Oct 3, 2011 0
Quite a long time ago, four long years ago. Big, fancy house. Husband. Cats. Three and a half years ago, suddenly looking hard at my tangled, messy, perpetual barely-hanging-on-ness. Starting to think about ‘happiness’ even though – as many pointed out to me – this wasn’t quite the correct word, and it was prone to be confused with hedonism. What I was trying to express was ‘rational, loving and sustainable well-being’. But that’s too long and too difficult to explain. So I talked about My Happiness Project.
Looking backwards for a moment, there are posts from that time on my old LiveJournal with tags like’my happiness project’ and ‘lifehacking’, arbitrary words for a much bigger thing, and recording fragments of a journey. On that journey, I got somewhere; some great distance from the place where I had been before. It started to feel like it was somewhere I could stay forever. And then moving out, immeasurable sadness, innumerable boxes, and constantly fighting everything down on every front.’The thing I regret the most over the last couple of years is not having had the capacity to hang onto tight the gentle, kind love for myself that I’d been carefully cultivating. Finding that it was possible to actually like myself was – for various historical and then-current reasons – a great, unfolding knowledge and a completely new experience. It is utterly unacceptable to live in such a manner that when I look hard at myself, I sigh.
Somewhat unexpectedly over the past few weeks, the spark that triggered my first headlong crash into really, truly learning to be okay has been reignited. I’m thinking about well-being, looking again at my mechanisms of self-sabotage, starting to clear out all the clutter – mental and physical – that has accumulated in every corner of my life. Looking at being a woman who does something more than just hang on, just cope, just hoard every little bit of energy and sanity to be able to get up, go to work, and do it sufficiently well.
I’m waking the hell up and crashing back into it, in the passionate, enthusiastic way I crash into things when I’m very excited. I’m reading, re-reading, thinking, planning and considering two years’ worth of swirling chaos dissolve in the face of one little step after another.
And I’m going to write about it a little, because sometimes the best thing of all is remembering that you’re not the only one on the road.