Joy (noun): “A feeling of great pleasure and happiness.”
I have often wondered why I have always been the victim of the infamous “tears of joy”. I can only imagine that the path leading to immense joy is a long, sad, treacherous journey. How else would you possibly know that you have arrived at destination Joy without getting bruised and battered along the way?
In my short period of existence, I have known joy to be a temporary fixture. Appears every now and again as a guest. You know, to reassure you that all is not lost. He arrives in all shapes and sizes. Upon departure, you yearn for his return.
I recall a time in my life: wake up, work, eat, sleep. A time of unhappiness and apathy. Now, I listen to music. The hypnotic voice of Ben Howard. I know. I just know that he has gone through far worse emotions. Where did his soul come from. I listen to “Conrad” with teary eyes. I remember listening to “Old Pine” for two weeks, on repeat after a rather emotional relationship fail. I listen to 1960’s Jazz music with my father while he sips on some red wine. That. That is music. And, that is immense joy. Music has this uncanny way of lifting up your soul to a place unimaginable. Listening to soulful Jazz with my father is an activity I thought would never happen again after his abandonment when I was eight years old. When I was growing up, my mother had always told me how inseparable my father and I were. Then, why did he leave me? We reconnected after High School after his 10 year sabbatical.
I have amazing friends. I swear, they were angels in their past lives. Which is probably why I do not have a large group of them. A select god-sent few. Every time I need to vent. At any hour of the day or night. People that can tell me that I am dressed horribly and I will not take it to heart. They love me. That is joy. I would do the same. We can be odd together without judging. They are my tribe. We can spend our Saturdays drinking gin around a bonfire at the beach dancing to the latest Beyonce tunes. Generally, being silly. Being silly brings out my inner child. Knowing that. Knowing that after many disappointments, heartbreaks, rejection and all of those heart-wrenching emotions; I can still find joy in being silly with friends. Simple yet life-changing every single time.
I think some where in my mind, I have had a bucket list. Unwritten bucket lists are the best. You can add on to it where ever you are. Recently, by recently I mean in the last six months, I have been mentally ticking items off my list. I have secured a job in Asia. This is a bit of a domino effect; I get to teach children, travel, see the world and start on that award-winning photography blog. Merely day dreaming about this future over powers my soul with unfathomable happiness. I am a dreamer. And, when those dreams come to life. Pure bliss. Another item that I have seemingly ticked off that mental bucket list: a surf board. I have dreamed of having a surf board for as long as I can remember. The idea of having such a beautiful relationship with nature and being free in the ocean attracts me to the sport. The day I received this surf board from a kind friend, I could not contain my excitement. I almost put the 7 foot board in to bed with me just to make sure that it does not disappear in the middle of the night.
Joy is knowing that I can change my situation when ever I need to. Joy is knowing that I have a family, a healthy body, music, thought-provoking books and a rather fantastic future. It is knowing that I still want to decrease my carbon footprint, I still want to make a change in the place I live in without any sort of monetary gains. I would like to have a wealth of knowledge, travel experience and a yogis spirituality. What one also needs to understand is that joy is not constant. It comes in waves. Think, surfing. Waiting for that perfect wave is not exactly how you want to spend your morning in the middle of a vast ocean. However, once you ride that wave. You want to scream, shout and let the whole world know how happy you are. You will tell your neighbours, friends and even your cyberspace friends that you really do not care about. That is pure bliss. Joy.
Joy is understanding that time is the only healer. I now know that the same person that gave me joy, comfort and secret pleasures. That is the exact person that can take it away. At that moment. Until time intervenes to bring me back to my senses. All I can say is, ““I don’t care what you do to me, but I don’t want you to hurt me. I’ve had enough hurt already in my life. More than enough. Now I want to be happy.” When this love is lost, there is always a comfort in food. The ability to turn something as unattractive as an aubergine or mushrooms in to a heart warming creation. That is artistic magic. Biting into a Jamie Oliver creation in the comfort of my own home is a joyous occasion. Whereby, I need to shoo my family out the kitchen like unwanted flies. The buttery fluffiness of Michel Roux’s mashed potatoes that fills my pot belly, lovely and warm. Nothing else can do that but a phenomenal bowl of food. With the correct amount of spices and herbs sprinkled in to the bubbly pot like a perfectly orchestrated Pavarotti song. Do you not find joy in such?
Joy. It is simple. Let go and you will find it in the simplest things in life. Reading a fantastic book, talking to an old friend, having a bonfire at the beach, hiking up a mountain, academic and career achievements. The list is endless. If you think that complete happiness is found in people and materials, you will live a rather unfortunate, sad life. The moment you can find joy in seeing a beautiful bird, walking barefoot on soft grass, eating a healthy, crunchy vegan meal, or mastering your first yoga posture. You will be your best friend. Your attitude will then attract all of the positivity you rightfully deserve.
This is joy.