This has been a difficult lesson for me. I almost went back to misery, because it was the easier path. I have walked it for years, so it is well worn, and comfortable, and laid out before me like a monotonous, flat, and predictable highway. It pays generously, and its price is my soul.
Happy is hard. It is unpredictable. It is illusory yet always within reach. It glimmers like a mirage, but one that, miraculously enough, inevitably becomes real if I just close my eyes and reach out. It is writing in the dead of night, hearing my children’s laughter, looking back at how far I have come. It is financial insecurity, and excitement about what will happen tomorrow. It is planning an uncertain, shimmering-in-the-sunlight future of laughter and learning and writing and travel and adventure. But it is nevertheless terrifying, because there is no road or even a path. Sometimes a push from behind, sometimes just an aversion to the highway that would be the easy choice. But often a nudge from a friend, or a smile from a new acquaintance, or the inspiration for a new story is enough to turn me away from that wide, smooth, black highway, at least for today.
And I reach out blindly and pray for the strength and courage and asylum to choose happy again tomorrow.