Curious, that what begat my happiest epoch to date was the bloody, shredding removal of a Cupid’s dart. Or, no— it was the eventual and, sad, timely falling of Damocles’ sword. At any rate, it was something dramatic and mythic, as such things are wont to be; must be, because we’re human, and we love*.
Happily, the parting was only dramatic briefly— no harm and no foul, it was amicable, reasonable, and eventually sweet. More happily still, we’re as close, if not closer, than ever. No love was lost. (This is, I’m sure, part of what colored the next phase. Nothing was broken in the tragic sense, just a shift.)
But yes. Happiest I’ve ever been, possibly, the past couple years, despite being singular for the first time in over a decade. But happy in a whole new way. One previously unimagined, as it’s not delineated the way we grew up, what we’re taught to expect. That’s key. No one will believe it; but they’re not me. I know it. I walked a mile and a half home late last evening in sub-freezing weather, and had nothing but a smile on my face, headphones in my ears. If ever I appear to be just walking, it’s a lie. I’m always dancing these days. That’s where I’ve been, what I feel. I can’t explain it, save that it feels like a choice.
Obviously, there are in life many obstacles and hurdles and hardships. I’m not blind nor immune to these— terrified, honestly— they show up; their spectres have not overwhelmed yet, but they will do one day. For all of us. The fact they’ve not yet is, I think, part of my joy. I’m finally AWARE of the joy of each day that all is well.
On a day-to-day basis it’s possible to choose how you greet the day; your partner; your work; your fellows, your neighbors—
I have it rather easy— having no commute, nor coworkers (though I do miss them at times), nor an office—I recall the drain these things can perpetrate, especially in NYC. Well, I do have an office, but it’s my home and I’m my own boss. This makes my life easier in some ways, and more difficult in others. I’m ALL the departments, so if something falls through the cracks, it’s my fault. I have to do all the work and make certain it’s done on time and to my standards (which means Ace). It’s a trade-off— solitary suits me and, honestly, in NYC I don’t get enough of it sometimes, even working alone all day. But so many amazing people in this town; I wax and wane, as far as balance goes. Hard to say no— people and connections are what life is for. Shared experiences are crucial. Meaning.
All that aside. My initial point; as I walked my 30 minutes in the cold tonight along the deserted January corridors of Gowanus, the persistent thought and feeling that accompanied me was: HAPPY! I am happy. Boldface happy. I’ve reclaimed myself these past few years. I know Me. My beloveds know me, as ever they have— I’m just Liz again, for the first time in awhile. I walk and I can barely contain my smile sometimes. I love this town; this neighborhood, all these people— my friends, my family (whom I see not enough of!), my community, my Brooklynites. Never in the dead of winter, save these past two years, have I felt so joyful— as if summer were upon us in its full fervor and delirium. To take it back to the shredding, the heartbreak— the losses that strike you can instill a capacity for joy previously unimagined. It’s a gift. It renews you, if you let it. If you work for it.
Love, Joy, Beauty, Empathy— these are not rare, they’re not scarce. We only imagine them so, or have been convinced so. Withholding them is a farce; ill-advised. They’re the most bottomless, renewable— and yet most valuable— of the resources we have to hand. They’ve no monetary value, but that likely asserts the point in full. They cannot help with rent or bills or ‘reality’, but the fact they can’t be left in a will means you must lavish them upon your beloveds while you can— like sunshine in the warmer months, you just have to soak it up while it’s extant. Blink, miss it, and you may regret (clearly one of the worst emotions our Big Brains avail us of. Avoid that one).
That’s what literature, music, art —all the making— is about. Living the beauty, the tragedy, the feelings we are privy to—giving thanks. We’ll be gone soon enough, and one day even our lovely sun will implode, and all will be stardust once again. We ought to dance while we may, dammit!
Anyway, for all of it, I’m thankful. And just really fucking happy right now.
*weirdly but not surprisingly, thank you, Ben ❤