A general sense of gloom, doom, and anger have been the norm for me a while now. Worried that the job I love could come to a crashing halt at any moment, like the other jobs I’ve loved and lost in the past. Angry for Lord knows why. I’ve got no reason to worry or be angry. Work is great, family is great. Sure, I could use a few more friends, and my family all live on opposite sides of the country now…but hardly reason to be as bummed as I’ve been.
Maybe I lost part of myself? I remember being optimistic and happy all the time once. But time often changes us, and I guess that’s why my otherwise sunny disposition was replaced with a rain cloud and a constant expectation for things to just go wrong. I mean, things hadn’t exactly been ideal for years. The move to Atlanta and going to Georgia State was lackluster at best. Then the move back to Orlando was filled with all sorts of headaches. Why should now be any different?
Funny thing about all those “awful” memories, those “years” of woe…if I look back now I don’t really remember the gloom and doom. I remember late night soccer games and laughing until I cried. I remember dancing like an idiot and feeling like I was on top of the world. I remember spending time with friends, being close to my family. I remember late nights with my sister talking and writing, and talking about our writing. I remember stupid pranks her and I played on each other (although, truth be told, they were mostly pranks I played on her). I remember re-arranging my mother’s NOEL stocking hangers to spell out LEON and absolutely losing my mind over how funny I thought that was. I remember learning how to cook from some really talented people. The feel of cold, stainless steel and the heat from the range. I remember long train rides downtown to get to class, what the city felt like during the winter.
They weren’t bad years at all. Sure, did I make some mistakes? Of course I did. I quit jobs when I shouldn’t have, got fired from one that I shouldn’t have taken in the first place, and was not nearly as kind to people as I should have been. But, in spite of all of that…I was still so very blessed. Just like now.
Even though, at the time, I may not have been feeling the best I can look back now and I hardly remember the bad feelings! I remember so many good things and people and sensations that fill my heart with joy and thankfulness.
Every time I moved somewhere new, and I have done that a lot, I have always looked back fondly on where I’ve been. The most recent place I occupied always held some kind of…magic. Like everything good and worth having in this world was stuck in that part of time. If I could just get back to that place, I would always think, then I could have those feelings again. I could be happy like I was then, again! And every time I think to myself, “next time…I’ll appreciate what I have when I have it. I won’t let the good old days be a past tense thing. I’ll be in the good old days, really present.”
So here’s to the good old days! The one’s we’re all in, right now. As my dog chews away at her ball, freshly bathed and smelling of vanilla and verbena. After a long day of training at work, and a northern Georgia thunderstorm passing over head…thank you. Thank you to my family for always being there for me. Thank you for my friends, past and present, for the same. Thank you for the opportunity I have now, to do the work I do; I truly love every second of it, and the people I work with. Thank you for my home, my health, and most of all my happiness. And last but certainly not least, thank you God. Because, through you, this was all given to me.