I awoke the morning after the Twelve Hour Date with a huge smile on my face, feeling very at peace and content with the world. Sure, it felt like I had a handful of sand under my eyelids from the lack of sleep, but the sun was shining, the birds were doing their thing, and I’d just spent an entire day with a pretty great guy.
The girls were still with their dad and so I turned up the tunes as I got ready to head out to my Wednesday morning acupuncture appointment. I’d talked to Philosophy Boy the day before and had talked him into giving it a try, too. I took the bus down to ur agreed upon meeting spot, and sat int the glorious spring sunshine, waiting for him, my iPod cranked up with some of my favourite happy tunes.
In that moment, as I sat there with my face turned up toward the sun, a huge realization struck me like a ton of bricks. I don’t deserve this happiness. I’d “stolen” it from someone else — I wasn’t finding this happiness solely in myself and in the gloriousness of the day. My happiness suddenly didn’t feel legitimate — I aws feeling it in response to the time that I’d spent the evening before with Funny Man.
I gave myself a moment to fully feel what I was feeling, and then said a big enthusiastic “SCREW IT!!!” in my head (definitely NOT out loud – those are the kind of people no one wants to make eye contact with at the bus stop). I hadn’t felt this terrific in a while, and you know what? I had NO INTENTION of letting it dissolve too quickly.
Philosophy Boy showed up and we headed off to the acupuncture clinic. He’d watched a documentary the night before, and so he entertained me with stories of the Mayan Calendar. That boy sure can talk. It’s all good, though. He gets my brain working and entertains me at the same time. We did our acupuncture thing, and since I had some time to kill before my counselling appointment later on in the afternoon, we grabbed a bite of lunch and then hung out for a while at his place. I was able to put aside my thoughts of Funny Man and just enjoy spending time with Philosophy Boy. He’s so easy going and laid back that it’s incredibly easy to just “be” around him. I find myself really absorbing his calm and relaxed energy whenever I’m around him.
During my counselling session in the afternoon, the subject of my “undeserved happiness” came up. My awesome counsellor and I talked about this for a long time, about how for so long I depended on other people fr my happines, that I am now in a place where I am hyper-sensitive to NOT doing that again. I don’t want to be that person (again) who desperately searches for happiness in other people. Because the thing is, in trying to have others fill a hole that only *I* can fill, it will always leave me feeling empty.
The interesting thing that she pointed out to me, however, is that in trying desperately to AVOID being something, we place our focus on that very thing, and often end up becoming exactly that. Sort that whole self-fulfilling prophecy kina thing. Also sorta like what Philosophy Boy was talking about when he said that we create our own experiences. My counsellor and I talked about changing my thinking AWAY from what I don’t want to be, and TOWARD what I do want to be.
So rather than being “that person who doesn’t want to depend on others for my happiness”, I will choose to be “that person who finds happiness and contentment within myself, and shares it with other people”.
It’s all about perception, baby.
She also reminded me that there are ways of “spin doctoring” experiences in order to focus on the positives. She pointed out the ways in which I had activity participated in making my date with Funny Man a happy one, thus being able to own some of the responsibility for my lingering happiness the next day. I’d chosen to keep the date rather than cancelling it. I chose to be open to the experience. I chose to be myself. I chose to be open and real and genuine with him.
And she’s right. No person is an island. It’s not “cheating” to feel happy in response to having an enjoyable evening with another person. It is, like so many things in life, about balance. I need to learn how to balance finding happiness totally within myself against finding happiness in other people. Both are completely legitimate and even necessary in life — its just a matter of not letting the scales tip too far in one direction or the other for too long.
So after the session I found myself, once again, feeling fairly positive about things with Funny Man. the happiness that I was feeling in response to the night was legitimate, and very much deserved.
Funny thing about that, though. Less than 24 hours and an MSN conversation later, I find myself starting to panic. WHAT’S UP WITH THAT???
……………to be continued……………….