Archive for the ‘Happiness’ Category

No words…

March 22nd, 2014 | Josie

Birth is a mystery.  Words are not enough.”  ~Marie O’Connor

There are no words to describe this joy, true happiness!

Max Yih-Lon P.
Born 6:40 am on March 22nd, 2014 at 39 weeks on the nose
6 lbs 14 oz and 20 inches long… a total peanut of pure perfection!

 

It’s not what you want…

January 12th, 2012 | Josie

“Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known.”  ~Garrison Keillor

 

Another year come and gone, and I find myself gazing longingly into the distance, dreaming of “might have been’s” and “what could be’s,” before I drag my thoughts back into reality and the solid “what are’s.” The funniest thing about the act of pondering possibilities, past or future, is that you wind up with this odd, bittersweet taste in your mouth. It is one of the few moments in life when you truly feel two emotions, whole and unaltered feelings experienced simultaneously. On the one hand, I can look back fondly on a point in time, sad that I’m not still in that place. Or, conversely, I can remember a moment of my life that was difficult or sad, and still grudgingly acknowledge the positives that were wrung from distress. I’m familiar with the duality of feeling that I can – and often do – experience when thinking back on my life…

I am, however, in fairly new territory when faced with the same parallel emotions as I brood about what the future holds. For so long the concept of ‘future’ was a bright, distant light, something intangible and out of reach. The world was full of limitless possibilities and my life was only a matter of choosing the right path on which to embark. While my past may be filled with doubts and regrets, I never saw my future as a place for worry… hesitation, perhaps, but never true distress.

As I do this thing we like to call growing up, I’ve settled into a life that I never would have envisioned for myself 5, even 2 years ago. Ask a younger me what I thought my life would bring in 2012, and I would have espoused the joy of travel, the thrill of adventure, and the excitement of the very unknown I was facing. Much to everyone’s surprise, not the least my own, I find that the life I’ve chosen, this decidedly safe and un-adventerous life, suits me well. I’m happily married to a wonderful man and gainfully employed. Not only do I have a job in an era when many are out of work, but I enjoy what I do and I love my co-workers… going to work in the morning is not tedium, but something that I can honestly say I look forward to most mornings. Still, despite the happiness and contentment I feel in this life of mine, I can’t help be feel there is something missing, that there is something MORE out there, just waiting for me. I find that, for the first time, I’m sad when I think about the future, afraid that I will never find that ever elusive something, always out of reach, just out of my grasp. It’s like dreaming in a foreign language, one where I don’t know the syntax or grammar… I wake up confused and unsure, worried that I will never be truly content, and that I am doomed to live my life chasing a dream that I can’t even understand.

I need to take a step back, a moment to recognize that some of this is just who I am, the worrier, the one who over analyzes life to a breaking point. I need to realize that life is not always about what might be around the bend, and that settling down doesn’t mean settling. I want to spend this year not thinking about the “what ifs,” but enjoying what I have, here and now. I think it might take all my fortitude, but I hope to live this yea with a resolution to worry less, laugh and love more, and to just simply… live.

Sitting still…

June 7th, 2011 | Josie

“Boredom is like a pitiless zooming in on the epidermis of time.  Every instant is dilated and magnified like the pores of the face.”  ~Charlotte Whitton

I’m not a person that likes to sit still. Unless I’m sleeping, I need to be doing something. I have some sort of project in my pocket most of the time, knitting or crocheting away the moments in the grocery store line (much to the amusement of those around me). Sitting at a restaurant waiting for the food to come, I fold every available scrap of paper into a crane, leaving flocks of origami in my wake.

 

That being said, I’m immensely enamored of the idea of meditation. I think it sounds incredible, stilling your mind and body. Like most infatuations, this, for me, is completely unattainable. Sitting still and doing nothing for any span of time sounds like my own personal version of Hell. I’ve tried, so many times; I sit down, begin the process of quieting my mind… then my nose starts to itch. That traitorous itch, if I attempt to ignore it, will maneuver itself around my body until I feel as if I’m crawling out of my own skin, a feeling that will not dissipate until I finally satisfy the overwhelming need to scratch it. Of course, then my concentration is completely broken, I can’t stop fidgeting. I try to sit still and stop worrying every inch of my skin, and I grow bored. My fingers ache for movement, and I can’t stop thinking about all of the things I should be doing… bills, afghans, vacuuming… literally anything but sitting still. Sometimes I feel as if the thoughts in my head are screaming at me; I mean that quite literally – I sometimes feel the need to get out of my own head because it is simply too LOUD. So, I try to meditate, and the whole vicious cycle starts all over again.

 

I yearn for the ability to stop doing, and to just be.

The path I’m on…

March 20th, 2010 | Josie

“Sometimes the path you’re on is not as important as the direction you’re heading.”  ~Kevin Smith

It’s my birthday; I’m 23 today (though I’ve been telling everyone who asked that I’m 23 for about 2 months already…I hate that weird in between time when you are not yet older, but you don’t still feel younger). 23 is hardly old, in fact in a lot of ways I feel like I’ve barely begun to be an adult, that I’m still hovering in this weird place between grown-up woman and little girl. That’s probably normal, but it does make me think about how odd the idea of “growing up” is.Three and a half  years ago, when I started writing this account of days (or months, as the case has gotten lately), I thought that I was all grown up, that I knew what I wanted out of life, and that things would fall into place just so to lead me to the life of my dreams. Unfortunately, as most people can attest to once they are old and wise enough to realize that they don’t know everything, life isn’t a color-by-number or connect-the-dots type game, and it rarely goes the way we plan and scheme. My life, for one, has gone in a very, very different direction than I thought it would  at the age of 19. I was just shot of my first year in college, and I had such big plans…I was going to travel the world, spreading awe in my wake, and the people that I met would remember me as a mover and shaker of the highest order.What just a few years can do to plans. My dreams have been shattered and built back up almost too many times to count, and for the longest time I thought that they were broken beyond repair, beyond recognition. But I am starting to realize that maybe the cracks and tears in what has become of the hopes and dreams of my younger self have, in fact, revealed the truest hopes of all. These small glimmers that shine so bright through the cracks of my tattered plans are the naked, gut-wrenchingly honest dreams of my heart of hearts, the ones that can’t be damaged by heart-break or disappointment, the small hope in my heart that sings even in the rain.In a lot of ways, the things that I thought had broken me beyond breaking, the things that I thought would destroy my very essence, are the things that have allowed me to become who I am and to truly appreciate all that is so very good in my life. If I had never had a heart break in the past, I wouldn’t be able to see the love in my life now for the wonderful thing it is. If I had never spent time wandering, apparently lost in my own head, I wouldn’t understand now just how right it is for me to be where I am. If I had never cried my heart out, I wouldn’t know how good it is to smile. And if I’d never been sad, I wouldn’t know just how happy I am.Life is funny in the way it moves you in directions you never thought imaginable. When I left for Germany in September of 2007, I never on my life planned to be back in Wisconsin, to “settle down.” Now, here I am, happily engaged to the most incredible man in the world (even when I know he’s not perfect, he’s totally perfect for me), at a job I never would have dreamed would make me happy, with co-workers I adore and bosses that I am happy to call friends. Not many people are as lucky, and all I can do is marvel at the wonder of a life that in no way resembles the plans I designed for myself. None of this is what I thought that I wanted, but it is exactly what I needed!

Been this way before…

November 7th, 2009 | Josie

“Just because everything’s changing, doesn’t mean it’s never been this way before…” ~Regina Spektor, The Call

I seem to be doing a lot of soul searching these days. I am torn between clinging to dreams that I held onto for so long, even though they no longer fit my life, and embracing the new life unfolding before me.I have always been comfortable in my grand schemes and big ideas. Wearing my heart on my sleeve was like wearing the world’s most beautiful clothing out every day: I may not have fit in at every function, but I felt good, grand even. The problem is that the clothes that I have been wearing my short adult life are turning out to have hidden itches and awkward seams. They just don’t fit right any more.On the other hand, this new life fits like a glove. All these things that I never would have imagined I wanted make me happier than I have been in a very, very long time. It’s like sliding into a pair of pants that don’t look that great on the shelf. They are boring, plain, and I  had to walk by them 6 or 7 times just to talk myself into trying them on. Then I got them on, and they are the most comfortable things I’ve ever worn, and they make my butt look good! But even though they fit perfectly, I’m finding that I have to talk myself into actually buying them, because they are so far from the silks and satins I’ve been dreaming up for myself all these years.This is not about settling…this is about realizing that it is ok to want the little things in life. Figuring out that I don’t have to go to the fancy school to have fun in college…about searching the world over for the things that I want, only to come home and have them fall into my lap, mere miles from home. My life isn’t perfect, and I know that I’m not exactly in the place I want my life to be.  I’ll never entirely give up on my wanderlust, my desire for bigger and better…for that ever elusive more. But I also know that what I’m looking for with all my heart might just be right in front of me, waiting patiently until I open my eyes enough to see it…

Topheavy and rootless…

March 5th, 2009 | Josie

“Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches,letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights.”~Pauline R. Kezer If this is true (and I suspect that it is), I’m a bit at risk of toppling over for lack of roots…It is remarkable how quickly a life can change, and then change again. Not 2 days after my last post, I received a telephone call. Now, just over a month later, my entire life is upside down. Or perhaps, for the first time in a very long time, I’m looking at things the right-way-up. It is a bit disorienting nevertheless. The call I recieved just four short weeks ago was a job offer, in Ohio of all places. I was given a week and a half to pack up all of my worldly things into one small trailer and get to Chicago for a few days worth of training. Then, 2 weeks ago, I picked up my entire life and drove out to Colubmus, a city I had never even visited and certianly never thought to see myself living in. My life moved very quickly from a question of “what am I going to do with my life?” to a statement of “this is what.”I am used to being on my own in a new city, of not knowing people or any of the places that I need to be. That all comes fairly easily. But it wouldn’t be my style to do somethng like this without creating myriad complications. I startes seeing someone, a really great someone, just before I got the news, and now I find myself in a situation that I’m willing, but not sure that I’m able, to handle. Its this temping lure of perfection, of happy, and I am a bit of a trapped animal when happy is dangled in front of me. Mesmerized, I’m unable to run away, but terrified, I can’t make the motion to snatch at it. So I freeze caught by the prospect of happiness I’m to scared to wrap my heart around.All in all, this is an exciting and terrifying new adventure. One that I am more than ready to take, if only I could covince my feet to move…

Trust me Earth, the feeling is mutual…

January 16th, 2009 | Josie

“The world hates me so much, sometimes I think that if I was standing on another planet, Earth would fall on me out of sheer spite…”

I just wish I could get something right for a little while. I’m lost upstream without a paddle, and I’m literally staring at the damn waterfall. Oh, and I don’t know how to swim.Really I feel like I shouldn’t have a right to complain.Things just flipped so quickly. I fell from having work I loved, friends I saw all the time, a wonderful guy that showered me with attention, and I was living in one of the busiest and most interesting cities in the world. Now I’m unemployed and sitting on my parents house in Suburbian Hell, haven’t seen a soul that isn’t related to me in weeks, and I haven’t heard from butthead since Christmas. I wonder if I just disappeared if anyone would bother to notice…What’s wrong with me that makes the Earth want to squish me with such vengence?

Making mistakes and moving on…

January 8th, 2009 | Josie

As long as the world is turning and spinning, we’re gonna be dizzy and we’re gonna make mistakes.  ~Mel Brooks

Anyone who knows me at all knows that I don’t believe in living a life without making mistakes, and that I don’t think that mistakes are a bad thing. I make mistakes every day, and even though some of them are horribly embarassing later, and some of them wind up hurting very badly, I learn something from every single one. We live a world full of millions of people doing a million and one different things at any given moment, and you can bet your socks that at least half of them are going to be making some sort of mistake. And honestly, half of the time that person is probably me.The thing about it is that I don’t believe in regretting my mistakes, If I learned something, great. If I didn’t, then I’ll just have to try again until I do. That is not to say that I never look back on something that has happened and think “Wow, that was dumb.” But I refuse to regret anything that has happened. Its over, its done, and we cannot alter the past. Why live in a past that we cannot change, when there is so much life to look forward to?

Holes in my soul started letting in wind…

November 11th, 2008 | Josie

“Even if happiness forgets you a little bit, never completely forget about it.”  ~Jacques Prévert

The story of my life seems to be one of constant ups and downs. The last several months have epitomized the down: I drag my feet through the mud that is my life, trying not to examine it too closely for fear of seeing the dirt. Then I fall down, face first, into that muck and am forced by sheer proximity to take a close, hard look at what I’ve let my life, let myself, become. I haul myself back up, out of the mire, and trudge along the path, quite literally living with my head just above water.The last week has been a huge upturn. Lovely things come my way, and I can’t stop smiling. People are rude, annoying, horrid, and still I can’t stop smiling. The good buoys me through the bad, and I am, dare I say it, happy.  I have lived too long, however, in this mud-puddle of a life, to really trust that my skies will not suddenly turn gray again, that I will not find myself stuck in the proverbial mud, up to my neck in sorrow. So I’m hesitant, I look twice, sometimes three times, and still can’t find enough trust in my heart or my soul to make the leap. I am too afraid that if I let this little bit of happiness burrow its way into my heart, make a home there, I will be left with nothing but another hole in my soul when it is taken away, when happiness forgets my name again.

Tear my heart assunder…

June 17th, 2008 | Josie

“The beauty of the world has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder.”  ~Virginia Woolf

I have tried to live my life more or less according to an honorable path,but no matter how diligently I check the road ahead of me for sticks and stones that may be in my way, I often find myself stumbling, even falling. Laying sprawled on the road as I am, and cannot help but to notice the terrible beauty of the world around me. The great skies open up above me, the rain falling to my face like the tears of all the world. Even as I slowly drown in the sorrow of the rain, I marvel at the beauty of each small, perfect drop. Alone, a single raindrop is nothing, entirely inconsequential. Together, however, the rain can wash away stone and earth, moving mountains thought immovable. As each drop hits the ground it diappears, swallowed by the dark earth. Raindrops do not die, however. By succumbing to their fate, to their inevitable need to fall, they allow other things to grow and be, become something more than a single, small droplet. Only by falling and giving way the the thing that it once was can the rain become part of this great and terrible World. Would that I were like the rain, that in falling I may become part of something larger than myself. Would that all my painful stumblings would come to something rather than to naught. Perhaps they will. Perhaps only by tearing my heart assunder can I truly find the happiness that I so long for in this life. Just maybe, I will rise from the muddy ground, new and whole in a way that I never thought to be again.Until then, however, I will lie here, awestruck by the teriffying wonder of the rain.