Unlike happiness, sadness, envy, or anger, the Dictionary of Obscure sorrows defines some of the most complex emotions known to mankind. It's surprising how many have experienced these emotions, yet could not wrap their fingers around the feelings they were experiencing.
Dissatisfaction felt when photographing something fascinating, and then realizing that thousands of identical photos exist. Like stopping in the middle of a road trip to take a picture of a magnificent waterfall, posting it on social media, and then realizing that you could've searched up a picture of a waterfall on google images and no one would notice.
We see ourselves as the center of our universes. Our family, friends, and acquaintances are the planets and comets that revolve around us. Sonder is the realization that everyone around us is living a life as vivid and complex as our own.
You may have felt Kenopsia while walking through the house one last time before you moved out. The rooms that were once filled with posters on the walls and decorative furniture are now eerily empty. Or you may have experienced this while walking through an empty school hallway early in the morning. Due to the coronavirus, everyone around the world is experiencing Kenopsia. Yesterday I drove past a mall that's usually packed with thousands of cars in the parking lot, but that day not a single car was in sight. It almost looked abandoned.
There is brilliance all around you hiding in plain sight. Whether it is the homeless man playing guitar on the side of the road, the friend that composes her songs, or the father who is good at baking. Silience is the acknowledgment of the talents of those around us.
Des Vu is the realization that the present moment will one day become a distant memory. Snorkeling in the crystal blue waters of a tropical island, realizing that this memory will resurface as you return to your mundane routine. Dancing the night away at prom, realizing that a few years later prom will be the highlight of your high school experience.
Wake up in the morning, get dressed. go to your 9-5 job, pick up your kids, cook dinner, watch TV, go to sleep, and repeat. While completing this routine you may meet new people and experience new things, but when reflecting on your life, the realization hits you that there was nothing special about it. Koinophobia is the fear that you've lived an ordinary life.
Nostalgia for a time you have never known. A time you have never experienced, yet feel a reminiscence unknown to mankind.
The realization that you'll never know what other people truly think of you. A different version of you exists in the minds of everyone you have met. Because it is difficult to sense our own flaws, our perceptions of ourselves can be distorted. Does he have a good image of me? A bad one? Does he even think of me at all? These questions can never be answered.
The bittersweetness of arriving in the future, and seeing how everything played out. Your long-awaited questions have finally been answered-- am I going to be successful, did I find my soulmate, which friends never left my side-- and you feel the urge to go back to the past with the knowledge you have acquired and tell your younger self.
A worry, guilt, or overdue task that only strikes at night, when you are trying to fall asleep. This thought does not affect you during the day, but at night its presence makes you toss and turn.
Finding someone so attractive that is agitates you. This emotion should not be confused for envy or attraction.