I haven’t written anything on this platform in over a year, I haven’t written for EliteDaily in longer. I haven’t written a good meditation. I haven’t written anything that means something to me. In the interim, my writing has been a string of academic hurdles with the occasional sprinkle of an iPhone note – which are complete nonsense. For entertainment, see below. What?
I want to blame my lack of words on the aforementioned classwork, but secretly it’s because I know that I’ve simply run out of things to say.
But – today, I got quiet.
Today, I slowed down *gasp!*
Today, I have something to say.
On my 16th birthday, give or take a few days, my parents pulled me out of class early. Doctor’s appointment was the believable excuse, if I’m not mistaken. Fast forward to the car ride and the unexpected pull-in to our Amtrak station. Cue the expected totally-clueless-16-year-old-me face and the “surprise!” from the parents. They had my bag packed – a new, bright pink duffle – waiting in the front seat with all of the Washington D.C. essentials.
And just like that, off we went to celebrate 16.
On my 26th birthday, give or take a few days, I packed the same bag – less bright, with at least two rips now – but nonetheless packed again with all of the Washington D.C. essentials, which now include heels in lieu of sneaks and my parents are in a text thread rather than the seat beside of me.
And just like that, off I go to celebrate 26.
Maybe it’s the cyclical irony in the decade shift, or maybe I’ve been on a train too long and slowly losing grip on reality, but I’m feeling like there might be magic on this train. With each tiny tree passing at 70 miles per hour, I have a tiny realization. Call it a Universal birthday present for this year, or call it a gift that’s ten years in the making. Whatever it is, make sure it’s also coined to be the gift that keeps giving.
That’s not to say that what I write is important or worth stopping your time for, it may not even make sense; but if something bubbles up after all this time, it may be worth sharing. (I’ll find out when my hands stop and I decide to put this on the online.)
These tiny realizations sound something like,
“hey! this matters!”
“hey! that doesn’t matter!”
“hey! you matter!”
“hey! they matter!”
“hey! you’re better when you’re happy!”
“hey! they’re better when you make them happy!”
We all walk around with an internal box – maybe around our gut, I think that’s where the doctors would find it if they could see them – and in them are all the things that make us tick. The things that make us laugh, or the things that drive us to make moves, maybe even things that decide how we love people, and bet your bottom dollar that there are things in there that make us perfect. Yeah – ugly P word – perfect.
My idea of perfect is to always be happy. Really happy, not Snow White happy. Not happy as in “nothing bad ever happens to me ever and life is so great that I actually live in a cartoon sunshine world.” Happy as in “Everyone has their share of ugly, but we always find ourselves laughing when we look back at it.”
To me, happy means dancing when there’s no music, or even if there is. Either way, I’m not working with rhythm, so someone ends up laughing – it’s a win-win.
Happy means seeing two people catching sass with one another and throwing the white flag on their behalf. Guaranteed move – if you break up the tension, you have three smiles, you + the two knuckleheads.
Happy means being content with what you have. Every day I wake up and blink out of the window hoping for summer. Doesn’t happen. So I wrangle Bruce and Leo and sit in my yard – we get sun when and where we can. And we’re all happy.
Happy is the moon. No fancy equation for this one. It’s just that good. How could something that moves the ocean not make you happy? And to boot, it’s beautiful. Leo and I check it on in the binoculars quite often. We never walk away sad. And considering he’s named after a constellation, he has title to declare the moon worthy of something.
Where did this all come from? Where does my birthday tie-in to tiny boxes in our guts, and how do the tiny boxes tie into being happy and hoping the same for others? Honestly, it’s a faint connection. Similar to those that connected two cans when you play the phone game as a kid; thin, probably short, and utterly useless without a little imagination work.
Nonetheless, here’s my phone string connection:
Endings happen everyday, death finds us around every corner. Very recently someone passed; someone who crossed my path, and the path of a handful of others who may find themselves reading this. I haven’t spoken to him or heard about him since one of our few shifts worked together. I couldn’t tell you what his favorite color was, I couldn’t tell you what he believed in or hoped for, I couldn’t even tell you if he remembered who I was, and I definitely couldn’t begin to tell you what was in his gut box. But I’d like to think that our paths crossing had something to do with my tiny passing-tree realizations today. He met his fate, it gave me feels, and I happened to be on a train with nothing to do for eight hours, so I took those ingredients and made a weird thing.
That’s where it ties in, kind of? Fortune cookies, the tiny crackly vessels that spill out a message after a little crack in pressure. That’s what we’re looking at here. Messages – the good, the bad, the ugly, the enlightening, and sometimes the entertaining – find their way to us one way or another. If it wasn’t my birthday, I wouldn’t be on a train, I wouldn’t stop thinking long enough to see what’s around me, I wouldn’t let my mind be quiet enough to hear something that someone else may also need to hear.
So there you have it. Find out what’s in your box. It’s all good things. Pandora’s box ain’t got nothin’ on this baby. Find what’s in there, and if you don’t already – start sharing it. Every day. With everyone. Whether you meet them for an hour, a day, a lifetime, or a handful of shifts – exchange energy. Learn something from someone. Teach someone something. Lend a smile. Go make someone happy. Make yourself happy. Ride the train. Board the plane. Listen to the song. Write the song. Make the phone call. Crack the joke. Don’t take any of it seriously. Just make it count.
Make someone happy.
It comes back.
Live example: went for a Gingerale, Amtrak man was all out. Fast forward an hour and the gal sitting next to me has a Mary Poppins bag of snacks, and out rolls a beautiful can of Schweppes. Who do you think she shared it with?
And just like that, off I go to celebrate 36…
…46, 56, 66, 76, 86, and hopefully 96.. all right now. It may be all I get.