Soulful Saturday: Happiness

Happy Saturday, everyone! Can you believe June is almost over? That means this will be my last Soulful Saturday of the month! Amazing!

Today, my topic is going to be all about happiness. What makes me happy, what I’m grateful for, and, most importantly, what happiness as a word means to me. And yes, I got the idea of PopSugar. I just needed something deep, and happiness is pretty deep a topic to me!

So first of all, what IS happiness? Well, to me anyway, it means even my heart is surely smiling. It means I feel filled with energy from the feelings in my chest, like things are just going better than expected by far. I know not everyone thinks it this way, but to me, true happiness is as simple as that.

To be fair, I’m the type that’s pretty easy to please. I’m a bit childish still, in that even the sensation of walking a straight line makes me feel pretty happy. Then again, walking in a straight line is hard for me in general. I get happy when I finish a puzzle, when I’m enjoying a game, or even just writing for you like this.

So many places, people and projects make me happy. I’m grateful for more than you can probably imagine. I’m grateful to my dad, who still takes care of me each day, reminding me about my meds, making food… I admit, I’m a bit spoiled. I’m also thankful to have my boyfriend in my life. He may be far away, but I always feel warm when I think of him. I’m thankful he cares so much about me and understands well that I have a very simple sort of mind. He may not always show it, but he cares for me dearly. And for that, I’m thankful. I’m also thankful to his mom, who’s very accepting and treats me as part of the family.

I’m grateful for a lot of things. So many things, three per day wasn’t always enough for me to write in my gratitude journal. I need to start that over, but it’s hard some days to feel grateful. And you know what I do those days? I write something I’ll always be grateful for: the fact that I’m alive, and survived another day on this sometimes cruel, many times beautiful world.

What are you guys thankful for? What does happiness mean to you? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Soulful Saturday: My Love

Good afternoon everyone! Are you all having a great Saturday? This Soulful Saturday, I’d like to take a look at something positive- it’ll help counter all the blues from this past week’s pain fest and my related Throwback post on Thursday. I’ve got new meds to get used to and a steroid injection helping my knee be bearable, so I thought I should keep this week’s deep conversation on the lighter, optimistic side. And what’s more sweet than love?

For those of you unaware, I have a boyfriend. He’s a man with a special place in my heart that I never even knew existed until I met him. He’s bad with compliments, so I’m going to pray he never gets to read this blog post- because today, after looking at a list of blog ideas from PopSugar, I decided to go with their ‘things you love about your SO or best friend’ prompt.

This could get long, so I’ll try not to overdo it. But really, I love a lot of things about my honey- things he hates about himself sometimes, even. It’s like a mix of two old sayings: we are our own worst critics, and one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Only in this case, the person is both his own trash and my treasure. Which sounds weird after I say it… But oh well!

Anyway, let’s start with some of the very basic things I love about him. Things I knew I loved about him before we physically met, to be precise. For starters, he’s helped me grow unimaginably. He lied a fair bit to try to seem older or more suave than he really is, but somehow… I was just that much happier hearing the truth about who he really is. His insecurities somehow charmed me in some way that I can’t comprehend- and instead of my usual switch being flipped into hatred for the lies, I was so grateful for the truth I fell for him harder. Weird, right?

There’s also his creativity. We met on a roleplay forum, so naturally I knew he at least enjoyed communal writing. His writing style fascinates me, because it’s just so different from mine, especially in roleplays. He plans out multiple routes for how his character will grow and bases them on what things happen in the game. The more they feel or experience certain emotions/triggers, the more they’re headed down a specific path. It’s a lot like a visual novel, or a pick your own adventure book- all devised by one person in a group of many.

His natural insecurities both irritate and yet sometimes flatter me. He’s always telling me how I deserve better than him, only to have me remind him better isn’t what I care about. He sees me so highly, it’s sometimes embarrassing because I honestly believe I’m not as great as he makes me sound. That said, the fact he’s honest about his insecurities, and even his jealousy early on, make me feel special in a way I don’t normally imagine or think about. And, naturally, I try to tell him mine just as much, if not maybe too much. I can’t help wanting him to know how much I adore him, and how nervous I get about the idea of losing him.

Now, a bit about things I only learned after meeting him. Some of these were related to things we talked about online, but others were total surprises. Let’s see, where to start…

Well first off, he works hard to be a gentleman towards me. He pulled my chair out at family dinner (I spent the entire week with his family since he lives at home- surprisingly didn’t feel all that awkward after only a couple of hours!). He fought his discomfort with touch to allow me to hug him or hold his hand when my touchy-feely self needed to. He wouldn’t let me pay for pretty much anything, either. Such a charming gentleman- he barely curses at all, too. I feel embarrassed being such a potty mouth when I think about it…

There’s also some of his skills and habits. For starters, even in real life, he doesn’t get as upset as most do for my self-deprecating humor. When I asked why he was staying with an old lady like me, he pointed out it was because he loved her/me. His skills at tending to dogs I knew at least a bit about before we met as well- he often talked about his own dog, Nyx. He knew her well enough to know when it was safe for her to be out of the cage around me midweek, versus the start when she was apparently growling angrily at me for existing at first (honestly I hadn’t noticed, so I was extra impressed!)

He has some great talents, too. His pancakes were absolutely delicious, he has a smile that, to me, lights up the room… and he has a positively adorable Stitch impression that I will never get over.

And my favorite thing about him? Aside the lies at first and the gentlemanly moments, he was the man I was made to expect he was. We spent most of our time in his room- and a lot of that was me watching him playing one of various video games. Luckily, I personally enjoy watching people play games, though only really in person. He was more than willing to explain things about the games to me as he played, and wouldn’t get upset if I suddenly fell asleep while sprawled out on his bed. Basically, he’s a laid-back man with a clear view of what he enjoys, and he doesn’t try to be someone he’s not with me anymore. To me, that’s the perfect catch: someone who won’t try to act more like a ‘regular person’, or like someone that does a lot of different kinds of things. He readily admitted to me he was what he considers a ‘boring person’… But based on my just writing a thousand words about him, I think there’s proof he’s not boring in the least!

I think I’ve rambled enough. Now you know more about my beloved than ever before… So why not tell me about yours in the comments? I’d love to hear all about the ones you love!

Soulful Saturday: High School

Hello everyone! It’s time for some deep diving into my psyche again as we enter another Soulful Saturday. Today, I decided to talk about something that’s not so secret, but something that I can’t stop feeling bothered by: high school, and the reason I failed to finish it.

If you were here last week, you’ll know already about my history of needing psychiatric medication and a hospitalization or two. And if you were here just the other day, you’ll know I was born with a heart condition. That said, I have a slew of diagnoses besides that: everything from fibromyalgia to spine damage, from congenital anosmia to an unusual case of hyperacusia. I have chronic migraines, a hormonal cycle as kind as a nasty mother-in-law, and blood pressure the polar opposite of the high that runs in my family. Basically, my genetic pool sucks.

Here’s where that became a problem for students in the old days: in a time where it was way harder to get an education from online sources legally, I was constantly out sick from school. If I was out six or more days, the quarter of that year was a failing grade automatically- and I failed a lot because of it. It didn’t matter I always had a doctor’s note. It didn’t matter if it was five days in a row because of the flu. If I was out, I was out. And eventually, being out led me to being kicked out. But that’s not the end of this story.

They did try other things, you see. They tried tutoring at the library which actually worked, until they discovered alternative schools for kids with issues like mine. The first one they sent me to was over an hour away from where I lived- if I felt even minorly sick, I refused to go in because there was no way I’d get to my doctor at a good time. Then, they switched me to a brand new one in town. And that’s when I learned something interesting.

Many students were absent far more than me and still passed. Apparently, the rules in those schools were based on the student’s town. It didn’t matter where I went- I was still a student of Paramus High School, even if I never had to step into that building to go to my classes. And because I was a Paramus student, I was held to the same harsh reality: Health was less important, in a way, than education.

I loved school is what’s funny. I’ve always loved learning, and I had great teachers most of my life. Sure, there were some hiccups, but for the most part, I was happy with the staff. I got along with my classmates, too. But once I was nineteen almost and retaking eleventh grade, my town decided keeping me as a student was too costly. I was expelled by their order, and have since not been to school ever again.

This is stuff that happened just under a decade ago, however. It’s not like the results ruined my life. I’ve yet to get my GED due to a multitude of complications, but I managed to get a job despite it because my boss, as well as being a kind person, saw my talents in editing and writing- we met in a writing group, after all! The fact I have this job, despite being disabled and a high school drop out, is more than special to me. Just thinking about how lucky I am to have met my boss and coworkers… I feel like crying!

So, I leave this post as a testament to the fact that, while it’s important to get an education, we don’t all get lucky hands. Play the hand you’re dealt, and remember there’s going to be some silver lining in your future. If it worked for me, it’ll work for you. I’m sure of it.