Happiness hit her like a train on a track
Coming towards her, stuck still, no turning back
She hid around corners and she hid under beds
She killed it with kisses and from it she fled
With every bubble she sank with a drink
And washed it away down the kitchen sink.
-- "Dog Days Are Over" (Florence & The Machine)
The subject of this post is happiness; or more specifically, my recent happiness. And even more specifically, the odd feelings (guilt, suspicion, terror) that have accompanied my realization that I'm happier now than I have been in years.
Happiness is an elusive notion. The pursuit of it, according to the Constitution, is one of our unalienable rights. Obviously, happiness means different things to different people, which perhaps accounts for the 17,529 books on Amazon that either have the word in the title or listed as the subject.
Generally, I think of myself as a positive person, with a fairly optimistic outlook on life. But that doesn't mean I've always been happy. Living in Boston (as opposed to New York) definitely has made me a happier person, but still, it has taken nearly two years for me to feel genuinely happy with my life here.
What has changed? In the last few months, it's like everything has just clicked into alignment. Usually, when one aspect of my life is going well, another is, pardon the expression, in the shitter. If my personal life is on the upswing, I'll be stressed about money/career and vice versa. But right now, everything is going pretty freakin' well. And it's freaking me out.
Job-wise, I'm very content. I love being a server at Lineage: love the food, love my co-workers, and the money is good. It's the first restaurant job I've had that I've found satisfying and not frustrating. And in the fall, I'll be teaching a college class, which is something I've always wanted to do. Very exciting.
I've also finally figured out who my friends are in Boston. This can be a tough town in terms of meeting people and my first year here was pretty lonely. But now, I feel confident that the circle of people I spend my time with are good, caring individuals that have my back and enjoy my company. This is a good feeling.
And finally, last but certainly not least, there is a new and thrilling romance, with someone I met on Match.com. My very first Match date turned out to be a winner -- we've been seeing each other for about 6 weeks now and it gets better every day. All the cliched, eye-rolling emotions have turned out to be true: he makes my heart race, gives me butterflies, and I miss him as soon as he's gone. And I think he feels the same way -- if not, he is a master manipulator, not to mention a superb actor.
But who goes on ONE internet date and meets someone great? What are the odds of that happening? How did I get so lucky?
The answer is, I don't know. For the first time in a long time, there is nothing in my life causing me anxiety. And for those of you who know me, that is bizarre. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, for the shit to hit the fan...I mean, any day now, I'm going to get fired or get my heart broken, right? It can't be correct that I'm allowed all this good fortune.
Of course, when I told all this to my new guy, his response was "Are you sure you're not Irish Catholic?"
So I'm happy....now what?