I don’t ask for my life to be happy, I just want it to be interesting.
I don’t know when I first adopted that philosophy. I have a distinct memory of scribbling it into a small pink journal (with purple hearts in the corners), so I couldn’t have been more than 12. I just remember thinking “Even bad things can be interesting.” And happiness seems so…Arbitrary? I have a hard time not equating contentment with complacency.
So my life has been “interesting”. Sometimes a little too interesting, even for me. But I feel lucky because when a moment of happiness comes along, I recognize it as a gift, enjoy it, then wave goodbye when it’s over. I take my happiness 15 minutes at a time, and I take my bad times like a trooper…Even if I do call in the 12oz reinforcements more than necessary.
I didn’t realize how long it had been since I was happy until today.
It was a goddamn beautiful day. Didn’t start that way. I had a shitty morning at work, an overnight shift of frustration and technical difficulties. Bought myself a book and headed home, I was tired and hadn’t slept for a long time.
But when I stepped off the train…It was just so gorgeous. One of those clear summer days that almost feel like spring. The oppressive humidity of the past week had lifted with last night’s thunderstorms, and the world felt…Clean. Breezy, with an impossibly blue sky. And I felt happy.
Instead of collapsing into bed as soon as I got home, I grabbed a blanket and a new pack of cigarettes, then walked over to the park. I couldn’t stop smiling at people as I looked for a place to set up my blanket and book. And then I heard bagpipes.
My first thought was “Maybe there are Scotsmen over that hill.” I like Scotsmen.
But it was just one tiny, old man in the middle of a field, playing his bagpipes.
I laid down on a soft little hill surrounded by trees, scruffy in overalls and a baseball cap, with a brand new book. I listened to bagpipes. And I was in love with the world. Just laying there, ’til irregular patches of sun stained my arms brown. I felt like my heart would explode. I was golden. I was happy.
I’ve had exactly two other days like this in my life. Once, sitting on a bench at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. Another time on the front steps of my new apartment, arms wrapped around my knees, letting my hair dry in the sun.
Three days where I’ve been completely, and utterly happy.
I’m a pretty lucky person.