I'm really just getting started on this post, as I'm sneaking it in from work on a very busy day. However, as you might guess from the title and my state of mind over the past couple of weeks, I'm intrigued by the concept of emotion and the human brain.
When I was growing up, I was a tomboy who never cried... and that was the case at least through my college years. These days, and I'm not sure when it started, I can find myself in tears over serious real life issues, or a Disney movie. I think all of this emotion makes me a better, more real, person.
I found myself sympathizing with another mom in the ladies room on a break from the Alvin Ailey performance on Mother's Day at NJPAC. When her 7-to-10 year old daughter asked her why she was crying during the first act, the mom told her she was moved to tears by the performance. The young daughter just shook her head and laughed at her in that "oh, mom" way my girls do.
If I try to understand whether emotion comes to us via "nature" or "nurture," I don't get very far, either. While both of my parents had much better reasons than I've ever had to cry, they never once broke down in front of me when I was growing up.
I find that in my predominantly male investment banking business environment, I tend to get mad rather than sad, which makes me a much more successful professional -- better to be seen as a pit bull than as a stereotypical member of the weaker sex.