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The Feeling that You Can’t Describe!

Sounds, drawings, words, and many more representative symbols allow us to articulate our emotions and provide a better understanding of our surroundings and ourselves. Although we are almost always perceiving information, new events, and emotions, there are instances where we cannot express feelings or convey an intense collection of experiences. Within the ever vast, complicated, and at times seemingly inconsistent language that is English, there are words to help to express these overwhelming situations. 

An example of this can be described as a “moment of tangency” from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. The phrase attempts to capture that overbearing feeling of what ifs and thoughts of what might have been people experience in everyday life. Every day we are met with choices that lead to different experiences, or endings, but with each decision we make, we stray away from another potential outcome. It may be seen during the reflection of arguments in language such as “If only I did/didn’t say that to her” or in instances of relief such as “I’m glad that I used the bathroom before leaving the house.” There are even instances that you may have almost crossed my path while walking down the street; whatever it may be, the moment of tangency seeks to illuminate the feeling of chance encounters. The next time you are stuck in a situation of back and forth hypotheticals, you are experiencing a moment of tangency. It is good to prepare for potential what ifs in life, however, it is important to be spontaneous and not to dwell on decisions that you can no longer change or influence, besides to positively learn from them.  

Another example is a word that may accompany New Year's Resolutions, Spring cleaning, or any quarter life crisis situation: novaturient. Novaturient is an adjective with the roots novāre meaning to make new. The word itself however represents the “desiring or seeking powerful change in one’s life, behavior, or situation”(lawhimsy, 2018). The word may be used to resemble a call to action for a positive change such as simply drinking more water, exercising, removing yourself from toxic relationships, or transitioning towards real action to better yourself. If you ever had the feeling to suddenly explore the world, clean your room, or shift into a more positive thinking during difficult times, this could be an example of novaturient thinking. Although this isn’t something that you need to be experiencing all the time, it is something to consider if you ever feel stuck. Identify an end goal or just something small, and work towards that in however many steps you need. Remember, even the smallest of changes/habits makes a big difference and all progress/change is something new, no matter how small! 

Rumination and klexos, another word from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows both approach the theme of reflecting or being stuck in the past. Rumination can be defined as being in deep thought about something but is associated with being stuck in a repeated loop of negative thoughts. Rumination attempts to convey this negative fixation on events that have happened or may happen which hinders viewing the circumstances from a foreign perspective. Klexos is a more positive outlook and solution towards rumination in which there is acceptance that we cannot change our past experiences; however, the interpretation, meaning, and value of those experiences can change. Although memories at times may feel foreign and antique in time, we can relive experiences with loved ones or re-reflect on memories with our current knowledge and gained experiences. It is important to identify if these thoughts are intrinsic or intrusive in nature. Is your attachment to the past something that you seek consistently replay back to make sense of a particular event, or to provide a sense of falsehood/justification, like maintaining a relationship of any kind solely based on memories or past events. Understanding the difference is something that can help you better understand the attachment to the memory and help you prepare for future healings with a professional therapist or psychologist. Klexos allows for a more positive reflection on the past as something negative, but a growing experience, regardless of circumstance or difficulty. 

Words possess the ability to provide understanding, formulate connection, and evolve from circumstances present. A great resource to check out for more words that express how “we all feel but don’t have the language to express,”as previously mentioned in the article, would be the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

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