There’s a coldness in me that I can access when needed or when it suits me. I’m good at rejection, both being rejected and doing the rejecting. I’m good at taking “no” for an answer. When given the means, I’m good at firing people.
A few years ago I felt a close friend of mine growing more and more distant. She’d always been sincere and forthcoming, but now it seemed that whenever I’d see her, she’d slowly but surely become irritable with me. Over time, I learned that I had offended her over and over again.
The more conversations we had about life’s everyday-ness, the more I realized that she saw me as the problem. Although our last few interactions were amicable, I ended our friendship prematurely, cold turkey.
I took it personally.
I blamed her for not trusting me with the truth, or not trusting me with it sooner, or not trusting me at all. I blamed her for believing that at the heart of it, I wasn’t someone who should even be trusted.
Although I’m ashamed of the way I did it and though I desire forgiveness, I wouldn’t dare ask for it, for fear that it would incite a desire for reconnection– one that I couldn’t reciprocate. I’m not better than this.
Joy isn’t where you think it is.
You can’t find it in the usual places. You can’t harness it from other people (although you can try). You can’t buy it on clearance or eat it with your favorite toppings (although I do try).
Sometimes it comes from a deep sense of gratitude, gratitude that comes from wisdom that’s been hard-fought and hard-won. Sometimes it comes when you understand your place in the microcosm, and you’re at peace with your position and your work.
If I knew then what I know now, I’d have been kinder. I would’ve believed in grace, in peace, and in pardons. I would’ve accepted responsibility and tried harder to appease. I would have forgiven. I would have been kinder to my parents and to my friends. I would’ve been nicer to my brother and sister and to co-workers I didn’t quite understand or fully appreciate.
Joy isn’t where you think. You can’t find it in the usual places. It has to find you; it has to accost you.
Week 28 Successes:
I’ve been using this journal to track progress towards our goals. He started the coloring book in December and, as of yesterday, just finished his third page. The reminder is helping to hold us accountable. More to come.
I started brainstorming titles, decided on the number of chapters, and gave every chapter a name. I wrote the chapter headings on white paper in Sharpie, and I taped all the papers to the wall. Everyday I brainstorm ideas, re-categorize the headings, and revisit titles. When I’m inspired, I’ll record more ideas on sticky notes and put them on the appropriate pages for the relevant chapters.
I’ve seen my parents for the past three Saturdays in a row. I’m looking forward to being more consistent and starting a new pattern.
I started reading again. I’m two-thirds through my first book.
I bought Tupperware and outlined a plan for meal prepping. Day 1, Week 1 all over again.
Week 28 Failures:
More unchecked police brutality, violence, and assault. Philando Castile’s murderer walked free and the video of his death was released for the general public.