And it’s pretty awesome!
Here’s a picture I took this morning on the way through Grand Central Station. In the distance in the picture, you can’t see it, but there’s a pegasus bursting through the ceiling.
I realized lately thanks to some help from Larry Fagin that I’ve been cracking down on myself and others, making things harder than they have to be, scourging and so on.
It’s easy to get dragged down by the way things SHOULD be.
How you want to get along with people but they don’t want to get along with you.
How it’s too hot or too cold out.
How you ran around instead of relaxing.
How you didn’t make time for self care.
How you want people to get back to you and they don’t.
How you want people to be consistent and reliable and they aren’t.
Or maybe you didn’t get that job you wanted.
Whatever it is, it’s so easy to focus on that thing that wasn’t quite right.
And it doesn’t have to be this way!
There is so much beauty and wonder in this world.
Look! There’s the pegasus!
Yesterday I got to sit under the stars and watch fireworks with my family.
I got to reconnect with some loving, joyful people and watch them dance.
Today, I had time to meditate and do self-massage.
This morning I got to talk with my great aunt and uncle about their lives. And chat with my cousins about their lives too. My great uncle who taught English for nearly 30 years told me I am a good writer!
I’m sitting in a cafe under a chandelier as I write.
In September, I’m going to be a part of a poetry and photography book. “LIKE MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS”, 83 Contemporary American Poets, Photography by John Sarsgard and edited by Larry Fagin.
I’m going to meet a new friend at a beautiful Japanese teashop later today.
Why is this not enough?
What does this mean?
It means that you have a joyful moment, then you immediately squash it because PROBABLY something bad is going to happen very soon. Why not just prepare for it and not get too happy right now? She talked with people who had lost their whole families and asked them, “Did preparing to get your heart broken help you when you lost your family?”
And they said no, I wish I had enjoyed them more while they were here. I wish I had been there fully rather than rehearsing something bad happening.
Maybe movies or TV shows have taught us to expect something to go wrong at any moment. We stay afraid, because it’s safest to assume we will be disappointed.
UGH! I thought I was above that but apparently not!
I have that foreboding joy right now. Everything is going pretty well. Like that movie, “Jusqu’ici tout va bien, Jusqu’ici tout va bien” from the 1995 French movie, La Haine. It means, “up to now, everything has gone well.” Or, “So far, so good!”
My teacher told me that expectations are like arsenic. Expectations KILL relationships. He said it’s better to have very low expectations. Spread out your expectations among different people instead of putting all of them on one person or one job. He said, have two people in your life, or even three! Spread out your expectations and you’ll be much happier. And hang out with people who have a good mindset. He tapped his head and said, “How you feel, it’s all up here.”
Even though I’m worried about paying taxes, here are the good things.
- I’ve hired a bookkeeper.
- I’ve hired a CPA.
- I’ve even hired a branding company and I’m so excited for the work we’ll do together.
- I’ve got some fabulous presenters coming up in the next few months.
- I am starting to build a value business instead of a hobby business. And
- I’ve made my goals for 4 out of the last 6 months.
- I’ve even started a new self-care routine based on Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life, where I get up and meditate and massage myself, and it feels SO INCREDIBLE to just add this one little ritual to my day. It makes such a difference.
And something tells me, “oh this won’t last. You will fail and it’s going to suck.” Do you have those in the back of your mind too?
When you start to do well at something, do you worry that you’re going to fail soon?
How do you get out of it?
Lynda Barry says in her 2008 book, What It Is, the magic words to kill the demons are “I don”t know.”
I like to think about all of the mistakes I’ve made and think, “well, just prepare to make some more!” That’s how we learn. That’s how we grow. And we never stop learning. Not even when we’re 80!
It’s so beautiful outside in NYC right now. There are so many gorgeous things happening right now. Like the dance party for Pride on the pier. People walking around dressed for pride. The music in this cafe. A girl on the subway with a tiny crown in her hair. The man playing drums so beautifully in the subway. Rainbow flags. And I am healthy!
NYC is like a giant art project if you know how to look at it.
Maybe I can like it because I don’t live here anymore. But I like it.
And in the end, I’d much rather be joyful than morose. I’m not very good at it.
(This post was inspired by Gala Darling, who I sat across from today at this cafe. If you need some joy and beautiful pictures in your life, check out her blog!)