Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Are You Happy?

For those of you who think I serve no other purpose but to update here at least weekly, I tell you this: I'm on vacation! Leave me alone!

With that in mind, this will not be a fancy entry or anything terribly meaningful. It is simply an entry.

This is where I am right now visiting my parents.

This is where I'll be later tonight and the rest of the week.

And this is what I'll be doing on Thursday.

This is what I'll be doing on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings. Yes, this also means seeing someone I used to date (can I call him an ex-boyfriend? He's definitely someone I used to love that way but now I just wish he could accept a friendship. That's fodder for a solo entry, though.

On that note, I leave you with this happy thought. My parents introduced me to several of their friends at church the other day. What can I say? They love me and wanted to show me off. Anyway, one woman wanted to know if I was there with my family, which was a confusing question, because I was thinking, "Yes, don't you see these people? These are my parents, and my sister and her family are here too, and that's my family," but then I realized she meant did I have a husband and children of my own. While I was still working that word problem out in my head (sometimes I'm not very quick on the draw), my mother said, "No, she's not married."

The woman sympathetically clucked and shook her head and said, "Oh, you're all alone, are you?"

I drew myself up an extra two inches (I need to stop slouching anyway) and said, "I'm not married, but I'm not alone."

That was definitely not the answer she was expecting to hear. Truthfully, it wasn't really the answer I expected to give, but I hate the pitying looks from people who think I'm too old to be single when they really have no idea who I am or what I've gone through to get to this point. She said, just one step shy of huffiness, "Well. I've never heard that before. You'll have to explain to me what that means."

So I did. I may not be married, but that doesn't mean I'm alone. I'm the exact opposite of alone. In fact, I've known married people who really are alone, and that to me is sadder by far than not being married. In other words, I'd rather wish I were than wish I weren't. Of course there are times I wish I were married or I play the mental "what if" game about certain boys I've dated, but I'm happy in my life right now. I have a wonderful "family of choice," I surround myself with people and activities I love and that fill my spirit and soul, and I can be happy even while single. It's not the "happily ever after" ending I dreamed of when I was a little girl or even a young woman (actually, when I was a little girl, that kind of lovey-dovey stuff was non-existent to me), but that doesn't mean it's not a happily-ever-after ending. For one thing, it's not over yet, and for another, happy is defined however you want it to be. That definition changes as your life circumstances change, but if you're always anticipating the next great event in order to be happy, then you will never be happy.

"Men (and women) are, that they may be happy." In other words, the fact that I exist means I should be happy. And I am.

Are you?

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