I was talking to a friend today about some recent changes in her life. She told me she still had some sad days but was overall doing well. She said much with a few words; she said, “This is life.”
It reminded me of something I was contemplating on the day before…
We, as humans, are not meant to be “happy” always. Just as we are not meant to be “sad” always. We are meant to be content with our lives, and moments of happiness and sadness, like anything else, come and go.
But I think Denis Leary said it best:
“Happiness comes in small doses folks. It’s a cigarette butt, or a chocolate chip cookie or a five second orgasm… You come, you smoke the butt you eat the cookie you go to bed, get up in next and go to fucking work… That is it. End of fucking list! ”
Yeah, me and Denis got this life thing nailed!
It’s supposed to be a pretty day today (59 and partially cloudy beats all the snow and rain and cold any day.) I have stuff to do today, which includes shelter work and (hopefully) finally taking that injured stray with me that’s been wandering around the apartment complex.
But I have a pretty good headache, which started yesterday around noon and was nicely exacerbated by laying practically upside down, mouth open for an hour, having a cavity filled. When the Novocaine wore off, I was in less than optimal shape. I went to bed at 8 last night, hoping to ward off the impending migraine.
But then I had nightmares most of the night. Dreams fraught with tension, but some sort of epic adventure… * Dreams of wanting but never quite being able to reach… Dreams of confused desire… Dreams of frustration, where my every attempt to affect some sort of change is thwarted or ignored.
Dreams of needing to be onstage but forgetting my lines. David Lynch-esque dreams where the events and the characters change but are the same.
And dreams of yearning sadness. I had a dream last night about a friend of mine who OD’d a few months ago. He was alive and I kept trying to tell him I loved him and he could smoke all the weed he wanted, but for God’s sake, stay away from the heroin! When I awoke and remembered he was already gone, I was struck by the usual feeling of quiet despair at not being able to change things.
Once, I woke up screaming. I woke my kid too. My husband slept on peacefully, so I guess it’s a good thing it was a nightmare and not a masked murderer in my bedroom. I know myself enough by now to know that when I awaken screaming from nightmares, it’s often because I am so stressed out in my waking life that it spills over into my sleep. Once, when I was still with a particularly troublesome ex, I awoke screaming every night for about a week. I still lived with my parents at the time, and by the third night or so, my mom and stopped coming in to check on me when it happened. (Ironically, for the short but extremely stressful four months my husband and I had to live with my mother and step-father while I was pregnant, it was my husband who had the night terrors almost every night, often kicking out– and kicking me– in the middle of the night.)
And then this morning I get on Facebook and am greeted immediately with the sad but not unexpected news that my friend’s cat has passed away. I kind of got attached to this cat because for some reason, even though they did not really look alike at all, she reminded me of my own girl who passed away 2 years ago.
Anyway, I’m not writing all this looking for sympathy or anything. It’s just life…how things are. But, since this is my blog, every once in a while I indulge in a post that has no real point except catharsis for me. Thanks for coming along with me, readers.
Days like this have a strange effect on me. It’s beautiful: about sixty five degrees, bright, breezy. The pretty little weeds that look like tiny flowers are all over the grass. Birds are chirping loudly in the trees. Weather like this, days like this, make me feel energized and uplifted.
And yet they also make me feel nostalgic and strangely bitter-sweet. The sights, the sounds, the feel and smell of the breeze drifting in my open window– are all like ghosts of my childhood, sneaking into the house of my mind through my five senses. It’s subtle, because there’s not necessarily any one specific memory. It’s more like a general and pervasive mood. And it’s slightly depressing.
There’s some truth in the saying “You can’t go home again.” I’ve thought about it before; in terms of my family, I can never go back to being that little girl that didn’t know that Uncle Jimmy* was an alcoholic or that Uncle Mark* used to beat Aunt Maggie up. I can’t go back to being the little girl that picked violets in my grandmother’s huge backyard; that house was sold many, many years ago and my grandma died last May.
I’ll be 32 next month and sometimes I feel like my college and high school days were just yesterday. Today I was outside watching my toddler run around in the grass.
It’s scary. I blinked and got “old.” What if I blink again and my daughter is grown up? Blink once more and I’m old and about to die? Maudlin thoughts like these remind me of my preteen days. These thoughts are like a throwback to the confused kid I used to be, the one who stood looking out the window, with a vague feeling of seemingly no origin, a feeling of “something’s not right”– It was a time when my thoughts were often ruled by a nameless anxiety I didn’t understand. I was preoccupied with the passage of time and how untenable it was.
And though I’m medicated and therefore better at being the master of my anxieties and fears, rather than the slave, it’s still something I think about. And days like this seem to bring those feelings back in a very nonspecific, formless sport of way, almost more like an association than a complete thought.
But no amount of worrying or melancholy will change these things. Time passes, things change, people grow old and die. The best I can do is live every moment and live in the moment. And today is a beautiful moment to live.