Zia Hassan

A Heart Tickle

Maybe it’s fatherhood. Maybe it’s living in a house that I feel completely aligns with my taste and my character. Maybe it’s working a job that I absolutely love. Either way, I feel happy lately. I wake up every morning excited to be alive, excited to be a father and a husband, and excited to take on whatever challenges the day presents.

One interesting sensation that’s developed in the past few months is the feeling of what I describe as a heart tickle. It’s almost a sense of longing ness, like leaving someone you won’t see for a while, except they’re standing right there. It’s the wistful sensation of missing someone before they’ve even gone away. I don’t know what spurred it, or why it’s been so prevalent in my life lately.

I feel it when I think about my parents. I feel it when I think about my son, and my wife.

But that’s not to say it’s a bad thing, in the same sense that physical tickling is not bad thing. It can be uncomfortable, and can provide a little does of cognitive dissonance. Our faces are smiling, our voices are laughing, and we’re screaming “stop!! STOP!!!” through our tear streamed faces. It’s pure joy and discomfort all at once. There are few feelings like it.

An interesting note is that this heart tickle feeling, it seems, cannot co-exist with anxiety. The more anxiety I feel, the less of a heart tickle there is. And maybe that’s what it comes down to. Having a life that makes me happy and not anxious brings forth a need to miss what hasn’t yet left.

It’ll take me some time to get used to this.