Friday, January 27, 2006


I could stay here forever

I've been bitten by the bed bound lazy bug lately. It's gray and drizzling outside, and it's two pm and I'm still in bed. I've been awake since ten before Chris left, but my guns, as it were, have been stuck to.

I've been bittten by the book bug as well. I'm on my second book in three days. I used to, honestly, read all the time, never stop reading, and I'm feeling the trap again, the lure of hiding in a world someone else made up but you're building. I love reading and "On Beauty" was amazing, and "Prep" is almost too narcissistic for my liking. (If you want to know what boarding school was like, for whatever reason, this is pretty good. I've been thinking about school and about my friends from back then.) "On Beauty" made me depressed because it made me think about how unloyal people can be (men, especially) not always because they're mean spirited or selfish, but because they're weak and susceptible to moments and moods and others. There are all types of infidelity.

So, the big news is that I've decided to leave my job. It was not, honestly, a good job for me. Not a good fit. And, here's the truth of it, it made me miserable. For many reasons. I'm terrified, though, because I've had this job, worked for this company, for over two years, and some of my closest friends, some of my favorite people, work there, and I imagine, will continue to work there. Whereas I will be . . . somewhere else?

I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I'd like to spend some time with my friends and visit my family. I bought a sketchbook on sale at an art store on Burnside, and I think I'll start carrying it around with me. Plan the wedding. Paint again, practise piano, clean the bathrooms. I feel unmoored and uncertain, but I'm begining to feel like I'm going to be happy again.

It seems silly to focus on happiness, to me, because there are so many more noble things to focus on. Hard work, helping others, whatever. Above all, it seems selfish and bespeaks of a weakness of character to be primarily concerned about happiness. But here I am, remembering this letter my Dad wrote me freshman year of college, and he signed off "Be HAPPY! Love, DAD" (there was a smiley face in the triangle of the upper case "A" in DAD). And, as happens, I suspect, to things that people write or do soon before they die (especially if it is an unexpected death), this letter has become a strange beacon in my life. No matter what my feeling towards my father and his parenting, this one letter, and really, just how he ended it, is something I think about a lot. (It seemed to me that Dad was not very concerned with happiness when I was growing up, it seemed. He was more concerned that I do well in school, that I stick things out even if I hate them, he was mostly concerned with character. Mom, however, encouraged me to follow my happiness.) I think about "Be HAPPY!" and wonder, deep down, if it's possible. But, I also know that I'm going to have to do it. Because "Be HAPPY!" doesn't mean "Cheer up!" or "Look on the bright side for once!" It means "Seek out your joy, don't just let life happen to you , do something!" At least, I think that's what it means.

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