unGrateful

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April 6, 2012 by Chelisa

When I was a kid, things were what they were. I had a very loving mother and grandmother, and on some level I appreciated everything that they did for me. But, when you’re a kid, you never know how different life could be, so you take your lot for granted. We were poor, but I never knew that. I knew tea parties with Little Debbie cakes cut into quarters, playing hairdresser with big round brushes, and the sweet release of swinging so high that my feet would block the sun from my eyes. I relished every opportunity to dance to Van Morrison, to sing my guts out, to roll in the grass and laugh until my ears were ringing. I know that this is a typical experience of childhood, but where did my joy go?

Fast forward twenty-something years. It’s Good Friday. I have the day off work. I have a job. I have a beautiful, amazing son. I have a wonderful husband who got up with said son so that I could sleep until 7. I’m grumpy. I’m grumpy because I had to take my son to daycare. I’m grumpy because I have to clean the house. I’m grumpy because this is the last day off I have until Memorial Day, and I’m going to spend it house cleaning and organizing. I’m grumpy because my husband has to go to work. I’m grumpy because, well, I’m just grumpy. I spend the drive to daycare listening to NPR news, chatting with my son about current events. I take him to the daycare where his teachers LOVE him, he give me a BIG kiss and goes to play with his friends. I stop at the gas station on my way home and buy a diet Mountain Dew and Hot Fries (that’s just because I’m secretly WT). I come home, dreading the piles of laundry and the sinks that need wiping, and three of my facebook friends have posted blogs and statues taking about their joy. You’d think that since I’m so set on being grumpy today that I’d roll my eyes. I didn’t. I read them all. And my heart opened.

Yesterday, I got an assignment from a company I work with to write the five things that would make my world happier. Among those things was finding my “tribe.” Building and being part of a community of thinkers who challenge and support me. Helping set the precedent for how my life will “be.” I feel like I’ve had so much trouble doing just that. Old friends and I just don’t have the same connection. When I meet new people, it seems that we just can’t connect. Then, it all makes sense: If I’m not radiating the kind of joy I want to find, those who can help me get there won’t be attracted to me. I spend so much time complaining, thinking “why me?” I feel so unsupported because I’m not holding myself up high enough. I’m not my best Chelsea, and in turn, I wouldn’t fit into the kind of circle in which I want so badly to belong.

It may sound trite, but from now on. I’m working on positivity. This doesn’t mean rainbows will shoot out of my ass, or that I’ll be the blind optimist who is always smiling. It does, however, mean that I have to be someone with whom I’d want to associate. Everything that is unhappy about my life will turn around, or at least be remedied with the kind of joy that my heart feels right now.

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