Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Yesterday, at family home evening in my singles ward, me and a few of my friends ended up sitting around, talking story about whatever.  We laughed about funny events in others' lives, chatted about movies and TV, gossiped about sports, celebrities, high school friends, etc.

We got on the subject of The Hunger Games, which I just finished a few days ago.  I loved it.  It was so unbelievably depressing near the end, but it was a total page turner.  I cried through the last 50 pages and was legitimately depressed for a few hours after closing the final book, one, because I'm always depressed after finishing a book, and two, because the book was really really depressing, if still very good. Even so, I still find myself getting a little misty when I think about how it ended, and it's been almost a week.

I mentioned all of this to my friends, which made them laugh. I love dramatic art, but only when my life is good.  I love my Grey's Anatomy, Hunger Games, and Life is Beautiful, but I can't stand it if there's a significant personal drama going on in my life.  I can only consume something depressing (music notwithstanding) if there's something good going on in my life.  If I'm dramatic and my media is dramatic, I can't handle it.

Anyway, my new book is kinda like that.  I'm reading The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein.  It's about Enzo, a very human dog who, on the eve of his death, looks back at his life with his family and ponders his contributions to their lives.  It's charming, sweet, funny, and insightful, but since it's about a dog dying, you can bet your boots that it's a little depressing.  Still, I'm enjoying it and I find myself marveling at Enzo's intelligence.

Last night, I woke up at 2 am and couldn't fall back to sleep, which is rare for me, so I started back in on Enzo's story for awhile.  After a few hours, I decided to try sleeping again, but felt myself consumed with a feeling I haven't had in a few months.  It started deep in the pit of my stomach, then made its way north to my throat, then settled deeper into my chest.  I was startled when a small, strangled sob made its way out of my mouth. I wondered where this sob came from, but as I wondered, the sobs came more frequently and more vocally.

Emotions like these are normal for me, but I haven't had that weird, vacuous feeling in several weeks, so it surprised me when it came.  I wondered, was I just kidding myself with all the happiness that I thought I was feeling?  Have I really been depressed this whole time, but have I just been trying to subdue it with false satisfaction?  Or have I really been happy, and it was just my preoccupation with all this depressing literature that was making me sad?

Eventually, I came to a few conclusions.  I decided that, yes, I was happy then, but for some reason, I just needed to be sad now.  I needed to wallow a little bit in self-pity and wonder why life was so hard sometimes.  I had to pine a little bit for Hawaii, for the trampoline in my backyard where me and my friend would sit and cry under the stars talking about her problems and my problems, but then move on and laugh and wrestle and snuggle, happy for the friendship and the love we had for each other.  I had to sit in bed last night and wish that I had someone, not a wife or a boyfriend or a lover, but some good friend who knew me and could let me wrap myself around them while they told me that everything was okay and that I was loved.

Well, this went on for a few minutes before I settled down a bit and relaxed.  A smile broke my lips.  It was an involuntary smile that told me that I am a happy person.  These last weeks/months of joy I've been feeling were a result of something in my mindset changing, not a result of forced repression. And I woke up this morning, a little frazzled from my fractured night of sleep, but no less grateful to be alive and well and no less happy that things are going okay for me.

There's a little raincloud chasing after me today, making me sometimes take pause and wish that things could be different and easier, but it's broken by the summer sun of a life that I know is worth living, in spite of its shortcomings and sorrows.


  1. you're always welcome to call me anytime, day or night :-)

  2. you know, you're lucky to be alive after that trampoline wrestling, what with all the blanket choking going on. also, that's really funny because the other night i had the same thing happen to me and wished you were there as well. :) glad you're ok b.


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