I have been feeling pretty positive lately. And by lately I mean for more than an hour or two every once and a while, for longer than a day here and there, for nearly a week at a time sometimes, and for more than once a month or every other month and for several months.
This is not something I'm used to. I'm very unaccustomed to feeling like everything will be okay. I'm even more unaccustomed to feeling like it might even be great.
I usually look at things in a way that maximizes my survival and minimizes my pain. I usually look for the exit, create multiple exit strategies and an take my leave unnoticed before things get to a point where I might be remembered doing or saying something memorable enough to be talked about.
Lately I've been staying to the end and even giving hugs goodbye. I've been having too good a time to duck out early. I've even had moments where I decide I'm not going to let self-consciousness and a lack of self-esteem and a lack of self-worth come between me and something I feel like doing. Sometimes I even forget that I might ruin the fun just by being there.
I still dislike the same things. I'm still afraid of the same things. I still feel an impending doom that it will all be taken from me without warning. I still hate what I see when I look in the mirror.
But lately I've been okay with being in the photograph. I've been okay with someone documenting my participation. I've been okay with embarrassing videos and stories. I've been okay with feeling included.
Yesterday that all disappeared. I lost my happy thought, as Peter Pan would say. I perpetuated anger, contempt and hostility from start to finish. I did everything that was asked of me and more, but with a chip on my shoulder and a door slamming behind me.
I was completely blinded by negativity. And somehow I was convinced that a repeat of yesterday was the only appropriate way to face today and every day following. I was convinced that all this time I've been feeling like things aren't so bad or even genuinely okay, I've been lying to myself.
I used to have days like yesterday all the time. I used to have them back to back and indefinitely. You could say I am very experienced. You could say I am well acquainted. You could say that if there's one sourpuss capable of thoroughly pointing out all the things that can and will go wrong, it's me.
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I woke up to some awful news. And although I know that this news may have been inevitable regardless of me and my insolence, I do feel responsible. I feel like I personally crushed the sunshine out of yesterday. I feel like I willed the universe towards doubt and away from prosperity. Scientifically, it may not be my fault, but spiritually, I think it was my fault. I blame myself for letting inconvenience and inconsideration catapult me backwards and resurrect the cynic.
May this be a lesson to me. A reminder that my rage is harmful, not helpful. I may have been right about all the things that made me furious yesterday, but I only wasted energy and made those around me uncomfortable. I brought that storm cloud into a place where it did not belong. My hand was gentle, but my heart and soul were not.
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Am I equipped with what I need to face today? I don't know if I am, but I will try my best to look at the world in a different light than I did yesterday. With kindness and without hate. And with that fragile yet more and more familiar feeling that it's okay to feel good about life in a sort of general ever-present way.
Rest in peace, Juniper.