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21 August 2002


Amazingly enough, this summer-- at least the last six or seven weeks of it-- has been one of my best summers ever. In fact, it's been one of the happiest stretches of time I've ever experienced.

There is no particular reason for this well-being. It just is. And that's what's most remarkable.

I've certainly had plenty of times in the past when I've been happy, often ecstatically happy. But at each of those times, there's been a very clear reason, and it's almost always been a person. I'll know very clearly that I'm happy because a certain person is in my life and they care about me. It's not that there's anything wrong with that. But when those are the only times in my life when I'm really happy, I think there is something wrong.

But now, this. I'm not happy because of anyone else, or because of anything big. I'm happy and content because of little things. It's remarkable how simple sensory perception can make me smile. The taste of chocolate or cheese or fruit . . . the sight of the blue sky or architecture or the flowing water of the fountains outside Union Station . . . the feel of walking barefoot or a hot shower or being wrapped in blankets . . . the sound of music I love . . . they're like little tiny bits of joy that become cumulative, lifting my mood in a way that is in one sense superficial but in another as deep as can be.

It's like the complete opposite of depression; instead of every sense and experience bringing melancholy and hopelessness, life and living brings a sort of happiness and peace. It's not a manic, ecstatic sort of joy, but a peace and a calm.

And not only that, but I'm surprisingly self-contained, at least for a person like me. I don't think much about anyone I know. I'll talk to people when they're online because it's a nice way to pass the time, but I don't worry about how long it's been since I talked to someone or what we had to say to eachother. Thoughts about what others think of me drift by as idle curiosity, instead of lingering like a dark cloud over my head. And honestly, as much as I feel like it'll be nice to see people I care about, I don't really miss being away from anyone.

In fact, while all my friends seem to be counting down the days until school starts, I'm actually mildly apprehensive, if only because I don't want anything to damage this beautiful sense of tranquility. Of course intellectually I know that this is something that comes from inside of me, and so it should be accessible in any set of circumstances, including at school. And the pleasures of being at school that at the beginning of the summer I yearned for to distract me from my sadness ought to only increase my happiness now. I'm sure that's right, and that this mini-anxiety will fade. It's just the fear of losing such a good state of being.

I know I'm prone to be overly optimistic about my personal growth. I don't want to do that now. But I'm tremendously hopeful that this, which has never happened to me before, is a good sign for me becoming the person I want to become. And although I didn't do anything to bring myself to this place in my life immediately before it happened, perhaps the concerted effort I was making all through the spring has paid off to create this. Perhaps the awful crash I experienced at the beginning of the summer was just me hitting rock bottom and casting off the last bits of unhealthy dependence to emerge stronger. I don't know; I can't know. But I hope so.

Of course, it's entirely possible that this is just me being moody, albeit a mood that I've never experienced before, and that any day now it will evaporate and leave me where I was before. But even if it does disappear, I don't think it can leave me exactly where I was before. I'm sure I'm moving forward and growing to some extent, although it may not be as dramatic as I enthusiastically assume.


 

Last updated 5 September, 2002

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Intellectual Property Rights denounced by Britt Gordon-McKeon, 2002