I can’t describe happiness, but I know it when I see it.

It’s been for-EVER since i’ve written in this blog, mostly because of the insane whirlwind that my life has been sucked into for the past few months lol. but now that the dust has settled and i can finally see straight, hi again!!! So much has happened in the last few months, I should probably go through each thing one at a time.

1. F and I hit the 3 Year mark! Despite the craziness of him living in Michigan, we’re actually doing better than ever. I went to visit him for the weekend of our anniversary, and we had a blast :) I still can’t believe that it’s been this long, but these days more than ever I know I’m blessed to have him :)

2. I GRADUATED! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am officially an Emory Alumnus :) The days/weeks leading up to it were bittersweet, but I’m really proud to have made it through. My family came down to celebrate (and to help me move apartments, more on that in a second) and they were all sooo excited. It was a long day though, let me tell you. It’s still so crazy to think about the fact that I’m no longer in college though. Some random man accosted me on the subway a few days ago, the conversation went something like this:

Random Man: How are you doing young lady? *insert lecherous visual appraisal here*
Me: I’m doing alright.
RM: So you on your way to school?
Me: No, I’m not in school anymore.
RM: *obvious distress and disappointment crosses his face* That is just a shame, why is such a capable young woman not in school? I just don’t understand young people these days who don’t…
Me: Actually I just graduated. From Emory.
RM: Oh…. well congratulations! So that would make you…. 21..22?

Me: This is my train… Goodbye.

Lol. Oh MARTA…. Yea it was more than slightly awkward, but it still in some twisted way put a lot of this into perspective… being a recent graduate is wierd. And I stll don’t know what to do with my diploma…. it’s still sitting on my countertop lol. Appropriate analogy for post-bacc life? Hopefully not. lol

Check out some pics of the day below:

3. Fortunately enough for me, I’m actually employed!!! Thanks to some friendly connections, I ended up as a research interviewer/assistant for a project in a medical research program. Yay me! Gotta love the health care industry lol, hasn’t failed me yet :) And beyond the fact that I will be able to support myself, the job is literally the PERFECT stepping stone between here and grad school: I get to interact with patients, I’m getting more clinical research experience, and the research topic is in my field of interest: behavioral disorders (specifically PTSD). For those of you who don’t know what that is, reference Dr. Owen Hunt, from Grey’s lol. (yes, I’m in total withdrawal. C’mon Season 6!!!!)But yea, my job is awesome. Take that, crappy economy!!! lol

4. After a brief hiatus, I’ve gone back to my reading, and I’m currently about 3/4 of the way through “A Million Little Pieces”, by James “I Duped Oprah” Frey lol. Despite the controversy, this book is GREAT, stay tuned for my review. Next up: The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold, and The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini.

5. Lastly, in my down time, I’ve started focusing again on what it means to me to be happy. So many great things have happened recently, and so have a lot of not so great things. Is it really the balance between the good and the bad that makes us happy or not happy? Or is it our outlook despite those instances of joy or sorrow? At work patients who have a lot of traumatic history fall into two categories: “resilient” or “avoidant”. Either way, their trauma doesn’t seem to affect their lives. On the surface, the untrained ear would hear a pretty well adjusted person. But underneath, do they both count as happy?

Personally, I base happiness on outlook. I would like to think that I fall into the “resilient” category: despite the trying times I’ve had, I’m not giving up on my resolve to be happy. There’s so much in my life for me to be optomistic about right now: the birth of my neice, my diploma, my boyfriend, my mother’s health, that I think it would be a waste to let the less than perfect parts take precedence. I want to make sure that acknowledging my sorrow doesn’t mean I’m dwelling in it. Life’s too short to be unhappy if there’s something, even something tiny, to be happy about, and I want to take advantage of every opportunity.

Now I’m not saying by any means that the sum of the fortunate things in my life means that I’m happy. (c.f. today’s title). But I think right now I have things in the right order, and though I can’t explain fully what I feel, I’m secure, and able to see the bright spots much more clearly than I have in a long time. I’ll call that happiness.


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