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Finding joy

May 26, 2009

I’m not a joyful person. I admit that. You won’t find me among the many women out there who are always smiling. Sunshine doesn’t beam out of my skin pores and I don’t abound with energy. I try to when I go to the gym, but believe me, it’s hard work.

The women out there who are always smiling and giggling (not in a bimbo way, but in a joyful way) astound me. I wish I were one of them. Just as of late I have decided to become a member of their club but somehow it just isn’t happening. I’m still so cynical of them, of the happiness for no apparent reason. For example, the other day I was in kickboxing class, waiting with the rest of them for the class to start when a woman walked in with a gleeful, “Whoooo-oo! What’s up with the lights? Are we having class in the dark?” Every word possessed a lightening bolt and energy crackled around her, but the first thought that went through my head was, “Seriously? Who is that?” To which I immediately stopped myself from continuing in my criticism and instead smiled.

Come to find out it was the instructor. Which made me happy. Having an instructor with energy makes the class so much better. It help you get through it.

But I was so disappointed in myself. Here I am, trying to find a way to be a more high energy, cheerful person and yet I am still putting those types of people down in my head. It’s probably jealousy.

So whistling while I housework and all, I’ve been thinking about why I am so cynical about happiness and the smile playing on someone’s lips for no obvious reason to me. Why do I get annoyed when my husband says, “Smile, why don’t you ever smile?” Why is it that I find myself going through the entire day without so much as lifting the corners of my mouth up a little? What’s the big deal?

And I’m pretty sure I found the reason, but it is so immature and idiotic that I’m a bit embarrassed to write about it. But since this blog is new and no one that I know is following it as of yet, I will share.

I think it comes from my teenage years and being so determined to show my stepfather and my mother, and, heck, everyone else in the world, that I was NOT happy, that they couldn’t MAKE me happy, that the world sucks and it is all their fault. Seriously. In high school I thought I would look like an idiotic bimbo if I smiled all the time, that the only way to show people that I was serious about like and work and all that was to be just that, SERIOUS. I was embarrassed by any show of excitement or happiness both on my part and on the  part of others around me. Now, my freshman year of college in Chicago I became known as the super happy, super energetic girl at times. There were times that I was flying off the wall to get people to laugh. And I can’t seem to find that anymore. Of course, I should acknowledge the fact that I had just started drinking coffee in large quantities and that on many a weekend I was either high or drunk. Plus it was all with people I didn’t know. I could reinvent myself because no one knew who I used to be.

Then the second year I went abroad and became shy and an introvert and became terribly depressed. Looking back I should have been on medication.

The depression dissipated and years later I am fine, but I can’t seem to find any joy. To the point that I considered asking the doctor for some pills. But I don’t think that is the answer. Not yet anyway. First I want to see if I can recapture it by just being determined to change my attitude. I’m not even thirty, so reinventing myself shouldn’t be too big of a problem, right?

Oh, if only if were that easy….

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