There’s a poster on the building across from mine that says “Choose Happy”. It’s written in one of those inadvisable funky fonts, so that it looks like “Choose Hoody”. Some stupid phone company reminds me every day that if I opt for a collared sweater, it might rain.
It sounds really simple. It sounds so blissfully, deliciously simple. Some eager marketing person has, out of either idiocy or brilliance, reduced advertising to this, its essential message: you can be happy. You just have to choose the right thing.
All around me, everyone seems to have their lives, their missions, their relationships, their jobs, their cars, pets, hair, teeth, Starbucks orders, 5-year plan, summer wedding, conception of the afterlife figured out. They have a business card inside their suit that leads to their website, where it will all be explained. They still need funding, but they have some good leads and a lot of hope.
It makes me want to stay in bed. It makes me want to bury my head under the covers like a blanket ostrich and wait for the day to end, because this all, this everything that everyone else seems to have figured out, feels at once impossible and totally un-worthwhile to me. I’m an expert at cynically dismissing what everyone else wants but have no idea what else to want. I don’t know how to choose happy because I can’t even figure out what my version of happiness looks like.
I get stuck on this idea that tomorrow is the day I wake up and get my life together. I missed waking up at 8, so I’ve missed the day. I might as well not do anything today and tomorrow I will start again.
I’ve tried things, in 2015. I tried working for a bank for 6 months, where I learned that a job that makes you miserable is never worth staying at. I moved into an apartment in downtown Toronto, with a view of the water and the city, and I learned what cardinal direction it points in and started trying to observe some things, like the progress of the new condos they’re building across the street. These seem like basic things, but for a person who exists mostly inside her own head, they’re accomplishments.
There’s a lot of 2015 left. There’s still time for me to get up, a little bruised, and start kicking back.