Happiness

“Are you happy?”

The question from my father startled me a bit and I wasn’t exactly sure how to answer. I explained that I am relatively happy even though there are some things in my life that I wish were a little different. But, yeah, overall I’m happy.

Since I started working for my dad a few weeks ago, he’s been running around acting like a kid with a new toy. He frequently remarks about how happy he is and how much he likes where he’s at in his life right now. His joy is almost contagious.

Life has dealt me many unexpected blows, but things always seem to work out just fine in the end. Three years ago, I would have never believed it if someone had suggested that I was going to find such a wonderful person to share my life with. One month ago, I’d never have believed someone telling me that I’d soon be starting a new job. Life has a wonderful way of surprising (or scaring) the heck out of us.

Dad later remarked that it was ironic that we are both happy in our lives when most of the religious people that we know think that we will split hell wide open when we die. “I don’t believe that,” I replied.

He paused briefly before saying, “I don’t either.”

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia!

Honey has a head full of thick, luxurious hair which he likes to keep cut very short. I often tease him about being a Chia Pet because his hair seems to grow straight out from his head, resulting in some type of white man’s afro in the span of 3-4 weeks.

Karen was surprised the other day when I mentioned that he used to have long hair when he was a child. I know this because of the plethora of pictures that he has produced during our time together. I promised to post a photo for her, so without further ado, here’s the little fellow who grew up to become my valentine:

honey

What a difference a week makes

I’ve always tried to remain positive during times of despair by telling myself that whatever problem I’m experiencing probably won’t be as important in a week or two. That reasoning has proven itself to be true over and over.

As I left my new workplace last Friday afternoon, I was so depressed and tired that I couldn’t hold back the tears. I was still uncertain that I had made the right decision, I felt useless and worthless at my new job, and I was exhausted from trying to get my bearings in new surroundings. I sobbed all the way home.

I slept in late on Saturday morning, got out of bed and basically did nothing all day before going back to bed at 4:30 in the afternoon. I didn’t get up until it was time to get ready for church the next morning. I could feel depression digging its claws into me.

By Sunday evening – after getting a pep talk from my pastor and seeing a great movie – I had decided that I was going to make the best of my current situation and that I would no longer be looking back or second-guessing myself. That was a turning point.

One week later, I’m still exhausted but my mood is much better. I had a fantastic and enjoyable week at work, I’m starting to feel like a contributing and valuable member of the team, and I am excited about the future.

And… I didn’t cry like a baby on the way home from work.

The elephant in the room

Well, it’s been an interesting week, that’s for sure. My blog has been noticeably quiet, and I think the time has arrived to address the reason so that I can move on.

I quit my job last Tuesday – the one I had for almost 21 years. It was an incredibly difficult decision, but I made my peace with it and did what I felt I had to do. What could have been a clean break was made a little complicated by the intrusiveness of one of my former coworkers, who decided to send the link to this blog to my employers. I’m relatively certain that I know who this individual is and I’m sure they smiled to my face as they stuck the knife in my back.

What followed was indecisiveness about how to proceed with this space; did I want to continue writing knowing that every word would be scrutinized by people who desired to use my thoughts as a tool against me or did I want to shut it down for good? After agonizing over it for a few days, I’ve decided that I will continue as before.

This site serves as my unlocked diary in many ways, and while my voice may get lost among the millions of other voices screaming to be heard, I am thankful for the availability of this technology and for the privilege of living in a country that values freedom of speech.

My life feels dramatically different and there are moments when I would like to awaken and find it’s all a dream, but I know that change is never easy. The saying “No pain, no gain” comes to mind. I’ve been depressed, I’ve second-guessed myself, and I’ve cried numerous times, but I trust that time will prove this step outside my comfort zone to be rewarding in unimaginable ways.

Que sera, sera.
Whatever will be, will be.
The future’s not ours to see.
Que sera, sera.