March 31, 2018
Our neighbors are bouncing on their trampoline outside. It sounds like two girls; sisters, I presume. It’s 9:12am on a Saturday morning. I remember when we first got our trampoline. We thought it was the beauty of all beauties. There would be nothing better than this trampoline for our lives. We slept on it, snacked on it, put our dogs on it, invited anyone and everyone on it always.
The girls next door are giggling. I don’t remember the last time I laughed at 9:12 on a Saturday morning. My breath falls down to the bottom of my belly. Their joy radiates and I find myself entranced by it. It feeds me. Keeps me here.
It’s bold. To choose that sort of happiness so early on in the day. To set the standard high. My mind trails, wonders, and aims to pin-point when exactly I became so particular with the responsibility of choosing the measurements of my own joy.
A few years back, I freaking tattooed the word joy on my wrist as a quite literal reminder of how it is our duty to choose the lives we lead; how we wake up and scoop up joy like a child in the night. Intentionally. Purposefully. Because we don’t want to go about our days without nurturing the people and things that need us the most. Because we don’t want to go forth without providing for ourselves what we desire most.
Choose. Choice. Chosen.
“Today, if I choose joy.” No, not quite. “Today, when I choose joy.” You sound unsure. Unsettled. “Today, I choose joy.” Mm. Forced. Are you convinced? “Right this very moment, I am embodying the energy of joy.” Oh, I see. Here, here we are. Yes, I’m doing this.
It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it is a tired phrase. I was under the sinking impression this declaration dealt solely with other people, but I realize it’s best used and understood when it’s relating to our very own selves. Perhaps it works to inform the ways in which we phrase our inner-dialogues.
It’s always been about us. This battle. This morning. This tension. These options. The world outside sings and beats and begs. The sisters have gone inside. I imagine they’re eating pancakes. Or watching Spongebob. Or sprawled out on their bellies in their living room letting their remarks and inquiries and ideas bounce off of one another. Their parents are reading the newspaper or whispering about Easter tomorrow. The dogs are bustling around. Roaming from one sound, one movement to the next.
Our Saturdays used to ebb and flow similarly. When I imagine them, I remember us.
There are plants now growing in my window-sill. My comforter is stark white and the light refracts off of it when the sky opens up to its mid-day blue. I should move from here. My mind is beginning to fog and my body is restless.
Yesterday, I was trying to write down the warmest remark someone has ever told me, but nothing all that specific surfaced. Instead, I began rambling through all the words I want to have written or said or declared about my existence and now, as I sit here in the reverie of sister giggles, I begin to whisper the words to myself.
I welcome the tune of my own voice. I trust it.