Friday, April 14, 2006

Happy Place

So, now that I've stopped ranting about my tediousness, I have nothing left to write about...

Which begs this question: why can't the positive moments in life be as dramatic--and fill as much dramatic space--as the traumatic moments? (Weddings and the birth of children or acquisition of puppies not included.)

Today, a friend marked the 20th anniversary of her return from her Mormon mission service with this heartfelt and honest blog.

In another blog, someone wrote about how he's about to travel to Peru to volunteer among the poor. He included this quote from the organization he's volunteering for:

“Returned volunteers invariably comment about the conspicuous happiness of village people despite their poverty. The inevitable conclusion is this: Adversity may be mandatory in this life, but misery is always optional.” - The Hope Alliance (Emphasis added.)

And yet, it's the misery that seems to give us energy--even if that energy isn't the most positive. (Sometimes, the energy wrought by misery is turned on its head to result in something positive--like Mothers Against Druck Drivers or AIDSWalk or immunization...)

Yesterday, in talking to a friend, she said I needed to refocus my anger into positive energy and tone and start looking for my next job. The hard part is, getting over it and moving on. Especially when you feel a profound sense of injustice.

I guess as I've reflected on the last few days, I'm surprised at how impassioned and bitter I feel about recent events in my life. By the same token, I've been trying to recall a time when I've felt as impassioned and enthusiastic about positive, forward momentum events. It seems I find my angry voice easier than I find my happy voice. And that bugs me. (See--there I go again. Angry. Well, maybe not angry, but bugged is certainly on the spectrum that leads to angry, wouldn't you say?)


Sidebar: as I'm writing this, there are two squirrels in the tree outside my window. One has a nut in his mouth and the other is hell bent for leather chasing him/her up and down and around and across and over and under the branches and trunks and light pole. My guess is, the chaser wants the chasee's nut. And, no pun intended, it's cracking me up!

Now, back to our regular program already in progress...

Somewhere in the mirth and myth that is D.C., I feel like I've lost myself and my sense of accomplishment. I came here expecting to learn and build my resume. And while I have learned and I can add two jobs to my resume, I feel like the price I've paid personally has not been worth it.

I'd like to think I could have happy dramatic moments here, but that thought is waning and I'm ready to move on.

D.C. is a miserable town full of many miserable people. I can handle challenges and adversity (I grew up Mormon; "endure to the end" is wired into my genes), but I'm tired of being miserable.

Life is too short for trauma drama. I want to find my happy place again.

Photo courtesy of


Adriana Velez said...

Janet, it's been hard to read about your feelings lately. But I've also seen a sort of break in the mounting tension and dissatisfaction. You've been through the worst, and I'm pretty sure you won't feel as bad next week as you felt this week.

In the meantime, I think it's healthy to feel what you feel. You've been slimed! You need to grieve a while. And since you're grieving now hopefully you'll heal soon.

Lillian said...

Hi, Janet--you left a great comment on my blog (From DC to Jerusalem) a few weeks ago, and although I'm just now getting connected to the D.C. blogosphere, this seemed like an good moment to return the compliment.

It sounds like what happened to you was awfully nasty. I don't know the details, but it sounds like your feelings are understandable--and I hope that things start to look up for you soon. Best of luck, and may good karma be headed your way soon!

Swizzies said...

Love the pic of the dogs...that IS a happy place. :-) So you never changed "Know" to "Now," huh? Maybe there is a deeper meaning to that blog title and I just didn't get it. In that case, "duh" to me. I hope you find your happy place. But I also *totally* understand your feelings right now. It's hard to get past the feeling that everything has come down around you and that more Bad Things will surely follow, and that everything is somehow ruined. It's so not the case, though. Be open to good things, and they will come. I do believe that.

Bored Dominatrix said...

Completely shallow beginning here, but I felt happier just looking at the photo of those dogs you posted.

I think the old adage (or is it song lyrics?) of "Laugh, and the world laughs with you; cry, and you're all alone" is bunk. Misery loves company--and it's not because unhappy people seek out others who share their grief. It's because the world finds it easier to tolerate suffering in others than it does unhappiness. You're responding to your life just as you've been trained to: It's OK to be happy if you're marking an accepted milestone in a woman's life--getting married, having a kid, acquiring a really cute puppy!--but the world is really only interested in a career woman if she's punished for the fact that she's foregone marriage, children and all that follows--not because it cares about HER, but because the narrative of "look how unhappy I am" makes sense to it.

Mercifully, I am in the world but not of it, so I am acutely interested in what you feel/think/do at this critical juncture in your life. And I also hope you find a job that gives you joy and satisfaction, no matter how many cute doggies bare their scratchable stomachs to you.

You rock, girlfriend, so go find the kickass job you deserve!

Mary Ellen said...

I second everyone and add this: happy places are not necessarily geographically based.

I think it's totally feasible for you to find your happy place even in the midst of a soul-sucking, ass-kissing, influence-peddling place like D.C.

Yes, you've been treated unfairly and misled (and I would like to pound on each person involved), but you are a resourceful, resilient woman.

Plus, ya got skills, girlfriend. Desireable, marketable skills that your future employer will GUSH over and wonder how they ever did without you. And it might be a in a whole different field than the ones you've been in recently.

As Blondie says, "Dreaming is free." Wishing you some BIG dreams, healing time, and the energy to turn your dreams real.

ticklethepear said...

"The only difference between bitter and better is 'I.'"

Your platitude of the day courtesy of me, your biggest fan.