I cleaned. As a child, whenever I would became stressed, upset or angry I cleaned. I would scrub my mothers kitchen from top to bottom. It never stayed that way for more than a day or two, but I did it… It was the only thing that could help me find that inner peace again. Often afterwards would come this productive burst of creativity, but I needed that cleanse first.
I didn’t understand that peace as a child. I thought that my emotions varied between happy and sad. I didn’t realize that we’re actually on a scale of tolerable and intolerable. Our outlook is what controls our emotions. Our level of tolerance is actually just a stimulant. It tests our outlook over and over again, but a good attitude and positive thinking can get you surprisingly far.
I don’t really know when it hit me. This realization that happiness comes from within. I’m sure I had even heard other people say it once or twice, but I didn’t understand. How can I be happy when everything sucks? I was recently sort of homeless, went through a break up, lost my wallet, and got a ticket for not wearing my seatbelt… but I have a job, and amazing friends, and parents who love me. I am a lesbian citizen of America and not Russia. I am able to walk, and to move about freely as I choose. I can write these words, and you can read them… and that makes my heart swell.
So even though things get tough… really tough… Keep in mind that strength and heart are earned, not awarded. We must suffer to experience the most incredible joys that life has to offer. Like holding the hand of a child. Sharing a first kiss. Accomplishing a great feat. Completing a good work out. Hearing the voice of the ones you love. Seeing their beautiful faces. Take none of it for granted.
Last weekend I went kayaking with this incredibly cool group of girls. We drove up to Santa Barbara, headed out onto the ocean, touched starfish and paddled past sea lions. Afterwards our tour guide snuck us through the kitchen of his bar so we could watch a reggae concert for free. He even gave me his complimentary drink of the evening. I cant tell you how good it felt to feel the spray of the water, and the sun on my face; to laugh loudly and without judgment. This weekend I might go camping, or to an after party in Beverly Hills. Maybe a quiet night at home would be nice, or stopping by a friend’s birthday party in the Valley. That’s what I love about this city. The possibilities are endless.
Take control of your happiness. Think of the little things. Observe them. Appreciate them. Embrace them. It helps make the ups and downs seem a lot more worthwhile. Now, I’m off to clean my bedroom. Hopefully a finished script, and a few grand will be the result of it.