learning something new

I have recently learned something about myself...I have no idea how to be happy. I am realizing that this concept of "happiness" is so foreign to me that I doubt I would know it if it hit me in the face.

There are a few times in my life when I can say with no uncertainty that I have been truly happy. But I am seeing that I usually get kind of close to happy only to sabotage it. A slow, painful, poisonous sort of sabotage.

Like the whole moving to Canada thing. My life, it was pretty damn good before I left. I was doing alright...I had this great group of friends, this job that didn't totally suck, I was the president of the god damn PTA for Christ's sake. I had two cool neighbors who sat outside with me and drank beer at night, my kids were loving life, my baby was cute.

I knew, I knew, that I shouldn't have stepped on that plane. I even went so far as to write a friend a letter saying as much (a friend that has yet to read that letter, but that's another story for another day), but I still went on ahead and did it. I could have stayed. It would have been ugly and angry and bitter, but at least I still would have my baby's crib and some shoes. It ended up much as I expected it to, but the difference is that my shit is all now over a border and I am right back where I started from, minus one address and one moving van full of stuff.

I tend to ignore the things that are blatantly obvious to everyone else in the interest of keeping the peace and not rocking the boat. I totally ignored the fact that my husband was doing way more than his fair share of the whole drinking/fooling around bit (remember the he didn't come home until 3 a.m. post?). I ignored it, I never said a word to him about it. Or to most of my friends. Turns out, my neighbor used to regularly see him coming home at 6 in the morning from god-knows-where and if I had only asked around a bit, I would have at least known better than to have let him off the hook for it.

My point here is that I am so used to this frantic, hanging-on-for dear-life mode that I have burned in for so long that I am overlooking these small chances I have to change things, to fix things, to create an actual, real, happy sort of life for myself. I create situations where I can get nothing but hurt, I latch on to people that absolutely refuse to give anything back, because that is what I am accustomed to. I understand that desperate, needy feeling and I feed into it rather than teaching myself how to just feel good and at peace.

I need some serious reprogramming.

Maybe I should start with the things I know make me happy. I know that the first time I sat on my friends S & C's back patio, just the three of us and little in-utero L, drinking a beer and laughing at C's stories of his high-school antics, I was really freaking happy. There is no doubt that watching T doing handsprings on the trampoline or L's little hug-kiss-hug-kiss thing she does when she's sleepy makes me about burst with joy. I recall once upon a time, sitting on a stoop with my old pal drinking Two-Buck Chuck and doing crosswords and that was pretty damn nice. And the walking to school with B, when it is just the two of us and my arm is around his back and his arm is around my waist, when our feet are taking the same sized strides and his little head is tilted just enough that it is resting in the crook of my elbow, and then he lets out that quiet little sigh that only he can, well, there ain't nothing in the world better than that.

That's not a bad place to start.