There is a book that says if something in your life doesn’t bring you joy, you need to get rid of it. I thought about this for quite some time and then I swear I heard a bunch of Disney villains laughing in the distance. Joy is a powerful word. It is triumph, it is euphoria and it’s pure jubilee. Joy is the goal. That’s all one can hope for. So I thought about my life and what actually truly brings me happiness and it turns out I need some serious clean up in aisle nine.
The concept seems so simple but I can’t just quit my job and watch sports everyday while sitting on a pile of books from the top of a waterfall. Or I suppose I could but not without raising a deep concern from friends and family. I think responsibility is a part of the brutal awakening that is being an adult. I’d love to walk around town eating cupcakes all day while holding sparklers and listening to Broadway tunes but I have these things I gotta take care of called rent, bills and health insurance. Turns out growing up isn’t just living alone, custom decorating or the death of curfews.
What brings me joy? Travel, friends, laughter, family, pizza, music, sunsets, manicured nails, bubbles- the alcoholic kind. A lot of the things that bring me joy aren’t tangible. I can’t say I’m surprised really. I’ve never been into things outside of books. I can’t say I have any particular piece of clothing or pair of shoes that actually bring me joy. I’m not that kind of girl. I’m a flip-flop kind of girl- ask anyone. In college, I would wear them until the snow was too deep to walk through…cause I’m a NY fashion week nightmare.
So what is joy? For me, joy is simply a day away from work with no plans. I’m talking a full 24 hours of no obligations, commitments or even an errand to run. That’s truly all a girl can hope for these days. Joy is a warm love-filled blanket. Joy is a kiss you’ve been wanting and least expecting. Joy is a barefoot stroll along the shoreline. Joy is standing around with people you care about talking about absolutely nothing and having the best time. Joy is a kept promise, a starry night and tear-inducing laughter. Joy is unabashedly being yourself. Joy is grilling out and drinking a beer when it’s not too cold and not too hot. Joy is holding hands, belief in something bigger than yourself and the realization that you are enough.
Does something always radiate joy? I think it might be impossible. Perhaps joy comes and goes as it pleases. I imagine there are things in this lifetime that may enter my world disguised as joy and turn out to be something completely different. For instance, the title of this piece is joyride. I named it this because that was my most favorite song on the first cassette tape I ever owned by a band called Roxette. I used to listen to this song on repeat all day every day. Listen, rewind, play. Listen, rewind, play. I still love the song but I haven’t listened to it in quite sometime. On a scale from 1 to Sister Act, it doesn’t have the same effect it used to. That was a Joyful, Joyful reference in case anyone missed it.
I have this vision in my head that one day my life will look like a Chanel store. Not the brand or the actual merchandise, but the simplicity and quality with the lack of excess. Currently, my life is at a Marshall’s. A ‘just unlocked the doors for business’ Marshall’s. Not a ‘we’ve been open for a few hours and it’s a total garage sale’ Marshall’s. I feel a bit all over the place sometimes. I get pulled in lot of directions, not only by others but my mind as well. It’s a constant struggle between want and need, should and could, heart and head.
There are days I become so overwhelmed at being human. I am just a speck in this universe and while I can do my best to save it, I should probably save myself first. The thing I need to remember is that I am surrounded by joy if I open my eyes long enough to realize it. Joy is always there, we’ve just been conditioned to focus on the negative. Find it and don’t let go- or at least not until it no longer brings you joy. Get rid of the clutter, trim the fat and focus on your happy. I’m going to get my Chanel store and I hope you find yours.