September 7, 2020
Word of the Week: Happy
“How are you feeling about everything? Any fears coming up?” my therapist asked a week before Andrew (my hubs) and I moved out of NYC.
I checked in with my body and was alarmed at what I felt: nothing. It was the weirdest feeling, the nothing-ness. Was something wrong with me? Had I forgotten about all the things I’d miss about NYC? Why wasn’t I more sad to leave some of my closest friends? Was I in some sort of dissociated state, repressing the sadness until we left?
Every other time I’d moved—from Michigan, Boston, DC, the Bay Area—I sobbed my way through the transitions. Even though I was ready for the next chapter each time I left, and in many cases didn’t even like the city I was leaving, there was a part of me that was deeply attached to the familiar, a part of me that gripped tightly onto the people and places I was comfortable with even if those people and places didn’t bring me joy. I see now that my grieving had less to do with what I’d miss and more to do with the harsh reality of the impermanence of life. That people change, relationships sever, friends find new friends, restaurants close, new spots open, time never freezes, nothing lasts forever. Isn’t that the core of almost all human suffering—nostalgia for the past or fear of missing out on something in the future? Many psychologists believe this has to do with our fundamental discomfort with death.
“The only thing I feel weird about,” I explained to my therapist, “is that I don’t really feel anything about leaving. I feel bad about it. Our friends are sad to see us go, and of course, I am sad too, but I’m fucking ready to get the hell out of here. Maybe I don’t have any more tears left to shed after all the shit I went through these last few months.”
“That could be. Or maybe feeling good is just an unfamiliar feeling,” my therapist said.
DAYUM. This really hit me. How often do we get addicted to struggle? Why do we live in a society where misery loves company? What would life look like if we all weren’t so ashamed or distrustful of being happy?
Ask Yourself: Have I allowed myself to feel happy lately?
Weekly Mantra: I give myself permission to feel good.
When in Doubt, Jam It Out!
Don’t Leave Me Now by Lost Frequencies, Mathieu Koss (Follow the Spotify playlist “Jam it Out with Elizabeth” to stay up-to-date with the weekly tunes 🎵)
Things I Think You’ll Love:
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Sending all the positive vibes to you this Labor Day week!