The Happy One

I haven't been posting lately not out of laziness or even busyness, but because I've been feeling a little more introspective. I've really wanted to sit with my thoughts and feelings and try to analyze them without leaving them open for others to peer in on. It's been hard to try to figure out how to express the ups and downs of the past few months; on some days I feel fine with the world, on other days everything feels impossibly sad or hard.  I get frustrated with people who don't understand what I'm going through, who get to live lives that are pretty carefree by comparison. There have been a few moments since April where I've really had to force myself to stop and take a breath because I could feel my emotions getting the better of me--that they were taking me on these crazy rides that would change my mood from one minute to the next. I think about my dad and miss him every day.  Every single one.  I still cry about it all the time, even though it's been almost six months.  I feel like crying now just writing about crying!  If you've never experienced grief or loss for yourself--first, you are very lucky.  Second, please understand that it's not something that's "over" after a few months.  It's not a course you graduate from.  It's not a city you drive through on the way to get where you're going.  It's like a new, unwelcome texture that covers your entire life.  It's pretty easy to give in and let it smother you.

I've had to work really hard these past weeks to try to bring a bit of happiness back into my life. I was lucky, in a weird way, to have a project (this being Sequel) that consumed my life and kept me from hyper-focusing on how rotten it was.  Once I sent that draft to my editor, though, it felt like I was suddenly standing on the corner of an empty street.  All of a sudden, I had a lot of time.  I had a lot of time to dwell in the negatives, the missings, the anger.  What's worse is that right around this time every year, despite how beautiful the autumn weather is, I start to miss school.  I start longing to make some big change, or move.  And--surprise!--when you start thinking that way, it's hard to appreciate what you already have, and where you live.  It's not really a secret that I have such a love/hate relationship with NYC.  After three years, I've about had it up to here with the lifestyle and stress that come hand-in-hand with living here.  So, unsurprisingly, I've had to refocus a lot of energy on figuring out what makes me happy.

I'm not going to get into the deeper meaning or definition of happiness here; it differs from person to person.  What I will say is that I've tried to start with small changes, with cherishing small, little things.  I'm working my way up to being a more grateful and gracious person; I'm trying really hard to make adjustments to the way I perceive the city and everyone around me.  But that's an easy thing to say, and a much harder thing to implement.  I've been finding things to look forward to, and making a point to see more friends.  If that sounds like a small, sad life to you--well, sometimes it is.  But, like I said, I've started small.  And for whatever reason, it makes me feel a little more adult and in control of my life.  No more crazy runaway moods!

I reorganized my closet and donated a ton of stuff to Good Will.  I bought a few things to help me keep my room better organized, and I've been stalking the new Pottery Barn bedding I want to hunt for on eBay to change my room up a tiny bit. (I WILL find that gorgeous quilt for under $150 if it kills me.)

I went to see Bon Iver with two of my friends this past Saturday, and we somehow ended up with these incredible seats.  The show was insanely gorgeous--I wish I could have taken you all with me!

I've been waiting so impatiently for Babel, the new Mumford & Sons album to drop--and it's coming out this week, FINALLY.


I've been obsessing over the adorable Wheaten Terrier puppy my mom has been watching on and off the past few months:

Here's an instant mood booster: randomly running into NYC street fairs, and actually taking the time to walk through them.

Going all eBay huntress and finally letting myself buy the L.L. Bean boots I've wanted for years.  They are worn, have character, and got me quite a bit of compliments when I wore then in the rain last week. :)  Not only that, but I feel like I'm really embracing the American Prep style that I felt like I had to abandon when I moved to the City of Black.  I think I'm just over caring about people judging my plaid + corduroy + blazer combo.

I even went as far as to change my perfume for fall/winter.  I love Jo Malone's fruity fragrances (anything flowery gives me a headache!) with a passion.  My mom had sent me a sample of their latest scent--Blackberry and Bay--and I am obsessed.  OBSESSED.  I went into their little boutique on the Upper East Side today to buy a small bottle of it and raved to the woman working there.  When I got home, I found a zillion sample sprays of it and even a few tiny jars of the same fragrance's hand cream.  So sweet, right?

I won't bore you guys with every little thing, especially the other material comforts. ;)  But I've spent a lot of time trying to reconnect with friends I lost track of this past spring and summer, especially friends from college who live here in the city.  To be honest, there was a two month period where I really just... did not want to see much of anyone and did not want to subject them to me, either.

I've been working on a story that I started right around this time last year, one that's really different from everything else I've done.  I love it, even if I'm not sure it "works."  I'm also in the middle of a big DARKEST MINDS-related project that I should hopefully be able to share soon.

So tell me--how have you guys been working to make your life and world a happier place lately?

LifeAlex2 Comments