I’ve been trying to articulate a thought for the past week or so; a thought which seems quite reluctant to form, let alone allow me to put it into words. It seems a situation has arisen which is usually only viewed with hindsight, so viewing it in the present and recognising it for what is it feels foreign and bizarre.
The thought? I’m really happy!
It’s not that I have been unhappy of late, I think perhaps there is a space between unhappy and happy in which a person can just be content. You may call it ‘existing’, ‘plodding along’ or just ‘life’, but whatever it is I have been there for some time, living for the moment, enjoying the good times when they’re around, feeling neither exultant nor despondent (though with the occasional spurt of both). But something clicked recently and, for the first time in a long time, I can’t seem to stop smiling.
It’s a feeling which has arrived along with a sense of dormant familiarity akin to randomly bumping to an old friend from years gone by. You know that tip of the tongue moment that sees you trying to remember their name and so awakens sluggish synapses from years of peaceful slumber…’It’s that girl…you know!!! The one from primary school! She was in the year below, hung out with Kelly…Does her name start with S maybe? Saaaa…Sarah! That’s the one!’ That kind of moment. I remember this feeling, I’ve felt it before, when I was younger and (apologies for the cliché) life was simpler. Part of growing up is realising that life is not always a bed of roses, or maybe that it is exactly that, and that something which looks great and sounds perfect actually contains hidden thorns which will leave you a worse for wear. But despite all that, happiness has shown its smiley face and waited patiently to see if I would recognise it or pass it by only to realise later what was in front of me.
The latter is the more common route; looking at things with retrospect and adding a rose (again with the roses!) coloured tint to situations means that down the line we look back on how good we had it and lament for when we took being happy for granted. I did it myself last year, when I was so fixated on fulfilling a lifelong dream that I didn’t realise what I was giving up. That old phrase ‘you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone’ certainly rung true. However; experiences like that, and many since, have taught me things about myself I didn’t know before. In the last year and a half I have learned so much about who I am, what I want and what I can do, all of which has brought me here and therefore obviously done me good.
There’s a phrase “If the bad times weren’t so bad, the good times wouldn’t be so good” which I think sums all this up. Perhaps the trials and tribulations of the past few years have prepared me for this moment where I look at my extraordinary housemates, brilliant friends, full weekends, fun evenings, great job and everything else that goes with it and realise how good life is right now. Whatever catalyst of events caused this moment of self-actualisation I’m not complaining. How blooming fantastic to be happy and to know it; I may just clap my hands!