Each day, I wake up happy. Not this shallow, simplistic notion of happiness, but a deeply grounded contentment; a pleasure that evaded me for many years. Happy that I get to go to a job that I love, happy that I'm surrounded by like-minded people, happy that I'm not settling for less.
But then something happens. These strange thoughts try to fight their way in. These ideas that I'm not really doing what I should be doing, or that I've yet to achieve true success because everyone else is doing so much more.
Comparison truly is the thief of joy.
I then begin to think of time passing too quickly. I look at relics that hold memories, flip or click through pages of a life that no longer exists. A little person who dreamed of the world. Curly locks and gangly limbs, a future yet to be determined.
We grasp too desperately for the past sometimes. These places that we can no longer visit, these homes that no longer stand or the buildings that hold newer memories, ones we didn’t create. The faces begin to fade and so does the hope of a simpler time.
Or we dream unrealistically of the future, thinking of all of the things we want and imagine what life would be like once we've acquired them. Perhaps, finally, possession of these things would cease our desire for more.
A part of me feels as though I’m prolonging growing up because pieces of me are still so connected to that child sitting on a tree stump, blowing bubbles carelessly, thinking about nothing but the fun I wanted to share with my friends. Those times before technology, riding around freely on bicycles, hitting baseballs into the neighbours garden, sticking gum in my sister’s hair so that I could give her a hair-cut. Putting on fake nails made of play-dough, rooting through our dress up box and putting on plays, desperately hoping to one day be Sailor Jupiter.
Being a child is pure magic, pure imagination, or at least this is how most of us choose to remember it. Why do we lose this when we get older though? This sense of wonder that is so…just everything that life is not when the skin around your eyes start to crease. I think too much of what was or what could have been. I think of how I might have prevented certain things from happening, or how I might have achieved goals faster. Everything comes down to this abstract concept of time. This invisible thing that dictates our lives, this space that holds everything we know with each passing tick, each gradual stroke.
And then I go to work, a reality that centres me and rips me from these futile thoughts. Here, all of those doubts and musings pixelate, fading to white.
There are no thieves of joy here in the present. Only endless possibilities.