (offers handshake)
PROFESSOR KEER: “Congratulations!” (offers handshake)
Even though I didn’t directly enjoy the sunny weather after passing the quals, the weather, combined with the weight lifted from me, let me feel on top of the world. I didn’t directly enjoy the weather until the evening because my apartment was in desperate need of cleaning. (Interestingly, I got to listen to המסיבה that afternoon.)
Although I don’t have a specific date for the next thing of weather congruence, the pure whiteness of new snow corresponds to the juvenile joy of a snow day. Of course, that whiteness may turn later in the day to boredom, particularly if snowed in, but I want to emphasize the positivity of the whiteness, the sparkling of the snow crystals if the sun later comes out, and the joy aforementioned.
If I go back to the top of the post and ask whether rain always predicts sadness for me, OF COURSE NOT! Most of the time, rain is non-predictive of my emotions. For example, it rained nearly every Thursday during my first quarter at Northwestern. There were rarely any sad days there. However, it must have been predictive of me going to SPG Improv! (Well, I was brought to tears in this practice after a scene that I was in got blown up by the “Scene Grenade” from the peanut gallery. That was only because I was laughing so hard after the scene blew up that I couldn’t breathe, and teared up as I tried to regain my wind.)
Going back to Friday, April 28, 2006, it was my last day of classes for my freshman year at UNL. I had locked my bike outside Avery Hall, and gone to Linear Algebra (MATH 314H) in Avery Hall at 08:30, physics lab (PHYS 222) in Ferguson Hall at 09:30, and then Elementary Analysis (MATH 325) in Oldfather Hall at 12:30. Returning to the bike rack at 13:30, it was lightly raining, and I could not find my bike. IT WAS STOLEN! There was no trace of the bike or the lock. Maybe I felt sadness, but I think that the primary emotion was anger. Thankfully, there was no lightning or harsh wind to go with that anger.
I have a few days that I’d like to point out that had weather particularly incongruent with my emotions as well.
The first was June 1, 2007. I blogged about this a while ago, and the weather was sunny, quite incongruent with my pain and helplessness by the end of the day, between the poison ivy, lost GPS, and car stuck in the mud. No further details are necessary here–read the post if you are interested.
January 8, 2003 was a fully sunny day in Lincoln, with highs in the lower teens (Celsius). I was driving home from school, having to finish typing up a draft of a paper. I felt happy because I felt it wouldn’t take that long. But, as I was waiting between LaSalle and Spruce Streets waiting for a car to turn left on 40th Street, my car was rammed from behind (oddly, by someone that I knew!) This was an “unavoidable” crash, which changed my emotion from innocence to fear.
Normally, fear is an emotion that I associate with thunderstorms, and definitely not sunny days. Maybe my emotion should have been gratefulness that I was completely uninjured physically. Two of my big fears after the crash: (1) that the car would explode if I tried to drive it home, and (2) that Dad would blow up in anger at me. Neither happened, and at the site, Mom said that I had to get over my fear of (1), as well as reassured me that (2) would not happen because it wasn’t my fault. Oh, yeah, and I also had fear that I wouldn’t be able to finish my assignment, as we were going to the Harlem Globetrotters game that night at Pershing. It all worked out in the end.
During my younger years, as well, many a July 3 ended up being a rainy day. But, how can one be sad on a birthday, particularly one in childhood? They are always associated with parties, gifts, and cake. Certainly, they were never sad days for me back then.
This short treatise on weather and my emotions is done, but it’s obviously not a comprehensive list. You give the salient examples and it will be sufficient.
Today is the seventy-eighth day of M.M.X.I.V. That makes eleven weeks and one day.
EDIT on 31 May 2014: With the Daily Prompt that asked for this, I’ll pingback even though this is cheating a little bit.