Many months ago, I did a post on my blog about how we often perceive our lives as being one way or another..... often as a struggle and awaiting our happy life in the future. You could be forgiven for thinking this blog shares that view for the title, even though I have dispelled that many times on it. I have matured over my years to realize that happiness does not remain. It does not mean you cannot have NEW happiness with someone new or even the same person (though that last part does not apply to me). It is not sequential.
Have you seen the movie The Arrival? I saw it a few years ago, but it is a great way to explain this concept. We tend to think of things as linear... sequential. However, as you get older especially, we often realize that we are STILL experiencing past memories and future hopes. We are at any given moment the sum of those influences upon us, and those experiences are as true as the ones we experience in the present... we just don't always THINK about them. When we die, all of those things will be our legacy and footsteps of our path through our days. I still forget that at times, but it is true.
Our lives are not "good" or "bad" and to think so is to display the same misguided absolutism that destroys so many relationships and society as people are condemned for a moment that negates the value of the past for that person... till they heal enough to be able to separate the bad from the good and RETAIN the good that was experienced in places and with people from whom we have taken the WHOLE memory and labeled it and filed it away. I have had MANY challenges in my life and many hard days, but I have also had many good ones. If I died today, I would have LIVED in my life and experienced a lot. I'll go through some, here.
I have had two daughters that have given me many wonderful memories in raising them. I had good moments with each of my ex's. I think we all have. It took me years to realize that when we feel betrayed in divorce that we must come to forgive ourselves for allowing us to be hurt. Until we get to that point, we will continue to be blind to the good day we had with them. Having a good day also doesn't mean forgetting the wrong they did or the dysfunction that would exist in that combination of personalities. It simply means that when WE were with them WE contributed to the good in the relationship, and they contributed, too. There WERE good days in both of mine, such as a wedding with my second one in a wooden chapel building, dates to many venues, events, and conversations of shared interests. That it ended and cannot and should not resume has no bearing on whether there were happy moments in my past. I've often said the value of something has nothing to do with whether it remains. We enjoy a doughnut, but it is gone in 60 seconds. An orgasm lasts longer, but is similarly both GOOD and temporary.
My high school was tough, and I was bullied and more. However, I kissed a girl at church camp, danced with a pretty girl at prom, won area level science fair in Environmental Science two years and got other awards in math, science, civics, and sports. I wrote for the high school newspaper and took sports pics one semester for the yearbook.... all great memories.
In my college years, I was shortly in a modeling agency, put movies together at AMC and was projectionist, went to theater co worker parties, was in a fraternity, was selected as a sweetheart for a sorority, was on the intra fraternity council, and was chair of two student union board committees at FSC. I had short dating experiences in the college years with people and in memories that I still reflect on from time to time. They were... objectively... good.
I've seen Niagara Falls twice, worked in Boston and experienced that city... such as seeing the city from the Prudential center tower or watching Bruins and Celtics games in TD Garden. Also there, I went to the city part and ice skated on one of the oldest outdoor ice rinks.
Those are just a few experiences out of many over the years, but they make the point. My life, even with its challenges, is good if you look at other days than the pain. I would challenges you to look for those moments in yours, as well.
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