Truth is: I’m rarely happy. And it’s not because I’m a grumpy person, or have a predisposition to sadness, all the contrary. If you ask anyone of my friends, they’ll tell you that I’m fundamentally an optimistic. I look for the good, I care for the upside, I’m generally as nice as I can be to everyone. What the vast majority of my friends don’t know: that’s not by chance or by design, I was not born this way. It was a conscious effort, a choice. You see… I hurt most of the time, I feel lonely most of the time, I think I’m out of place most of the time.
It’s like having a little version of me somewhere inside me that look at all the bad in the world and say “See? I told you. There’s no hope”. That version of me is real, it exists. But over the years I learned how to live with it, I learned how to accept it, and I learned how to ignore it. I learned that it’s ok to hurt and feel lonely and think to be out of place most of the time… because -to my surprise- I found out that most people do. Most people hurt and feel lonely and think they’re out of place most of the time.
But here’s what I also found out. I found out that’s ok to hurt and feel lonely and think you’re out of place most of the time, as long as you have the little things. Those little things that make you happy for a brief and precious moment. Because you can go through life by looking away from the ugliness into the bright side, or you can look away from the bright side and focus on the ugliness. It’s really hard to do both. And people have enough ugliness and loneliness and hurt in their lives without the need for me to add some more.
And the fact is… those little things are everywhere. It’s your 60yo+ super mom writing you an email full of emojis just to let you know what’s up with her, because she knows that it’s a better way to reach you than an actual phone call. It’s your brothers and sisters making fun of you calling you with the same nickname you were calling them to make fun of them years ago, but with a tone that lets you see the love all the way through. It’s having someone that really knows you, inside out, no screens or filters, to which you can really talk to.
It’s your team coming together through a series of obstacles and pushing through to do the best work of their lives, letting you understand that if they’re doing it it’s also because you empowered them to do so. It’s laying down for a few moments, completely exhausted but entirely fulfilled after yet another crazy week, wondering how can you get so much done and yet how can it be never nearly enough. It’s just sitting still for a minute, looking at the sunset or at the people passing by, and smiling with no reason, thinking that you deserve it.
Everything good coming your way, you deserve it. So, if I have to think about something to be grateful for this year (which became kind of a tradition since I’ve been here in the USA) this is it, it’s those little things. Those little things are what makes this long journey worth it, through all the sadness, and the ugliness, and the loneliness. And not only discovering them about or by yourself, but helping others do the same. So while I take a moment to appreciate this, I hope you do the same. You deserve it too.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.