Starting on Monday, September 6, 2010 (at 4:00 in the morning, so technically Sunday, September 5), I started taking a picture of something that made me happy every day. My Project Happiness 365 started as a proactive act on my part to ward off deep depression. It was spurred by heartbreak as an effort to pull myself out of the wreckage, but now it's fueled by gratitude and a desire to find the beauty in everyday, "mundane" life. This is my honest, vulnerable journey from Hot Mess to Winning. I hope this helps. Oh, and if you're in pain, good; that means you put your whole heart into something. And if you think it won't ever get better, I promise it will. Here's my proof.

Ok. I got behind cuz I went to KK’s grad party in Menasha. But now I’m home, and I’m back on schedule. And the second I pulled into the driveway, Jian Li called and asked what I was up to. So I showered quick like a mo’fucka and I drove downtown. We ended up sitting by the lake talking for HOURS. This is how it ended:
 A sunset. I sat outside for hours with Jian and this is a perfect way to end it. (Yeah, Jack showed up for a bit. And yeah, I even ran into Mel Rockwell and Jon King!). Let me get down to business really quick. I’ll get back to the picture.

So. My yearning for intimacy is getting pretty bad. Yesterday, I was putting on sunscreen, and I needed help putting it on my back. Well, I didn’t really need help since I am a humongous person with humongous limbs. But I wanted help. And there ain’t no crime in that. So, I asked Meggy to rub some on my back. And she did. And being touched felt so good. So good. And she rubbed it in for a while, and she said, “I’m sorry, I’m anal,” and I said, “Don’t be sorry. I like being touched.”

And when we were at the Memorial Union today, I saw all these couples cuddling and I got insanely jealous. Like…. I WANT THAT. I wanna be them. But it’s complicated cuz even if I had that, it’s hard cuz it’s hard to find a guy who’s comfortable enough to cuddle with another guy in public. Cuz some gays like to play it straight in public which is NOT winning. But. Ugh. I’m wandering from the subject.

So I said something about it to Jian Li, about how I really want a boyfriend and how living without one is kinda painful. And she told me to just enjoy being where I was with what I had. And she was right. and you know, I got kinda embarrassed cuz like, DUH why didn’t I think of that. But I was kinda also relieved.

And that’s what I want. I’m not in pain because I don’t have a boyfriend; I’m in pain cuz I just want want want something other than what I have. And that’s painful, to every day yearn for something else instead of reveling in what I have. That hurts. And I don’t wanna live like that anymore. I don’t. I wanna be able to sit outside with my friend and be happy instead of feeling tortured. I want to be enough for me. I want my friends to be enough to me. And even if being single is a transitional thing, I don’t want to think of it that way. Otherwise, I’m just waiting for the next boyfriend, the next love affair. And that is so tolling.

I want to be able to sit on the lake and see the beauty right in front of my eyes. The sky was so fucking clear and blue today. The sun was perfect. The lake was perfect. The friendship was perfect. The SUNSET was beautiful. The brat was delicious. The beer…. was beer. And me. I was perfect. Today, I was good. I was and still am enough. And if you read regularly, you’ll notice that I have these moments of self-discovery routinely.

I want to live in the moment. Cuz Jian Li is right: I’m not gonna have her by my side forever. And I’m not gonna ever have what I have now. And I’m sick of looking forward and backward; I’m getting whiplash. I wanna be here. I wanna sit and look at a sunset by myself and think, ‘Wow, what a beautiful sunset. What a beautiful life. And I don’t need to enjoy it with a boy. Cuz I have this beautiful friend sitting by my side.’ I have had such a beautiful and glorious journey up to this point. And every moment has been perfect. And I’m ok. You’re ok, James.

I am enough. Please believe that.

More talking to yourself. More being here. Put down the phone and open your eyes. Even here in this kitchen. There’s a cool breeze blowing in from the window as I blog listen to my sleepytime music.

Jack made us say grace before we ate our bratwursts today. And we took a few seconds to think about the things that we’re grateful for. And it really shook me. I want to do that more. So. I’m gonna say my own version of grace right now before bed.

Things I’m grateful for:
1) My life.
2) Jian Li’s advice today
3) KK’s compassion
4) My health
5) All of my caring friends
6) The ability to feel emotion
7) This refreshing breeze on my face
8 ) My bed
9) Sunshine
10) Kind text messages
11) Second chances
12) Forgiveness

Gratitude. Oh, and I decided I’m going to South America. In January. Or sooner. I’ll find the money. But I have to go before I get a life. Cuz right now, I can do whatever I want. And I fuckin’ wanna go to South America. So I’m gonna go, god damnit.

Wow. That list of gratitude really helped. I’m gonna do that more often. And I’m gonna talk to myself more in public. And meditate. Ew, to-do lists.

Thank you for your help. You’re right, Scott; I do need help sometimes. And I’m glad I asked for help.

“Days feel hard earned, night grows longer, summer says its goodbyes and darkness covers. We find shelter, our own place to hide. Oh, as the light goes out, thoughts turn to angels over us. Oh, as the night comes in, dreams start their drifting, and you hear a lullaby… Trees touch windows, say their hellos. We hear this house as it settles in. Worry slips away, it don’t know your name, it don’t know where to find us. Oh, as the light goes out thoughts turn to angels all around us. Oh, as the night comes in, dreams start their drifting, and you hear a lullaby.”
~”Lullaby” by Onerepublic

I can see you’re new, awake. Let me assure you, friend: every day is cream and chocolate cake. And what you make of it Let me just say, you get what you take from it, so be amazed. Whenever you stop, you gotta be brave. All this beauty; you might have to close your eyes and slowly open wide. And watch the sun rise.”
~”All This Beauty” by The Weepies

Grateful.
James.

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