You know when you repeat a word in your head or out loud enough that it becomes an abstraction? The word door, for instance, is an extremely easy example. You say or think enough about the word and letters of which it’s comprised and it becomes completely meaningless. Nothing more than the sum of its parts. Just a jumble of letters with nothing attached to them.
Try it with the word happy.
(I said ‘pee pee’ – ha)
It’s easy. It goes. Leaves. And nothing is left because it becomes nothing more than a bunch of letters with no meaning if you think on it too hard.
For the better part of two and a bit years, that’s what happiness has been to me: an over-thought abstraction. Elusive. Nothing more than a jumble of letters with no meaning.
Thank you, depression.
But today, I am happy. Not happy, but happy. Happy to the point that I had to think about whether or not happy was actually a word and not just a thing I made up as the wanton slut of semantic proliferation that is my imagination is wont to do.
Today I am happy enough to start a sentence with But.
So, of course I’m thinking on it too hard now.
Why do I get to be happy?
I haven’t even taken my pills yet.
I haven’t eaten and that’s going to lead to unhappy very soon, but right now, I just want to write about being happy and not worry about my body’s needs.
I guess I get to be happy because I’ve had reprieve. I’ve had almost a week in my lovely city without the pressure of having to compete. There’s a long story behind that. I’m not prepared to share it.
I guess I get to be happy because I’ve had a week full of catching up with long time friends that I don’t get to see nearly enough.
I guess I get to be happy because there are four days until pay day and I know I have enough money to get casa cushti through until then…as long as I can find my wallet.
I guess I get to be happy because I’ve had a lot of friends confide in me and recognise that keeping their secrets and honouring their stories as theirs to tell is my schtick. I’ve been thanked and apologised to and am sincerely grateful that I have such an amazing chosen family that gets it. Gets that part of me.
I guess I get to be happy because, even though I’m a stupidly busy mama, I’ve been able to have some long, heartfelt discussions with my loin fruits and better understand where they’re at these days. And I’ve taken the time to sit back and see how undeniably beautiful they are, inside and out.
You guys, I have amazing kids. I know I’m biased, but I would wish them on any one of you as much as I wish any one of you on them.
I guess I get to be happy because I get to be around creative, insane people who inspire me and make me want to make marry the shit out of life ALL THE FUCKING TIME. I mean it. I’m entirely surrounded by amazing people who never cease to compel.
I guess I get to be happy because I can claim to have cultivated all of the above, in spite of being an asshole sometimes and incredibly awkward sometimes and less than giving sometimes. I can somehow be happy and sit with regret for sometimes treating my favourites and my bests like shit sometimes and be sorry and feel that regret in the base of my belly but be humbled and thankful that my favourites and my bests are still there and always make me want to be a better person. To be who they are to me.
I guess I get to be happy.
I’ve either become surrounded by, or have started taking notice (a whole shit ton more) of women over the age of 40 who are just stunning. They’re downtown, fetching groceries and the like with their sassy grey hairs and cute orange mini skirts over leggings. They’re on the paths I walk to and from work, speeding past me on their bikes in great floral shifts and hair wraps and army boots. They’re my neighbours who work on their yards every weekend in wife beaters and skater shorts and pearls and perfectly selected lipstick. They’re at the establishment at which I tend bar in gorgeous chartreuse linen dresses and asymmetrical hair cuts and thigh high leather boots and they’re letting their curls go wild.
They’re never attached to a partner.
They’re all shapes and all sizes and don’t seem to give a fuck about looking like super models.
They’re femmes doing THEIR things.
They are FORCES.
They are aging FIERCELY and I love it.
I want to be besties – BFFs FOR LIFE – with every single one of these women.
On the odd occasions I actually get to engage or be engaged by these grandes dames, I feel starstruck, bashful, in AWE for a few seconds before I pull myself together enough to string together a coherent something that might lead to an actual conversation.
Perhaps it’s because I’m nearing that age that I take notice more. I remember acutely being in my mid-twenties and finally being ok in my skin. I remember reconciling that I’d never be a skinny chick and became decidely bloody-minded about putting my best self out to the world no matter how much by body, my lifestyle, or any of my self – be it my choices or genetics or anything – did not conform.
I acutely remember losing a bunch (not all, but a bunch) of that bloody-mindedness in my early 30s.
Now I’m nigh on 40. Just three years and a few months until then. I’ll have been through a major bout of depression, dealt with many losses, probably still working many jobs. My sprogs will be grown ups (gasp!) and I might, just might, be able to get back to being comfortable with myself. Regain some of that bloody-mindedness and age FIERCELY.