How does it feel to be an idealist? I'd have to have a point of reference to distinguish. But I don't, I'm not a realist. So this can't be illustrated through much of a 'compare and contrast' method.
You'll find every range of emotion in the idealist, with "contentment" probably being the rarest. Idealists can be content with many *aspects* but rarely the whole. (IMO), for this would almost negate the concept of idealism. To break it down as simply as I can, it seems to come back to the idea that what ones knows of an object is soley in ones mind. You might think you know an object because of what it looks, smells, sounds, tastes, or feels like, but the idealist holds that this is not the only experience of the object. It's form can be experienced by other means (abstract) and the idea of a 'perfect form' is born. The idealist seeks this "perfect form" in many ways. Those things will depend on the individual, and what they chose to value. The key is to understand that all idealists have some kind of image in their mind of what could or should be, not what is. Unhappy idealists have tremendous difficulty in connecting these two worlds, but it is through this hope or goal that alot of progress is made. One might say that if idealism is not accomplishable then it is not truly ideal, while others might hold to a perfect form that is just not accomplishable *yet*. Terms like "hope" "dream" "wish" "possibility" resonate within the idealist.
But how does it feeeeel?
Uh... like me.
How does it feel to be you?
Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts