Monday, June 18, 2012

What Makes You Happy?

Driving from dinner to a strip club last weekend, I got into one of those conversations that only happens when two girls meet and marry the right amount of alcohol. And by right amount, I mean I had two drinks and perhaps she had too many. Either way, we were on our way to our third stop of the night when the conversation turned from boyfriend drama to convient theories on life. Navigating the freeway with my iPhone I told my passenger that nothing on the outside can make you happy, not your boyfriend, not your job, not the vacations you take, nothing because everything you see is temporary and you shouldn't put your happiness in things that can change with little to no notice. With a bit of a drawl she confronted me dead on, like only a girl born and raised in New York would, and said, "What makes you happy?" Without hesitation I said, "I do. I decide to be happy no matter what and that's that."

Great answer right? In that moment I went from preaching it to knowing that I was totally practicing it. I mean, how else could something so sweet have rolled off my tongue with little thought? It had to have been firmly embedded in my cells or firmly memorized. I remained fully calm and collected while this girl went on and on with questions designed to throw a wrench in my view, "What about if your friend had cancer and you knew they were going to die?" "I'd be hurt, angry and upset, but in the end if there is nothing I can do about it I have to accept it and keep it moving." To me, this proved I was one step closer to enlightenment, or something like it, but only a few short days after our conversation I was slumped on the foyer in my apartment bawling my eyes out to my dad about having had my heart broken by the one man that I'm sure could ever love poor, wretched me. WTF!!!! Where did the happy go? Like any good Virgo, I decided to retrace my steps to see where I left it.

Me and L L last summer with Candace Bushnell...random

Between the sinus infection I picked up early in the week, which left me in bed for most of Monday and Tuesday thanks to my meds, and the sinking feeling I get every time I'm at work for 8 hours alone and then at home for another 8 hours alone my happy checked out. I kept replaying the fact that if it were last year and I had a sinus infection I would not have had to drag myself out of bed to buy Advil, my boyfriend would have done that, and I would not have had to spend every moment after work on my own because there was someone else at home to talk to. If it were last year I wouldn't have to deal with people asking me how is it that I'm single because I wasn't single last June. And there it is. The moment my happy left and the sinus infection slipped in. (Actually the sinus infection has probably bee building for weeks since I live in random hotels when I'm on the road.)

While I know he meant well, telling a single girl "I don't believe that you're still single. You're gorgeous  and I see how guys look at you" is like asking her "When are you getting married?" The instant that statement was leveed at me I sank back to Earth and was reminded that I may have a nice job, a new car I got with my own credit score, a boat load of friends and family who love me, a sick closet in a cute apartment, I haven't gained a pound since high school and I have a million and one things to be grateful for, I am still missing the one thing I so desperately want...a soulmate. It also immediately drew my attention to the fact that I thought I'd found my soulmate three years ago in a dive bar on New Year's Eve--a story he was ashamed to tell--and that despite my best efforts he'd left me. This line of thinking also brought me to a place where I blamed myself for our breakup--it is not my fault he got scared, confused and emotionally cheated on me if not physically--and blamed myself for not having found someone new just yet. This spiral locked me into thoughts of not being good enough to land the appointments I need to book my trip to Tennessee and North Carolina next week, let alone to make my bonus. It made me want to abandon my job and live in a coffee shop working on my book--not a bad idea really since I feel most me when I write. The point is, the way that I took this one statement said without even the slightest air of malice and ran to crazy town with it just further illustrates my point that I decide whether or not I'm going to be happy.

Yes, I would be happier in a job in publishing but until one comes along or my book deal falls from heaven like manna I have to work to pay my bills. Oddly enough, the work that I do not only pays my bills and puts me in contact with some of the strangest and most awesome people in life but it also provides me with plenty of inspiration to write my book and help me reinvigorate my flailing fashion blog. I can also say I would be over the moon if I walked out my door and Alexander Skarsgard was there and wanted to marry me, but since I'm 99% sure that's not happening and that would leave me a bit unsettled in real reality if he did--in fantasy reality I would be all in--I kinda have to keep on trucking until some guy at a party or something is all like "Hey do you want to go see that new Wes Anderson flick? I mean you look like you like movies like that and Thai food." While I'm waiting for my time and divine time to synch up like the recent Venus transit, I have to focus on being happy with what I have because if I'm all pissed and cursing the moon not only is the guy whose supposed to ask me out going to be like "wow that chick is crazy, no movies and red curry for her", I won't have enough time or energy to write a single thing.

So, what makes me happy? Me....and cupcakes.

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