Strap in, kid, because this is a long one but it's so important. I'm not the smartest or most edumacated auntie in the world but this is the most significant thing I've learned in 37 years. Do yourself a favor and believe me.
76. Being happy is the hardest job in the world, but your most important.
He was a liar and a cheat and he stole from people. The company struggled and it made it very hard for people to work together and get along. The only way to get things done was to be a bossy cow.
So I was.
There was a joke at that company in the wintertime.
"It's bitch-ass cold outside," someone would say through chattering teeth when they came inside.
"How cold?" Anyone would chime in with this.
"Colder than Trish in a production meeting." They all knew that answer, too.
I hated myself. I hated my life. I hated feeling like I had to be mean every day. I hated working for a man who continued to disappoint me with his morals and his character.
I blamed everything from my terrible knee to my bad relationships to my hard unfair job, but it turns out it was my head. I took on an even harder job - being happy.
Despite the surgeries. Despite the long hours. Despite the paycuts.
Despite every single shitty thing going on and there were so many, Priya. There still are. But that's the trick in life. There always is terrible stuff*.
You have to find those joyful moments mixed in.
Chubby thighs and straggly hair
but mostly you just see a heart
broken wide open in love.
You have to look for them and hunt for them and sometimes just imagine them and you have to do it diligently, every single day. Until one day it becomes automatic. Then keep doing it, even harder.
They will grow and become easier to find and they will sustain you. Sometimes it won't feel like there are enough of them and other days the abundance will blow your mind.
These moments are what will teach you how to love yourself - and you have to or you won't ever be happy. Because you won't be able to give your all to anything until you take care of Priya first.
Sometimes you just won't know how.
Hug your Mom. Then hug your Dad. Write it out. Draw something. Read a book that inspires you. Sing a song, or listen to one of your favorites. Go for a run. Meditate. Take a warm bath.
Call your auntie. I will walk from Wisconsin to Minnesota to help you if you need me, but I'll probably have a heart attack a few miles in so please reserve this for the direst of emergencies.
And ask for help if you ever feel truly alone. Family. Friends. A temple or church. A professional. A helpline. A stranger if it's dire.
You are never, ever alone and now that you're here this world will never, ever be better off without you. But you're not crazy if you wonder about that someday, especially around the time you get boobs and your dad suddenly starts patting you on the head instead of hugging you. When boobs grow your brain leaks down out of your head to fill them out and you feel insane. Life is utterly impossible. Nobody else could ever understand.
But you are wrong.
There is never a situation that can't get a little bit better, a little bit at a time.
Being happy is the hardest job in the world but you can do it. I know you can. Just never stop looking for joy.
*P.S. Karma bit that boss in the ass. It bit me, too. I complained about that job and how it wasn't enough money and I hated it so much. Now I have no job and no money and I hate that, too. But it doesn't own me and nobody would ever accuse me of being bitch-ass cold again. I got help for my depression before it was too late.
I asked for help.