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.

IT’S MY MOTHAFUCKIN’ BIRTHDAY. thank jesus in heavs. So I came home to an empty house cuz my family is out of town for some rotary thing. Totally fine. And in natural Hansen fashion, my mother has decorated the house with 20+ signs wishing me a happy birthday. Oh and there’s a huge Happy Birthday banner. And Emma left a note on my closet door that says “Don’t shart”. She left me another one that said, “I don’t hate you cuz you’re gay; you’re gay because I hate you.”

But the best part, so far, is this card from my parents:

And then the inside says: “…and you never forget the way home.”

What a perfect card. For me, what a perfect card. Cuz this has been a fuckin’ ride, if I ever saw one. Or, rode one. Whatever. But wow. I think about where I was one year ago on my birthday. And you know what, I was not as happy. Haha. I think I haven’t been this happy on my birthday.. ever. In my life. To be fair, last year on my birthday, I was meeting some beautiful BEAUTIFUL people and I have made friends that are still my best friends. But now I have had these people in my life for another year. And they’ve stayed with me through.. this year. Ok. Last year, I was super happy. I was like, idiot happy, all the time. But I had no reason. Now I know why I’m happy. I am now who I want to be. I’m not ripped. I’m not super skinny. I don’t have beautiful skin. I am not super… anything. But I don’t care. Because I love me regardless. And I will always love me, no matter how fat or pimply I get. Because I’m a fuckin’ survivor. And being alone in this huge house right now, it’s kinda perfect for me. Cuz last year, I was in a relationship and for some reason, you can feel totally NOT alone in a relationship, even if you’re 1000 miles away. Cuz you still have that person in your heart, always. And I have now come to the realization that it’s all a test. Sitting alone in my house is exactly how it should be. “Oh, you think you’re totally ok? Try sitting alone in a huge house on your birthday, sucka!” And I still say, “I’m fine.” Cuz I love me harder than my loneliness can conquer. Because I say so. And I’m OK cuz I say so. And I don’t need to be Dating Ready to be OK. It’s like there’s only two stages of “acceptable” states: Ready to Date or Taken. And if you’re just not in the mood, then it’s like, “Oh, poor So-and-so. He doesn’t know what he’s missing. He’s just sad.” But what if no? What if I’m just cultivating a beautiful relationship with myself?

Ugh. Rambling. Even on my birthday. HEY. James. Love. Only love, remember?

Here’s the point. I always have one, even if it takes me a while to get there with my James Joyce stream-of-consciousness rambles jambles:

I still have love in my heart, and not because someone else put it there. I put it there. And the love I have for myself only breeds more love from the people around me. And I won’t discredit the role my friends have had in my amazing life. But. It started with me. It started with my willingness to love myself. Not waiting til I have a 6 pack to love who I am. I am worthy of love right now. And I’m not waiting for someone else to love me to feel worthy of love. I’m loving myself now. And I’m taking that risk to declare myself Lovable without being validated by a Significant Other.

Holy shit, life is a trip. Look at me. I was lost but now I’m found. Was blind, but now I see.

I have a blessed life. I have countless friends in my life that have played a very special unique role in my life. And there are so many of you. And I most value my relationships that I can’t describe with words. And if you are one of those people, you understand. And I’m sure you couldn’t say much more about our connection than, “It’s indescribable”.

I’m smiling with my whole body right now. And I’m crying, but I’m dismissing that as my eyes smiling too big. And I have a feeling I’ll be shedding a few tears of gratitude today. On my last birthday in Madison for a long time.

Thank you so much. I wouldn’t have made it without you. I really believe that. When I used to only have painful memories of what I’d lost, now all I can remember is what I’ve found. I now remember the friends who picked me up every time I broke down. Oh my God. I am so grateful for your compassion. I don’t know what I did to deserve it. But the post-its, the hugs, the laughter (oh my god, the laughter), the words, the cards, the texts, the e-mails. I remember you now instead. And now I don’t have to think about how unfortunate I was to experience pain; I can think about how lucky I am to have such glorious angels in my life.

I love because of you.

“I once was lost, but now I’m found. Was blind, but now I see.”
~”Amazing Grace”

My eyes won’t stop smiling.

LOVE.

JAMES.

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Comments on: "306. Life’s A Helluva Trip / I Was The Lucky One" (1)

  1. I love you so much Baby.

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