Some 35,000 feet above Calipatria, I sat watching two children fold down their trays and deal each other a hand of some card game. I imagine it was War or Gin Rummy, because that's what my brother and I played for hours that felt like days, locked inside his bedroom on sunny afternoons. We didn't have much, but we always had a deck of cards - and each other.

This is where a normal blogger would insert a picture of happy childhood whimsy, but I don't have any of those. Oddly enough, I seem to have the happy and the whimsy.

It wasn't until we hit a patch of turbulence that the memory of learning how to fight (and sometimes win, when he let me) with a deck of cards was jolted back to the memories of that bedroom, that house, those parents, that life. It was long time, longer than ever before, that I was able to be perfectly happy inside the memory of my past. 

Time. Time and perspective. What wonderful healers are thy. 

I remember, when I was a little girl in our little home with little of anything, laying in bed every night saying my prayers. We didn't pray like people usually pray; we believed that a prayer was a conversaiton and that you really ought not squander the chance. We talked, to God or someone or no one, and today I know that I was really just meditating my way through a really hard life, but then all I knew was gratitude for having someone to hand everything over to every night, someone to share my story with. 

I prayed, not for what we didn't have, but for all that we did. I was so thankful for a roof, for walls, for heat coming out of the vents and what very little food was in the cupboards, on the days there was any. It's funny how, when you have nothing, everylittlething seems so wondrous, such a gift. 

And it was. It still is. 

All of this, even the hard parts, are full of wonder. And I, for one, living all of them happy.

I had to remember that happiness isn't something I am ever going to have, it's something I have to do as often as I can. I'm trying to do more of it. Happy feels good

I'm Speaking at BlogHer '11!Tomorrow, I'll be speaking at BlogHer11 with Gretchen Rubin, with Brené Brown, and with Shauna James Ahern about acceptance - of our whole selves. 

Of being happy because of, not in spite of, who we are. 

I am card games on cold, wood floors under windows without curtains, in the quiet space between what had happened and what was coming next. I am Eddie's little sister, and I am still learning.


A Warm Gun

Today is my stupid blog's fourth birthday.  When I took her in for her Year Four Well-Blog Check-up, they told me she should be doing many of the following:

  • Using sentences with 5 or more words not including bygones, yo, gigglegiggle, tee hee or dawg.

  • Using pronouns (my blog is abstaining until marriage; it better not be using those things)

  • Beginning to understand cause and effect, such as, “If you write about your insanity, people will start hate blogs dedicated to you”.

  • Most words and sentences in posts are understood by others.  (Now that's just funny.)

  • Socializes with other blogs well.  (But not as funny as this one.)

  • Develops friendships independent of you, such as following new people on Twitter.

  • Expresses a wide range of emotions.  Takes medications for each.

  • May stay dry most nights.  MAY.

Um, yeah.  Whatever.  I've failed worse tests.

Liz found a meme I've never done before and tagged me for it.  Like aliens and the Templar Knights and chocolate cheesecake that actually tastes good, I wasn't sure that existed.  I'm supposed to tell you what makes me happy, and I'm only telling you four things, one for each year of this blog's life.  But I will tell you four things I have gone to great lengths to conceal from you on this blog. Because I had a little bit to drink tonight, that's why.

I do this on the condition that you will leave me a comment telling me who the hell you are and ONE thing that makes you happy.  Because all my blog wants for its birthday is to know who's reading her.  All of you, if you please.  It would make us very, very happy indeed.

  1. My life with the Thrill Kill Cult.

  2. Still a heathen
    Washing of the water
    Just like that, I was all saved and shit, yo.
    I am totally happy that I was raised as a Jehovah's Witness. There is a great deal of contention as to whether or not it actually qualifies as a cult, but until you are born into a group that isolates you completely from the world around you, brainwashes you with a bunch of jargon and some pretty heavy apocalyptic doomsday scenarios and then convinces you to give yourself up wholly, physically and mentally, your entire life, ambitions, dreams and visions of oral sex to said group, well, you don't really get to say what is or isn't a cult.  That's just the rules.

    So there you have it, the biggie, the ONE thing I never wanted any of you to know. The thing I certainly don't want Google to notice, so let's not mention it again, okay? I have enough trouble reconciling it within myself without every newly freed witness kid banging my blog doors down. (If you must mock me for it, refer to it as "Jay Dub", okay? Our Google overlords are watching.)

    But still, I can say without reservation that I am totally at peace with it, and oddly grateful for it. A lot of my friends are still really angry, or still really revolting from it, but in the end, the shit I was dealing with was so much worse than No Christmas and No Outside Friendships that my little sect of Christianity was actually able to do me some good, offer me some structure and sanity and a belief that it would get better. I can't say I would have made it without them.  And they taught me to study, to seek knowledge, to learn.  Learning so makes me happy.
  3. This picture make me happy.

  4. My mother, 1980 ish
    I love my mother. I will never repeat that in a public setting, ever, so don't try me, but I love her. I miss her so bad it hurts sometimes. The woman she is today is not that woman in the picture, and that's why I love it so. Because she was there, and I can still hold her in my hand whenever I choose.
  5. My Alice in Wonderland collection makes me very happy.

  6. alice in storageland
    It usually lives in a box in the basement and on the bad spot on the bookshelves where you can't see the books anymore, but I love it. Because it makes no sense. Because it's unlike me in every way, and still it is totally me. And because Alice was one Fucked. Up. Chick.
  7. This makes me the happiest of all.

  8. She's way more lethal than she looks in print.
    That is Our Lady of Perpetual Hors d'œuvres. You try growing up in a cult and see if you walk away without a penchant for irreverant Christian artifacts.