Wednesday, March 12, 2008

finding my bliss

So as of late I may have been a negative Nancy, a Debbie downer if you will. You see, a handful of not so great things have happened in my life over the last two months, falling down stairs, wrecking my car, getting money stolen from me, etc. and etc. And it all seemed a little ridiculous. Because these things, while not life shaking or tragic, just seemed to keep coming, one after the other. I have never considered myself lucky. I bet you money that if I go to a McDonald's with a large group of people, and one delicious cheeseburger order goes amiss, time and time again it will be mine. I fall down a great deal. So I'm used to life's little bumps and sometimes quite literal bruises. But something about the last couple of months, maybe because it's winter, maybe because graduation is coming at a frighteningly rapid pace and it's freaking me out, whatever it is, something about the last two months has left me feeling beaten down, broken down, just down. This past weekend while I was dog-sitting, my roommate's dog ate a bottle of Advil, which resulted in a frantic doggie ER visit in the wee hours of morning (thankfully she's quite okay and back to her lovable/awkward self again). But let's just say the experience left me feeling pretty awful (even though my roomie's wallet is probably feeling a lot worse). So just as I was beginning to recover from all of that craziness, yesterday the Americorps people somehow completely forgot that I had scheduled a phone interview for 10 am (which I had gotten up early just so I could prepare for). After rescheduling yet again, I hung up with them and was pretty sure I had reached my breaking point. I sat at my computer desk, and I cried, out of frustration, out of anger, out of stress and worry and just the general negativity that has clouded my life lately.
So here's the deal. Some crappy things have happened to me recently. And I've spent so much energy and time focusing on those crappy things, so much so that I have completely ignored the hundreds of beautiful things that happen in my life on a daily basis. I'm not being a Pollyanna. I don't even think I'm being particularly corny. This is the truth. Somehow even though we're in the middle of it, we often see our own lives in broad strokes. We see the bold or italics, the red letter moments or experiences. But what I have constantly believed, will always believe, is that life is in the details. And some details can go bad, little, stupid daily things, but the vast majority of our details are the good stuff. And I don't know what it was. Maybe it was babysitting last night and watching The Little Mermaid for the 12th time in the last two months, complete with back up vocals by a two and a four year old. Maybe it was the glorious nap I took yesterday. Maybe it was just the fact that I couldn't deal with any more negativity, because negativity colors everything and only breeds more negativity. But something kicked me in the ass (in a good way), slapped me around a little, and told me to wake the eff up. All I've been seeing is the bad, but for God's sake, the second I stopped doing that I saw the cornucopia (yes cornucopia) of awesomeness that surrounds me. I saw not one, not two, but three amazing live music shows in the past month (more on those in another blog). I am taking interesting classes this semester that I love, and I'm actually looking forward to the research paper I'm going to write for my Mid. East politics class (yes I'm a dork). I live in an apartment that I adore, bugs and busted kitchen equipment included. I'm surrounded by tiny little things that make me smile, favorite books, awesome tv shows, two hours of 90210 every day for Lord's sake. I live in the loveliest, most graceful city in the world, a city that can still break my heart with her beauty in even the most mundane moments, driving over the bridge at rush hour, the harbor to my right and the blue Atlantic just visible at the horizon. Or when I'm taking a walk along the same path I have taken hundreds of time, but still find myself pausing to peek in half hidden courtyards or to just look down a quiet, spanish moss strewn street and wonder what I did to deserve to live in a place like this. I'm surrounded by friends I love and who are wonderful and kind and loyal. I have a family who supports me even when I want to get paid nada to go off and join Americorps for the year.
I wasn't visited by an angel with an affinity for Mark Twain. There was no almost dive off a bridge into icy water. But I can't help but feel that in some tiny away, the last couple of days have taken me by the shoulder, and said in no uncertain terms that see, I really do have a wonderful life. We so often want to confuse wonderful with perfect. Because the idea of perfect is so wonderful and enticing. But perfect is a fairy tale word. Except for Olympic scores, it doesn't really belong here. But wonderful, that's the stuff of every day, the stuff of snooze buttons and Cadburry Cream Eggs and DVD on tv marathons. But inside of wonderful there's things that really suck, banged up legs and even more banged up cars, sick dogs and horrible advisers. But those things are never going to go away. Tomorrow I could very well fall off my porch, total my car and get kicked out of college. But that's life. It's annoying and stressful and sad and crazy and weird and awkward and scary. It makes no sense whatsoever. But it's always, in no uncertain terms, wonderful.

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