I started a personal Advent calendar. It’s filled with 25 personal challenges. Because it’s me, we all know, “Be Taylor Swift today,” is included (I stole that from the creator of this idea, and I can’t wait for it). It also includes, “sign up for yoga today,” “go for a run,” “write something, for fun,” and all things of that nature. I’m taking photos, rest assured, so there will be a pictorial representation at the end. Some are ridiculous, but I’m excited about them all.
Today’s — the first day, because I’m a bit behind — was not to text anyone for the whole day. I was allowed email and social media, because I kind of had things going on this week and couldn’t fall off the grid completely, but it was still nice.
It was wonderful to be forced into my feelings. I know, you’re thinking, “Wait, you’re pretty emotional, Sarah. Some might say overly so. How could you ever even imply you don’t like to feel things?”
Emotions, not feelings. Emotions are fleeting, while feelings linger. Feelings scare the shit out of me. So I avoid them.
Except today I had to feel things.
Because I couldn’t text my ex and tell him how much that Christmas song reminded me of him. Or happy holidays. Or any of the gray area I like to stay in sometimes.
I couldn’t text my best friend and tell her how her adorable baby (who’s the background on my phone) made my day approximately 14 times, but also made me miss them incredibly.
I had to be in the moment.
But I got to see so many smiles. I got to make new friends. I found a light in some of them that I’ve been desperately seeking for most of my life.
I cuddled with my puppy this afternoon.
I missed a Ryan Adams show and missed my friends terribly.
But I drove down the highway and saw my new home and all the wonder that surrounds it.
I looked at my Christmas tree and felt joy. And I smiled, because, shit, life is just so damn good.
And I guess I got to thinking a bit. About what I’m doing, because that’s what most people do when they have free time. They think about life and their lives and other people’s lives and how it all rolls around together in this crazy world.
So I got to thinking about life and what I’m doing with mine. Some days I don’t know. Most days I don’t know. But here feels so right.
One of my new friends told me the other day that, “things fall into place when they’re meant to be.” It’s funny how that works. Life has been so good to me so far, but it felt like everything I really wanted was one step away. I suppose it still could be, but it doesn’t feel like it. Anything feels possible, and even that feeling — that was enough to make the move worth it.
And I just feel joyful. For life and all that it is. It’s beyond thankful — I guess you might even call it happy.
I think this is the first time in my life when I can say that I’m truly, without any glimmer of a doubt, so happy.
Not because things are perfect. I work a lot. I have a couple jobs. I don’t really sleep, and I’m getting to know a ton of people in a strange place all at once. During the holidays. Away from my family.
But you know, I was thinking today about my definition of happiness. I don’t know that I’ve ever defined it as anything more than some imperfect version of a little more than contentment with a little joy mixed in. But I really thought about it today — I’ve spent the better part of this year specifically chasing happiness — what the hell is it then?
That moment where I feel so much love that there aren’t any words.
And I guess that’s what I’m getting at, what I haven’t been able to express since I’ve been here. The reason it all feels okay.
And I just feel loved.
I miss my parents more than I ever thought possible, and I don’t discount their love or any of the love I’ve felt from friends and family prior to this moment.
But that’s just the best way I can explain it.
I just feel loved.