Last year, I took part in Potentially Problematic Opinion Month, which was in its second year. This August, PPOM is taking an extended break, and has been replaced with the Blog Carnival! There’s a bunch of really brilliant folks writing on a cool topic each week: Alexandra Neill (who came up with both PPOM and Blog Carnival, because she’s just that clever), Lizzy at Hum Drum Plum, Britt in Boots and Jess from What I Think About Books.
And you can join in too! For the full list of topics and deadlines (which are really just a rough guideline – this post is already a week late!), you can click here. Come on! It’ll be fun!
For the week commencing Sunday August 3, we were asked to write about something that makes us happy. This is mine.
When I sat down to write about something that makes me happy, I went through a couple of ideas. Initially, I thought I’d write about the way certain smells make me feel wonderful, but instead of writing something for Blog Carnival, I ended up with something else that was good, but didn’t feel quite right for this project. I thought maybe I could write about music, but it felt too broad and too obvious. As the Sunday deadline came and went, I began to worry that I wouldn’t be able to write anything at all, not because there was nothing to be happy about, but because there was too much, and so many of the specific things were obvious, or I’d already crowed about them to the point of saturation. I really couldn’t tell which I should focus on.
So I’m going to tell you about something broad that is making me happy: the way I live now.
Before July last year, my life was an absolute shambles. I’d spent the better part of a year unemployed and living with my parents in Dubbo. My self-esteem was crushed; I had experienced a marked decrease in appetite, a constantly black mood and a severe reluctance to get out of bed before 4pm. I had spent most of my savings travelling to see friends in an attempt to put a little bit of light back into my daily existence. I was a wreck.
A little over a year on, everything is better. I’m living in Canberra again. I’ve thrown myself quite heavily into the arts scene here (as a punter), and have met tons of fantastic people as a result, who have inspired me to gradually increase my own creative output. I’ve had a number of magnificent adventures in a number of wonderful places with my amazing friends, and am planning many more. I have a job that is steady and I’m doing relatively well at, with work that I enjoy in my chosen field. I’m writing a regular local music column for BMA, I’m writing on my blog more often, and I’m practising things that I can show people that could end up being kind of cool. My favourite pub is open again and I have plans.
There are still plenty of hiccups to overcome: my financial situation isn’t that great (if there was a Spending Olympics, I would be at the top of the medal tally), I still struggle with my emotions and really horrible thoughts sometimes, and I’ve still got a few months to go seizure-free before I can go for my doctor’s clearance to learn to drive. My family and I are still grieving for my grandfather. My knees and ankles hurt sometimes, and my shoes wear through far too quickly. But these are all things that will heal with time and/or hard work. They are commas, not full stops. I will keep going.
A little over a year ago, none of this was conceivable to me, but here I am. I know that I have been incredibly lucky. I know that this luck could run out at any time. But I also know that I am going to enjoy every second of it while it lasts, and I will do my best to make these sun-filled days last as long as I can, because I have tasted their sweetness, I am hooked and I never want them to go away again.
I know I will keep going, because right now, I am happy.
This week’s theme was also covered by the following wonderful human beings:
- Alexandra enjoys the sunshine, in a literal sense.
- Lizzy baked up a storm. A delicious muffin storm.
- Jess wrote about some of the joys of family: hanging with them when they’re here, and researching them when they’re not.
- Britt went and saw Kav Temperly play Eskimo Joe’s album A Song Is A City live, and it sounds quite wonderful.
If you want a refresher on how Blog Carnival works, or want to join in: this is where you need to click your mouse.