Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Gold flakes.

Now that the lovely blogging challenge is over, I'm back to coming up with my own stuff to blog about. That isn't so bad. I just have to remember to do it. See, I challenged myself several months ago to find something beautiful and wonderful in every day and stick it up here in witty, elegant prose. Or something. I'm sure I had some terrific reason for making this pledge. Perhaps it had to do with my brother being in Iraq and my mom being in Missouri and neither of them having a better way to hear about my day-to-day life. (I'm notoriously taciturn on the phone.) Maybe, though, it was because everyone has that one friend who's so cheerful and at ease with the world that they inspire us to change, improve, and grow. We want to make them proud. We want to feel like we deserve their friendship, even though they're always the kind of people who don't realize that we don't think we measure up because they don't care how we are. They'll take us as is.

I used to be broody. Actually, back up. There was a time I was severely depressed. That does something to a person's world view, to their persona. It makes them snarky. And broody. It kicks holes in their self-esteem.

On the other hand, I have a friend who sees everything good in the world. Even when life is trying to get him down, he finds a way to step back and laugh at the absurdity of it all. He's not one of those perky, "the world is sunshine and rainbows" people, though. He's just quietly optimistic.

An outlook like that is infectious. He inspired me to really see the world again. Now every day has a modicum of adventure.

When I first started this blog, I treated it like a journal. "Today I did this and this and this." That gets tedious rather quickly. Besides, bullet point narratives aren't what's important anyway. When my posterity looks back at my writing, I want them to see what mattered to me. That's why I decided many months ago to cut out all of the fluff and negativity and just record the magnificent. To me, that means the little things.

Take today, for example. Today my friends taught me how to play gin rummy. A different group of friends had taught me years ago, but it's not something that ever really stuck. After today, I hope to play it many more times in the future. Maybe this time I'll remember the rules.

Today I also learned that there is a disconnect between the way I see myself and the way I am seen by others. This morning in my Institute class, one of my most cheerful friends made a comment about how I always brighten her day because I'm always so happy and have such exciting stories. This was news to me. Aside from making me blush, it got me to thinking.

While I'm happy with who I am, and I'm thrilled with life, I still find that I am jealous of those people who are almost always in a fantastic mood. I realized today that while I'm not depressed anymore, I'm still seeing myself through a lens of depression. The feelings are gone, but the habit remains. I have no reason to be jealous of those happy people; I'm one of them. Somewhere along the way, somewhere between blowing bubbles and skipping around campus barefoot, I joined their ranks.

I'm becoming who I want to be. Because really, in the end, what's the point of life if you just spend it stagnating?

Listening to: Raising Helen
Reading: Persuasion by Jane Austen


  1. I love you. Those are the only words I can think of this late at night to sum up my reaction to this post. That, and I can't wait to see you next!