Happy on the Inside

I ran into an old friend from university yesterday, and once again I was struck by just how happy this person seems to be. I don’t mean in a bouncing off the walls way, or an always smiling way. But he doesn’t seem to carry the burdens around with him that many people do. There doesn’t seem to be the dark core that many people have developed. Yet I know that he has struggled and achieved very impressive things in his life so far.

Mostly, it made me wonder if I could let go. Can I let go of my dark core, the one that holds the sadness of failures, missed moments and lost loved ones? Could I be deeply happy, despite the daily grind and hardships that life delivers?

Would it make me a different person?

I have a hard time thinking of myself as beautiful, despite constant reassurance by my partner that I am indeed beautiful. Some days I look in the mirror and think that, hey, maybe I am! And others I am quite sure that I am not.

Would I achieve more?

I have always held the secret hope that I would help people. Save the world, even. I have come nowhere close to that. Part of my wonders if the burdens I carry with me have held me back, kept me from growing into more than I am. And part of me likes the way my life is, without the stress of trying to save the world. A big task for one person even on a good day.

Would I be less sarcastic?

I have this side to myself that I try to keep private. I can actually be very silly–even though in front of 99% of people my walls are up and sarcasm is the only humour I show. I love to dance–even though I usually just dance by myself around the house.

Would people still take me seriously?

I’ve always been the responsible one. The composed one. I can be having a fight with my significant other and turn around to smile and have a cheerful conversation with the waiter.

I have recently moved into the role of being the team leader, which meant convincing some employees that I was qualified to be their boss. And I did. But, how much of that is because of that dark, hard, core that I have?

And yet, it’s hard not to like a happy person. So maybe I could be me…but happier. Maybe I could be sometimes silly, sometimes dancey, always a bit sarcastic and yet somehow, less dark. Less sad.

Maybe I could accept what I have lost and failed at, and actually, finally, move on.

If only I knew how…

A Little Less Wise

After a certain number of years, I was forced to accept the truth–I had to get my wisdom teeth out. I had been putting it off, hoping that one day my teeth would just figure it all out, and I could be one of the few that is able to say “I still have my wisdom teeth”.

Alas, it was not to be. So on a bright September day, I went in for my very first general anaesthesia surgery. To say that I was scared to go under for the first time would be very, very true.

I can’t deny that there was something nice about falling asleep and waking up and having it all done. The loopy-ness wore off quickly. The ache-y pain wasn’t bad enough that my need for stronger drugs was greater than my stubbornness towards taking stronger drugs.

But I’ve been slow to bounce back. Tired, weak and sore, I have missed a lot of work and other activities in the following days. I’m getting there, just slowly.

However, what has struck me most about this experience is what a prime example wisdom teeth are in showing how unique we all are from each other. I have heard dozens of wisdom teeth stories over the years, and not one has been the same. Some people actually have wisdom teeth that are fit and happy. Some should get them out but are avoiding it. Some people got 2 out at once, and some got all out at once. Some people were fine 2 days afterwards, and some weren’t. Some people spent a whole week on crazy pain killers. Some people ended up with infections, or dry socket. Some people got chipmunk cheeks, some people barely looked different.

And it’s such a simple thing. Just 4 teeth that we seem to have evolutionarily outgrown. Yet for each person, the outcome and how our body deals with that outcome is different.

I find great comfort in the fact that we haven’t evolutionarily outgrown uniqueness, don’t you?

What’s your wisdom teeth story?

Dear Echo

Dear Echo,

You were the most faithful of cars. Our 7 years together will remain forever dear to me. It is a special relationship, that purchase of the first car.

I knew from the first test drive that you were the car for me. You weren’t the prettiest, or the newest, or the fastest, but you were adorable and affordable. At 198,000 km just to start, you were only expected to get me from A to B for the first 5 years, but you kept going long after that. And sure, I probably spent $1500/year just on fixing you up, but you were worth it.

You even adjusted, when someone new came into our lives, and you had to drive much more than you were used to.

You truly were the most faithful of cars.

What does that make me, then? I gave up on you because of some cosmetic damage. It didn’t damage any of your functional parts, because you’re too good for that. But the insurance company couldn’t see past the dents to your true beauty, and wouldn’t pay for the repairs. Not only that, but they wanted to write you off. They thought you were only worth $2500. Perhaps I’m just too susceptible to peer pressure, because it wasn’t until even the mechanic said I should take the money that I truly realized that I was going to do it. I was going to betray you.

I am sorry, dear Echo, that I had to make that choice. The logical part of me won, knowing that it was a good amount of money for a 14 year old car with 265,000 km. It was the best offer we were ever going to get, and in the long run it would save us money on repairs for keeping you going for the 2+ years you had left in you. I know that probably doesn’t mean much to you, but I hope you can understand a little.

I hope you can forgive me for letting them send you to the salvage yard. I’m hoping it’s kind of like organ donation, and you’ll go on to give life to other cars who are struggling.

To me, you will always be worth so much more than $2500. More than any amount. Walking away from you was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.

Thank you for all the times you sat quietly while I poured my heart out to you. You were there for me during some of the darkest times in my life. Thank you for faithfully getting me where I needed to go, and not once breaking down anywhere. I can only hope that the new car, the lesser car, will be as faithful and wonderful as you were.

Most sincerely and with deep regrets,

Sarah

Mother-less Awareness Day

It’s getting to that time of year again, so I thought I’d post this again as a reminder to be aware that Mother’s and Father’s days can be very difficult for some people.

Homemade Sarcasm

There are a few “holidays” where it’s awesome if you can participate, but unpleasant if you can’t. For instance, Valentine’s Day. I was not one of those people who gracefully ignored it during my single days. I jumped on board the train that called it “Single’s Awareness Day”. Because that’s what it does, it makes you aware of the fact that you don’t have this person that the world is telling you that you should.

Multiply this by about 1000, and that is how I feel about Mother’s Day. It, and all the advertisements leading up to it, serve as constant reminders that my mother is not around. They make me extremely aware of this piece that I am missing, that I know I should have, and in my dreams, sometimes, I still have.

It would be easy to say, “well, why don’t you just ignore it?”. That requires that…

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The Other Man

I have a confession to make. Since before I met my current partner, there has been another man who has held a part of my heart. I didn’t realize how deep this bond ran until this weekend, when I made a sad discovery (which I will tell you about, later).

You see, since I was a much younger person, I’ve known this man who was kind, fiercely loyal, extremely intelligent and resourceful, and with just the right sarcastic streak. He believed in intelligence over violence. His name? MacGyver. Don’t sneer. It has broken my heart to see his name smeared by people for the sake of a stupid joke. Most people haven’t seen the show, but have seen enough of these satires that they believe the jokes are true. They are not.

Sure, it’s a bit of a cheesy show. But I maintain that he is the only man who can ever pull off a mullet. The. Only. Man.

Oh, don’t look at me like that, you know I can’t resist you…. (image from wikipedia)

My partner does not share my love of the show to the same degree, but I guess that is understandable. I mean, who would want to watch another man compete for the affections of his partner?

I still watch reruns of the show, but my heart’s glow had dimmed a bit for this love of mine. Until I found Stargate SG-1. This show, my partner shares my love for. It is full of sci-fi and action and smart people. And while Richard Dean Anderson plays a different kind of character, with a larger fondness for guns and much lower on the nerdy intelligence, he makes up for it with a shorter haircut (sorry MacGyver, the mullet wasn’t that great), and one hell of a dry wit.

So, imagine my dismay when I discover that (SPOILER ALERT) as of season 7, they start phasing his character out! I will eventually adjust to this new turn of events, but my heart continues to yearn for more than a few awesome one liners. Even if those include my new favourite saying:

I’ll jump off that bridge when I come to it.

Seriously. Pure genius.

I would never leave the love of my life for this other man. But he will always hold a special place in my heart. And if he sees fit to come back to television to star for another series…well…I might even get cable.

Changing Dreams

Many months ago, I wrote about dreams, specifically how I wanted to open an etsy store. However, it seems the longer I thought on the dream, the less it seemed like what I really wanted to do.

This is partially brought on by finally understanding what an artisan I once met meant when he said “Etsy is just a race for the bottom”. I didn’t truly understand it until it was announced that Etsy will be accepting merchandise made in factories.

At first, I was dumbfounded. I was totally overwhelmed with this idea that this website full of merchandise that I coveted would sink so low as to give up its original purpose. In my mind, if you’re selling something “handcrafted”, it is not handcrafted by some random people in a factory somewhere. It’s handcrafted by you.

And then the reality sunk in that it is a website that is already so saturated with merchandise…how would anyone find mine in that sea? A sea that will only get bigger with the policy change. Sure, my family and friends would make an effort, and purchase things. But when that initial burst of 10 purchases ended, all that will be left is silence.

So I let go of my dream. It’s not what I want anymore. As much as I want to sell my crafty-bits, I no longer think that Etsy is the right venue for it.

My dream of opening an Etsy store has been around much longer than I confessed in that blog post. It was part of the reason I started this blog. And now…with that goal no longer in mind, I feel a bit adrift. I’m sure the upcoming holiday season will fill up my crafting quota. But after that?

What then?