Letters to Little One

Joy

Dear Little One,

Joy is a funny thing. By definition it is a feeling of great happiness. My favorite thing about this definition is that there are no specifications whatsoever as to where this feeling has to come from.

Joy is something that we all seek, constantly, and when we find it we take advantage of it, constantly.  I get it. I do it all the time. It’s much easier to see the joy you had once you have lost it. And the realization of having lost it is one of the worst feelings in your life.

So seek joy and capture it. Sometimes there is nothing you can do to keep it. Sometimes it will leave on its own terms, which is why it is important to embrace it in its mighty waves.

A few months ago, my sister and I and our good friend Kristine made an impromptu trip up to our family cabin. I remember sitting in my bed, wide awake at 1 am, filled up with joy. (And maybe a little alcohol, but mostly joy.) The weekend had been simply perfect and was just what I needed.

Life had been stressful and I was letting it beat me up. There were a lot of things happening and a lot of things not happening, and it was taking up a lot of space in my mind. Weekends like that make those things disappear. It’s nice to just breathe for a few days; to lie on the couch or take a walk in no particular direction; to laugh so hard you can barely breathe and dance exactly the way your body wants to.

To me, that’s joy. Being free. Being me. That’s when I feel the happiest.

I hope you find something, or someone(s) that makes you feel like this.

And I hope you always know that you deserve to feel like this. If and when you find yourself in a situation where joy seems impossible, take a second to take a deep breath in, all the way down to your toes. Then put yourself in places that make the joy seem attainable, but perhaps not quite in reach. Don’t try to force yourself to feel happy, for there’s nothing more dishonest. Just know that there is new joy out there waiting for you to discover, and the only way to find it is to start looking. There’s no shame in taking a few wrong turns, just keep moving.

I’ll help too.

See you soon.

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