5:45 p.m. - 2003-03-28
I never used to believe the people that said, "Your life changes dramatically at every age. Something that may seem wonderful at 19 could prove to be a big mistake when you're twenty-five. Wait. Experience life. See where it leads you." At the time it seemed like they were saying that I was unstable, or stupid. In retrospect, I guess I was.
The older I get, the more the realization seeks in that those people were right. I feel like every day I learn something new about myself, and the world in general. Sometimes I read the angst-filled journals of teens, and I remember those feelings. "I'm right, it's just everyone around me that's wrong. I hate myself. I hate the world." Well, guess what, kids? I get those feelings sometimes too, but then I think about them a little deeper, a little harder, and I realize that hey--life's not so bad. In those teenage years, yes, it sucks that your parents tell you what to do. It pisses you off when you fuck up and have to pay the consequences. I know. I was there.
But then, just yesterday, after I came out of a store and into the bright, beautiful sunlight on a warm spring day, I realized...I'm happy right now. Sometimes happiness is a little indiscernable. It doesn't slam you in the face like depression does. It's not a sudden epiphany, nor is it guarunteed. It's that little warm feeling when you're with someone you love. It's feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin and knowing that there's an entire afternoon ahead of you to do whatever the hell you want. Happiness is so rarely recognized or acknowledged. Generally, we just rate it as "I had an okay day," or "Today was GREAT! Everything went right for me today." Well, those expectations are a little too high for me. Some days may suck royally--everything in my life may go wrong, but I've come to realize that it's the smallest things that often mean the most. Sometimes you may have to look for happiness. Others may be contained with self-contentment and joy all the time. (But being the cynic that I am, I find that personality a little hard to believe.)
Yet, at the same time, there are times when it's appropriate to be downright miserable. You lose someone close to you. You get kicked out of the house. You have a really terrible fight with your significant other. Someone hurts you, or violates you in a way you never thought possible. But you have to deal with it. Somehow. Find what works for you. If you need help, get help. If you can do it on your own, fine.
I'm not sure what this entry is supposed to be, actually. I just typed as it came to me, because I've seen so much depression and sadness here recently, and I felt like giving a pep talk, I suppose. This is a dark time, yes, for all of us. Of course, some are having it harder than we are. But it's so important to appreciate what you have, and not take anything for granted. Cliche', I know, but I've come to believe that it's true. (Most of the time.)