The other day I was at the beach and I was sitting with this guy and this new couple and we laughed about something and this new couple walked off smiling at each other and I was smiling at them because even though this guy is best friends with the 47 year old man who Brock Turnered me and even though he blamed me for it, I actually like quite a lot about him and believe he deserves this beautiful new girl he is finally with. I was legitimately just thinking “Wow, sure is great to be me when I see this guy like this and it makes me feel affirmative and happy and whole and I want to know this girl more because I can tell she is actually cool” when this other chick who I know doesn’t have much respect for me sort of slowly dances by and says to us, “Isn’t it nice to see people so happy? You know,” and she looks at us, “some people don’t like to see other people happy. Isn’t that weird?”
And my new friend looked at her quizzically and said, “Like what do you mean? Oh, yeah like jealous people!” And I wondered if she was trying to send me a shaming message because she deduced that since I felt so strongly that my perp should be held socially accountable for his actions against me and should be guided to stay-the-hell-away-from me, I couldn’t possibly want him or his friend to be happy. I could have easily been selfishly paranoid though because trauma, even small kine like major betrayal, has the effect of making you more self-centered, no matter what, at least temporarily. That is just the physiology of it.
No bad days!
People like me don’t have that luxury, but you know what? I’ve never wanted living only with what we usually call positive feelings to be my end all goal in life. I’ve always felt that that positive insistence is just also sort of a lie. And kinda a mean lie at times. As my favorite comedian said, “Oh, that’s so nice of you, you go up to people in wheelchairs dancing? ‘Look what I can do!'”
Bliss is my inherent baseline but that doesn’t mean I shove the clouds away when they start rolling in.
The other day, or yesterday actually, I was packing up the van with a mother I deeply admire and I said “It’s a perfect day for the beach,” without really thinking about it because I was happy it was chilly and a little windy and threatening rain. Her face did a funny flash and then she smiled because she knew what I meant.
My body is like the Hawaiian Islands. Even when the clouds roll in, I am so grateful to call my body and my heart my home.
I don’t ever want to insist that I have nothing but good days left in my life because really, that’s pretty damn selfish of me when the world is burning.
And sometimes, I may look recklessly emotional, but I am on to something powerful and moving.
Have you ever seen Kill Bill Vol. 2? The end is my favorite. My mom looks just like Beatrix Kiddo when she sobs. She got her little girl back but she had to murder her man and she’s sobbing tears of everything.
I had a night recently where I did just that. All night. And I wrote a little bit. And I kept just saying “Thank you, thank you, thank you,” because my heart feels so full and good and hopeful and even though I clean up everyone’s poop for a living, even though the guy I have a crush on doesn’t even look at my snap stories, and even though my car drives like a bumper car, I feel so rich and full and moved by everyone in my life and finally at home again in my heart and body.
That is called life satisfaction at thirty.