The burning of Notre Dame shook me to my core yesterday.
The images and videos made me so upset that I thought I was going crazy. After all, it is just a building, and presumably no one died, so what is the big deal? Still, the cathedral is a symbol of beauty and hope—literally of reaching to the sky to a higher power—and, to me at least, of human achievement, collective action, and indomitable spirit. To see it, a world monument, burning up (and potentially collapsing altogether, though thankfully that did not happen) deeply troubled me.
I have thought about it a little more now, and have realized something: When upsetting things occur, it makes sense to be upset, even if what is happening isn’t the most upsetting thing that could occur. Feeling so bad wasn’t really a bad thing for my me, and it wasn’t an outsized emotion to something that wasn’t really affecting me. I’m not crazy; I’m sensitive, and that’s OK.