Surprises and Joy

There’s a thing that happens when you become so self-aware, you watch yourself grow in mind, body and spirit in a way you never could before.

On June 21st, it was Opening Night at the Hollywood Bowl and my Kristin was being inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame along with The Go-Go’s and Pink Martini.  When something like this happens for her, it makes me so proud and it meant so much that it was happening in a place that has become so special in the time we have known each other.

Stephanie had gotten us pretty spectacular seats, and I couldn’t wait to be there with her, drinking boxed sangria and enjoying the music like the classy broads we are.  It doesn’t get better than a summer night at the Hollywood Bowl.  My only wish was that the rest of our family could have been there to share in such a special night.  And then this is a thing that actually happened:

My Person surprised the hell out of me, and she brought Annie and Anne with her.  The moment that happened the rest of the night went out the window.  I couldn’t concentrate on what was happening on the stage.  I couldn’t stop crying.  I could only laugh and hold onto the handful of precious family sitting right next to me completely baffled that they were there. Six weeks of secrets, lies and decoy social media posts came down to these moments.  Moments of real, tangible love.

We had a sleepover, watched an unhealthy amount of television, ate junk food, gathered around the fire pit and then Anne and Annie spent the whole week here.  These moments are why I understand when Janie says she wants someone to write the story of our family, and I swear one day I’ll be the one to do that if it’s the last thing I do. The week was truly like magic.

There was also an unexpected balance to the week –  people telling me I needed to be doing other things and not spending time with my family.  People telling me my happiness upsets them.  People disrespecting my angel girls to my face.  This all happened with several people and then the self-awareness kicked in and I realized that none of these people could take my joy from me.  My life has been one giant stress ball as of late and I was allowed a week away from it to recharge.  I needed it.

I emailed one of my angel girls last night and said the following:

[As all this negativity was happening around me], I watched as I stepped outside of the situation and told myself it was ok to hang onto this happiness and I didn’t need someone else’s darkness to steal my light. I watched my own growth happen. To realize that light is so precious and rare in my life and I have every right to own my joy. It’s mine and nobody else’s.

Last night My Person said to me, “Own your joy.”  And you know what?  That’s what I’m doing.  I’ve fought my entire life for happiness.  I’ve fought my entire life to be able to say “I love you” to other human beings and truly know what that meant.  I’m not going to apologize or feel bad because my happiness can sometimes be an inconvenience to someone else.  In my current situation, there is absolutely nothing I can do right now, it’s a lot of waiting.  Waiting and stress.  So when joy and love stopped by for a visit, I had every right to hold on as tightly as I could without having to justify it.

Life is too short to be unkind and bring people down.  Find something to smile about.  Go out of your way to do something kind for a stranger.  Be grateful to the people who love you.  Be happy for those you love when something beautiful happens to them.  There’s no room in the light for darkness, and the light is warmer anyway.

Own YOUR joy.  You’ll make the world a better place.  Thank you to my family for being the people you are. You are everything I wished on stars for as a child.  I love you.

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