You know what happens when you find old journals? Besides the satisfaction of knowing you didn’t imagine past events that obviously scarred you for life? You realize that you keep repeating the same patterns.
You know what happens when you look back at old blog posts? Besides the surprise of realizing you’ve written as long as you have? You have even more confirmation that you are a broken record.
I’m like my own angsty version of Groundhog Day. Every few years: the same issues, the same laments, the same questions, the same musings. I keep having the same conversations with myself and then doing the same things that lead to the same conversations a few months or years later. Mostly about relationships, of course – the lack of, the search for, the difficulty of, the certainty of never having – because evidently I am forever a 16-year-old girl.
For someone who educates for a living, I really don’t learn.
And then a picture of me fishing with Rockford a few weeks ago floats by on my TV screen. I can see my smile from here as I stand in ankle-deep water, fishing pole in my hand, sunglasses pushed up, shorts rolled up, no make-up, no styled hair. So totally not me. But I was happy. Very.
So maybe I have learned something: to grasp happiness in the moment, wherever it comes from, however different it might be from the usual order of things.
Someone today said I looked sad. I was genuinely surprised – I didn’t feel particularly sad – and I don’t think I was. But I wasn’t happy, and that’s what they’ve seen over the last (almost) year. Realizing that doesn’t upset me, actually. Being with Rockford made me happy and it’s nice to think that the happiness from our relationship – even as it wraps up – was so obvious. That, at least, isn’t part of the pattern.