I can’t think of a more beautiful way to complete my day. The laugh of my 17 year old son. With me. It might just be one of the best, most honest-to-goodness happiest things. Ever.
“By how many people must we be loved in order to be happy? Two? Five? 10? Or maybe only one? The one who gives us sight. Who takes away fear. Who brings meaning into our existence.”
– “A Well Tempered Heart” by Jan-Philipp Sendker
My whole life I was told I was unhappy. And to this day my mom defends this by saying “I wanted to know what I could do to make you happy.” She even went so far as to say “You misinterpreted things (I said) as a kid.” Umm no….telling me I was unhappy, telling other people in front of me I was unhappy is pretty straightforward.
So now I look back and think was I unhappy? Or was I just living out what she placed on me, much like a self-fulfilling prophecy? I do know I was unhappy she would say this. I was unhappy hearing it. But was the core of me unhappy? I believe I was heavily unbalanced and seeking. Seeking someone or something to sit on the other side of the see-saw so that our legs would dangle as we sat perfectly balanced. Do you remember sitting on see-saws as a kid? It was no fun if the other person weighed that much more than you because you were left stuck in the air. And if the other person weighed that much less, well your legs would hit the ground so hard and your knees would bend to an uncomfortable angle. But when you found the perfect match, it was, well, perfect. And fun.
As I am trying to move forward to a healthier place in my life, I struggle with being wholeheartedly happy. Understand there are countless moments that bring me happiness. But…I proceed with caution. Divorce hurts. And I was hurt by others during this time. As a result, my heart doesn’t want to feel any more pain. It has become afraid. And timid. It has cracks and holes and bruised parts that are so desperately afraid of someone else taking it and not respecting all of it’s broken pieces. Or not even considering my heart at all.
Yes I am happy, but only cautiously so. Wholeheartedly?…..one day.
So real. A house boat. Floating. An attached dock. With jet skis. The dock fiercely moving with the energetic waves. “Don’t you get scared?” “I am use to it.” Emotions rising. Holding back tears. Memories of these times flood my mind. Suddenly a big push and the dock smacks against the wall. She is jerked backwards and then forwards but unharmed. It is now loose. Floating away. She jumps first quickly to get to the house boat. I follow. Lost around the corner. We run. Yelling for the both of you. I can now hide my tears against this excuse. As you retrieve the runaway dock, it suddenly becomes apparent it was not as big of a deal as originally thought. Keeping my head down, yet obviously upset, she says “she is not happy.” You look at me and suddenly I feel your hands rubbing my temples. The tears now flow readily down my cheeks. And I reach up to hold your hand. I feel you. And it hurts. And then….I awake. Crying inconsolably.
“Feel it. The thing you don’t want to feel. Feel it and be free.” – Nayirah Waheed
The fireworks, the smell of the grill, parades, the American Flag, watermelon, and corn on the cob, and potato salad, and patriotic colored desserts. The traffic, lawn chairs, fire truck horns, blueberries, and strawberries, and s’mores. And more fireworks. The Fourth of July. It’s friendships, families, camaraderie. It’s independence. The irony does not escape me. My favorite holiday is about coming together, independently.
The boys will be celebrating separately, by choice, doing what they each love. This alone gives me some piece of mind. For they are happy. Making memories that they will cherish. But my place is lost. Maybe this Fourth of July is more about independence for me?
It’s been a while. A while since I’ve written my thoughts. It was a long summer. It did not go as planned…but that’s okay. I tell myself the struggle makes me stronger. But truth be told, it took quite a bit of energy out of me. But I am here.
Tonight marks a new moon solar eclipse. Apparently, this is my year. A year of luck. Tonight I will write my intentions. And I will give them energy and thought and breed them into life. Discreet, concrete, abstract, and tangible. The more I read about this year, the more intrigued I become. I was guided to reflect on a date this past March. To find correlations with then and today. Interestingly, I had noted then I was happy. And so hope shines through again. I am excited and anxiously await this new year, this year of luck.
I have found myself wondering what exactly is my reality at this point in time. As I still seem to linger in this middle space, I yearn for a true reality. One that meshes my inside with my outside. I was asked in a survey recently if I was happy. I had to rate my happiness on a scale from 1 to 10. And I found myself feeling happy. When posed with that simple question, I discovered that yes I was happy. At the end of the day, I am happy. Amidst any pain, physical or emotional or psychological, any sorrow, I still find I am happy beneath it all. And yet I still seek a life that is grounded in a reality I day dream about. At times, I admit I become a bit impatient as a result. I am a dreamer. But when will my dreams match my reality?