finding joy

I admit, I laugh a little when people phrase their statements as absolutes. As though I have ANY world wisdom at all and have any reason to be cooly looking over at anyone and laughing. I know. That’s part of what makes the whole thing ridiculous. But still. I laugh. Because if there’s anything I know it’s that rarely is anything absolute and black and white. See, I wrote “rarely” so I’m not hypocritically breaking my own holier-than-thou statement from on high.

And yet, sometimes, when people make these definitive, no question about it statements, our first response is to believe them. Or, at least for me, it used to be. I don’t think I believe much of anything anymore. Which possibly is bitter and sad, but actually has made me feel pretty free and happy. I used to think that what others’ said was more credible than what I thought because their opinions were more objective than mine. I was too close to me to know me clearly. But maybe they can’t see me well enough to know me clearly either. When you’ve spent your life focusing on pleasing people, it’s amazing how much weight is lifted when you realize that maybe just because they’re not pleased doesn’t mean that you’re flawed.

I’ve also realized something else, which I think (I hope) acts as a counterbalance that keeps me from letting my cynicism take over completely until I let my selfishness become the focus to replace the overpleasing. And that is that we all need people. I like being with my friends. And introducing my friends to my other friends and seeing them happy.

I used to spend so much time worrying about living my life alone. And now I don’t worry anymore. I like my life. And I’m not alone. I’m happy exactly the way that I am.

I measure life these days in moments, not in milestones towards a destination. I’m not checking off a list or looking at my days through the lens of a Microsoft Project spreadsheet.

I’m doing a bad job of explaining this, I think. I don’t mean to be philosophical or lyrical or poetic or pontificating.

I was in a cab this morning, being driven through DC. The driver was telling me about his daughters, and how their strength and independence made it difficult for them to find good men. Unlike most cab drivers who give me life advice, he was all for keeping that independence.

I don’t know anything. I really don’t. But I know that I don’t know anything. And I’m OK with not pretending that I do. And I’m going to find joy in moments as they come. Life is hard. We can all despair. But why should we let life win like that?

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