Last week if you recall, yours truly turned another year older, and was feeling, to put succinctly, lost. Unsure, confused, on the side of a dirt and gravel road, hopelessly clawing around the glove compartment for a map, any map that could show her direction.
Fast forward to a week later, and yours truly is smiling at random intervals during the day, laughter is coming easily to her, and a sense of optimism and inspiration has filled the space recently vacated by the tenant that was housed their last week.
Perhaps the two days off in a row has helped benefit my overall mental health, or maybe the beautiful sunshine and emerald green grass and playful breezes are to blame. Maybe it was the trip to my doctor for a check up, who is always patient (pun!) and answers my every inquiry, like she has since I was seven. Maybe it was seeing Zach over the weekend, or maybe it was my rare choice to go without socks for a day. Who knows.
What I do know though, is I am trying. Which, a very old and wise person once said (okay, it was a puppet being voiced by Frank Oz, but that aside, Yoda did have some very profound moments…before they CGI’d the crap out of him), “Do or do not, there is no try.” But in this case, I’m trying to do, which in my mind is better than not trying to try to do at all.
I’m trying to enjoy the little moments life surprises me with. I’m trying to be content with how my life is now. My doctor, of all people, reminded me today that I’m where I am right now for a reason, and one day I will look back and maybe see why I was where I am now. But until then, I need to learn to be happy and love the now. A dream job may bring rejoicing to my bank accounts, but it won’t make me happy. Getting married might fill my soul with love and bring happy tears to my eyes, but it won’t make me happy. Holding my daughter’s hands as she takes her first steps might fill me with a sense of pride and protection I’ve never felt before, but it won’t make me happy. Painting the walls of an eventual living room in our first house might make me feel like a responsible adult and giddy with the sense of ownership, but it won’t make me happy.
If I don’t start working on being happy now, with who I am now and who I am with now and where I am now and what I’m doing now, than trying to find that happiness, chasing it through each stage in life will mean nothing and result only in one thing: lack of contentment, and disappointment.
Happiness starts within.
Life might not be my ideal right now. In fact, life at present may still give me days where I just want to hide under the covers from the world, and most of all, myself. But instead of focusing so much on what is wrong, I need to start focusing on what is so right and the countless blessings I have. Pursue my dreams and find out what they are, even if the world says I’m silly and childish for doing so. Embrace Zach often, and be beyond grateful for having someone like him in my life. Enjoy the hand holding and conversations where we talk over the other in excitement and the moments where we butt heads because it is only a result of two opinionated individuals who feel extreme passion for the subject at hand and the other’s well being. Find comfort in co workers who have become friends, and the realization that working in retail (especially at a big box bridal shop) has helped me be a more firm version of myself, one who is assertive when the occasion calls for it and exercises compassion when my heart can’t help it. Being grateful for a place to put my words down in sentences (despite my lack of grammatical ways at times) and being grateful for the wonderful friends and loving family that do care about me. The friends the love me when I’m zany, and love me when I hurt. The family that defends me and may not use the word love often, but shows it immensely. Feeling blessed that while my body is not in optimal condition, I am alive and healthy, and my mind is this fascinating place that I can’t help but wander around in for hours. Remembering Someone bigger than me is in charge, and remember to thank Him often. Remember to ask Him and talk to Him when I need to, and want to, because sometimes He is the only one who can fix the mess.
To waking up a loved one, so they can see the moon rising.
To cookie dough ice cream.
To blasting the Backstreet Boys while commuting to work.
To random Qdoba dates with dear college friends.
To being able to smell Zach on my clothes after visiting him.
To finding shoes that are comfortable.
To sitting in Barnes and Noble, paging through children’s picture books and history books and touching best sellers with edgy designs for hours on end.
To grabbing breakfast with my dad.
To arguing with my mom over the benefits of a clearance top in the fitting room.
To randomly visiting my grandparents.
To looking back at old photographs, and seeing yourself in new light.
To making a child laugh in ways grown ups cannot.
To sleeping with the windows open, and hearing a distant train.
To waterfalls and cherry blossoms, seen by my eyes and through a lens.
To broken in sneakers, polka dot tops, and a cardigan in every color.
To pancakes with grilled bananas and melted ice cream instead of butter.
To letters with wax seals.
To gifts given from the heart.
To having to include toes when counting how many people love you.
These are reasons to not worry. These are reasons to be happy. To be happy, and to be happy now.