Yesterday, and my friend and I took my new Beagle to our favorite coffee place--the 61C Cafe. My friend is good at lots of things, but picture-taking, not so much.
|Beagle picture Take 2.|
Today I'd like to talk about being happy. When I revived this blog this winter, I thought I was going to write a lot about depression and recovery. But much to my relief, it turns out that I'm a very buoyant person. My recovery period was mercifully short.
Nonetheless, I was sick with depression this winter. I call the illness "depression" because I couldn't stop sobbing, and the crying and hopelessness interfered with my ability to work at my desk, go to meetings, eat, sleep, get out of bed, socialize and have any quality of life. I turned my illness into my project, though, and got myself everything from therapy to a chiropractor to a dog.
|The scene at my house, right this very moment.|
My mom and some of my closer friends have compared me to Grover Monster, because it manifests as something like this:
I get very, very happy when I go on vacation, or see a band, or get to taste something new and amazing. Or at random times, like when the world reveals just how beautiful and exhilarating it can be. Like when the winter gives way to spring and the daylight has a golden glow and the flower buds start to push out of the mud and the air feels electric on my skin. I feel the whole burst of renewal swell up around me---the birds feel it and tweet their little lungs out, the dirt starts to smell like baby plants and every breath makes me want to grin or break into a run. I feel it in my very core.
I remember when I went to Cedar Point for my 32nd birthday. Every time I got off a roller coaster, I felt so happy and refreshed that I felt like could run a lap around the park. It was like my brain had hit a "reset button," finally relieving me of all the burdens I had been carrying around: work deadlines, board meetings, office politics, headaches, my uptight and over-critical boyfriend, etc. I actually had to reign myself in, because 32-year-olds don't run around for no reason. Stifling my complete joy was exhausting.
For me and my (then) boyfriend.
And that's the recurring theme of my life right now. My family and friends seem to appreciate my Grover-esque ecstasy. They seem to because they want to be around me, and they want to make me happy. But not everyone can deal.
In December, a man broke up with me (VIA EMAIL. TWO DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS) when, to my blindsided bewilderment, he could no longer "keep up the pace" of being in love with me.
Recently, another man walked out of my life, although this time, I had something to do with it. He described my personality as "happy, bubbly" and "a lot to take."
The first experience devastated me, and the second just pissed me off for a couple days. What is with these guys?
It took me a long time to learn to get to here. I wasn't ready to forge bravely into 2013 when it rolled in. I worked at healing and finding the light at the end of my depression. But even more so than that -- I wasn't always like this. In my teens and twenties, I was much more anxious. I was timid and self-concious and thought life's small worries were much bigger than they actually were.
Over time, I learned a couple things. I learned that everything and everyone is temporary, so we need to relish every good moment before it's gone. I learned that I am, in the best possible way, invisible -- no one is watching me being a goofball because everyone is the star of their own life. They're too worried about themselves to worry about me, so I can scream my lungs out on a roller coaster and dance in the grocery store if I want to. And I learned that there are a hundred ways to die. Letting this world pass you by without loving it, loving others, and finding joy, is waiting to die.
It's work. For me, it's work because I didn't get everything I want. I wanted to be married by now. I really thought I would be. I wanted to have a baby. I want to be able to take my family to my parents' house on holidays instead of showing up, every time, by myself. I wish my job situation was different. These things can be soul-crushingly disappointing if I let them be.
Or I can realize that I live in a beautiful, exciting city with a whole cast of clever and sparkling characters who will gladly go on adventures with me. I can teach my dog a new trick, or get dressed up and taste champagne with my friend Line, or I can stay home writing all day. I can pick Madge's brain over brunch, or I can go see Soundgarden, or I can pick through treasures at a flea market with James, or I can brainstorm new projects with Jessica. I can make out with a handsome man or I can stay home and watch Netflix with my cat or I can eat a delicious meal that my mom made. Such wonderful things!
I didn't get everything I want, but I don't have to wait to die.
So, fuck you if you think I'm "a lot to take."
I'm going to work on being like her. This lady can barely walk, but the broad can dance.