I’ve always thought happiness was meant to be felt. That it’s not up to you. You just wake up, and, depending on the kind of day you’re having, it feels a certain way. It’s such a lie, a selfish lie, to convince ourselves that we deserve such a utopic happiness, or even that the universe owes us something. It’s a lie that it needs to be a sunny day for us to smile, or that we have to win the lottery to make something happen.
One day life came into my life with a baseball bat, and it hit me so hard that it blew up all these thoughts, allowing the will to be happy to emerge. A real happiness formed out the mess of melted sickness, unhappiness, and knowledge of my own mortality. Or even scarier: the mortality of those I love the most. And that bat hit was not the worst thing waiting for me.
At this point, all kinds of thoughts came into my mind. All of them dramatic, self-destructive, and painful. But I remembered something I used to tell my sister: you’re going through the worst thing that can happen to anyone in life, don’t make it harder for yourself. Don’t let your brain fight against you on this. Your body is doing an extraordinary job, working so hard for you. Appreciate it, be gentler, be there for you.
I think she liked that. She told me she did, and later I found a note she wrote to herself on her phone, saying exactly that, addressing herself in second person. But she couldn’t control it always. Neither can I, but I can try to listen to it sometimes. So I’ve decided to approach this in that way. Not every day of course, and I have to say I still find comfort in the idea of dying. That we are all going to die. And it makes me feel both comfortable and helpless. Sometimes more comfortable. Sometimes more helpless. Depending on the day of course, but I have decided to follow a few useful pieces of advice of my own. Be clear and honest. Respectful and rebellious. I’ve decided not to cry anymore for the things I did that I now regret, and to become stronger. I’ve decided to be scared sometimes without feeling bad or ashamed about it. Not to give explanations if I don’t want to. To give explanations if I do want to. To allow myself days of weakness and days of hard work. Not to rush anymore if it isn’t worth the pain. I’ve also discovered that most of the time it isn’t worth it. To use my legs and my arms, my whole body, in exactly the way I want to. I’ve decided to breathe.
I’ve decided to do all the things I would recommend my sister to do. Because after her whole life taking care of me, she’s not here to do it anymore. We loved each other so much, so incredibly much, that I know exactly that there is nothing she would have loved more than knowing that I’m going to love myself as much as I loved her.
Well, challenge accepted.