Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The happy revolutionary

I read an article yesterday on the 21 Habits of Supremely Happy People. It's a good list (and it wasn't a top 10 list, so that made me less suspicious). I've been thinking a lot about happiness lately, because I'm pretty ridiculously happy. It's taken me a long time to get here and there were a lot of missteps and big ol' mistakes that I made along the way. But here I am! Happy! And yet...

There's a big part of my personality that has always been perpetually dissatisfied. These are the parts that want to make the world better. These are the parts that want to call out injustice, the parts that get angry at the liars, the cheaters, the bullies, the mysogynists. These are the parts that want to take on new challenges. These are the parts that want to write books and start new ventures and fight against a broken status quo. The dissatisfied parts of myself are the parts that have pushed me to do the things of which I'm most proud.

Should we want to be supremely happy? Can we reconcile the complacency and contentment that comes with happiness with a desire to change the world? Can we be revolutionaries and still be happy?

I'm struggling with this. There are some days that contentment wins, and I embrace this wonderful time in my life with gratitude and appreciation. And then...the inevitable guilt: I'm not doing enough. I should be doing more. Am I wasting my life?

There are some days that the revolutionary wins. I write, I plot, I rally the troops. I get shit done. But I long to just be in the moment, to stop and read or listen to the waves or watch old Farscape episodes and just be happy.

I don't know that there's an answer, or that I'm asking a question. I do know that just being "supremely happy" or only focusing on changing the world would both leave me unsatisfied. So the eternal struggle for me is being a happy revolutionary: embracing happiness without being a sheep, changing the world without letting it jade me. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


I've just written the acknowledgments page for my (coming soon!) book and it made me pause. There are SO MANY people I'd like to thank in my life...people who have given me parts of themselves, people that taught me things about myself, and those whose failures showed me how to avoid making the same mistakes they have (no worries, I've made PLENTY of my own).

I look forward to the book being published, and for those I've thanked to know that they contributed to this milestone for me, whether they knew it or not.

It's made me think about gratitude, and how often we thank people without them really knowing what they have meant to us or brought to our lives. How, while my acknowledgments are heartfelt, they are just a glimpse into how I feel about the people who have supported me, a little hat tip to a much deeper emotion of gratitude that I carry in my heart.

We probably can't ever truly express, or make someone understand, what they mean to us or how they've impacted our lives. That shouldn't mean that we don't try, though. Maybe because it's 9/11 and this sad anniversary is a reminder that life is short and fleeting. Maybe because you get a twinge of guilt when you think about how long it's been since you've talked to your mom, or dad, or sister, or best friend. Maybe it's for no reason at all, except you are thinking of someone in your life with gratitude. Tell someone today what they mean to you, even if they'll never truly understand the place they hold in your heart.