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I’m more worried you’ll say no than I am that you’re unhappy

December 23, 2010

Happiness looks like a knife block, a king sized bed. A place to write on the walls with no one looking over my shoulder. A kitchen always stocked with orange juice, chai tea, cookies, things to satisfy my sweet tooth. Windows overlooking the city-the ocean-the mountains without having to choose. Space. A floor to lie prone on when my aches and pains overtake me.

A room filled with books. Endless rows of books, stacks of books, piles of books. I want to be surrounded with words. Happiness looks like New York, sometimes. More often than not, it looks like something I haven’t seen yet. So I’ve been making it up, telling myself where I’ll find it (New Orleans, Berlin, Los Angeles, Vancouver, etc. etc.) and it’s always blue and grey and to the left in my mind.

It’s been quite the year. You know what I’m saying. The only thing I’m good at is letting go. I’m impractical, sensitive and disordered. But I know how to rid myself of what doesn’t fit, what doesn’t look good, what doesn’t make me happy, what takes up too much space.

I will always be better at this than most people I know. It’s a virtue. It’s a source of pride. I know how to pack (light) and how to travel (though I haven’t done it much).

I’d like to think I know what I’m doing, but the truth is I feel like a failure. I’m 24. I’m still in school. I still live with my parents. This isn’t the life I thought I’d be living. I don’t think I am living. All the brains in the world mean nothing without some sort of real ambition, some sort of work ethic.

It might not be a viable life plan to want to discuss the politics of representation, pop culture and poetry all day long. What I want: “a soulmate would be nice”, two dogs with space (there goes that word again) to roam free, children (because I think I have the love in me, the ability to discipline, the drive to help create a good person in a world that could use so many more), close friendships that don’t end in chaos and competition, a career.

I haven’t really loved anyone in years and that’s okay, but once in awhile loneliness rears its ugly head and pushes me into situations I’d rather not be in, makes me entertain notions I normally would not.

I have a month to get myself together. To recover from writing shitty papers and enduring life’s little dramas. A month to clean, to organize, to read, to go for walks and to think. I want nothing more than to think myself into clarity. My eye’s on the prize and I’m doing what I can. I shouldn’t feel lifeless, I shouldn’t feel failure. But I do. I will.

One day this will resolve itself into a life worth living, I’m sure.

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