The man who was happy in a moment.

Yesterday I had a voice recording session booked for 10am. I’m not a voiceover artist, I’m a writer at an ad agency. During these sessions, I direct the talent and work with the sound engineer to build a radio ad. It’s kind of fun, mitigated by the pressure that comes with working to deadlines and client briefs. But the people at the sound studio are lovely people. Huggy. You always get a hug when you arrive, offered a coffee. The studios are comfy. Warm, with a view to the sky. I spend these sessions saying let’s do this, let’s try that. That was very very good. Can I just hear that back. All semi-reclined on a saggy corduroy couch.

A 10am start means I can go straight from home. And because this sound house is close to where I live, I can leave at 9.30 and walk. So I sleep in. I slow my morning routine to half speed, which is just as well after last night. And then I’m out the door, at 9.32. It’s a good walk, through suburban streets with clusters of little shops at the major intersections. Little congregations of narrow storefronts. And the morning is crisp, bright. Traffic has thinned out. And I have a thought that hums in my head for the whole walk.

The thought is this: For the next half an hour, my job is to walk to this recording session, in this low winter sun. I’ve somehow stumbled into a life where I’m being paid to do this. I’m amazed. If I could send a message to me in my old lives — the me who had to choose between rent or food in share-houses that always turned, or who sludged for months looking for work, or worked the graveyard shift at a gas station, or stacked pallets at a warehouse, or delivered pizzas, or scanned groceries; the me lost for months in strange places, or dark fugues, or manic frenzy — I would send me this moment. This very moment.

I’m held in this moment with a sense of purpose. Behind me is a home that represents all the love I’ve been lucky enough to find. Warmth. Promise. In front of me is the feeling that comes with being valued for your mind, for your labour, and the feeling that you matter. And right now, my job is just to walk, and nothing else.

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