You are not happy

Many people exhaust themselves understanding me.  No, really. Astrology nuts say that Sagittarians are wild-cards. And if you have played UNO before, you know that “WILD” cards make any UNO game unpredictable. The “WILD” card can stop a player in his or her tracks when UNO has already been called. The “WILD Draw Four” can be the difference between a new UNO winner, and a player left holding half the deck. I’ve had to take comfort in my “WILD” status, because it doesn’t go away.  I’m either left holding half the deck, or I win in a blaze.

But if I let jealous people tell my story, they’ll say: Harold is not very happy. 

I cannot be happy. I’m in my 30s. I’m single. I’m a creative. My career isn’t “high powered”. I don’t know “EVERYONE”. The people I do know are their own pacesetters. So therefore, I must be UNHAPPY with the life I am building, and therefore impossible to “help”.

So let’s clarify: I’m choosy with my relationships. I’m not a person that “NEEDS” an elaborate schmooze fest to “feel important”.

Like a wild animal, the archer blazes with fire to hit the target. I’m in a wonderful place whenever I can just HIT THE TARGET. Hitting the target matters.In college, a “hit” would be getting the degree. If I’m at work, a hit might be a salary increase. If I’m writing, a hit is “publishing more copy”.

I believe it’s only fair that the inept exhaust themselves with their obsession with my differences. I’ve never been a fish that you can take care of in a bowl. I’ve never been my “assigned role”, even when I act the part well. I’ve always had changing options about serious issues, and I have always had to learn on my feet. It’s quite hilarious to me how the more I know myself, the more I’d rather just hide. And it’s not that I’d hide from everyone. One can be a people person and be “picky” about people.

I’d hide not because I’m afraid. I actually hide because I  sometimes anticipate that those who want my resources are writing a devious story. That story always casts me as  some silent partner in a heist that eventually costs me more than I could pay. 

My father recently told me in just a few words:

Son, I think you’d be happier if you do just like this person. (He laughed to try and hide his seriousness.) Why am I so perceptive now?

(The other person was a sibling of mine.) The sibling had recently started a job. And I was instructed by my father to mimic that sibling because somehow the professional life I’m making is “embarrassing” or “counterfeit” or it’s not, to quote Bonnie Raitt: “something to talk about”. 

But I am happy.

I don’t know if I want you to talk about my career if you can’t be positive about it. Please don’t embarrass yourself anymore than you already have.

Someone once told me that I wasn’t happy because I was unwilling to be victimized by a relative.

To which I replied: Oh, I have enough. I call “phony” on the whole crazy lot of you. 

I’m happy that I’m alive to the resentment others throw at me because I’m happy with my flaws.  I am happy that I didn’t get stuck in a marriage, hemmed with child support. I’m happy that I’m not mentally ill. I’m happy that I understand that people don’t just behave their anxiety away. I’m happy that I can figure myself out, without owing the whole world an explanation. 

I used to believe that being visible was a sure way to build happiness. But even the visibility of Instagram and Facebook does not guarantee the true gratification of REAL joy.  Sure, I could flood every feed with pictures of the wonderful things that I am doing. But the things that make me happy aren’t the things I need to plaster all over my social media platform, all the time-everytime. 

I listened to Anderson Paak’s new song “Tints”. The lyrics juxtapose the symbolism between the tinted windows , and the erected shadows needed to survive in a world intent on taking all your treasures. 

The line I love says: I been in my bag adding weight, tryna’ throw a bag in a safe”. 

As a person, I’ve had to pad my bag of creative, mental, and spiritual power with rocks and bricks. I’ve had to add dead weight to my treasure because sometimes it’s as though I’m existing in a land of vultures who really seem convinced that they are not robbing my time and space. If my life’s a car, I’m confining my light in one small space while every window is tinted obsidian.

Some believe that in order to be happy, one has to perform a role… make nice with everyone, not stand on your principles. But I have principles, even if the grand game plans to fight like hell to make them go unacknowledged. 

For me, being happy does not being “perfect”. Having joy, doesn’t negate the problems I still have, or the anxieties I still face. I can still be upset that I was disrespected and misrepresented, and still forgive and love the person that committed that offense.

Of course, there are complicated things in my past that I have asked God to forgive me for. But everyone does dirt when they are “young and ill-informed”. I believe that some people live to capitalize on the simple-minded, because that’s the only story they’ve got. 

 I’m still that wild-card… aware of so much more than people want me to see. And I’ve accepted my role as an actor, but it’s high time for the producer to appoint an understudy. Because I’m very full of joy, I just refuse to breathe in all this dead spiritual food. 

I cannot stomach the denials, the silences, the shame, the ridicule. I don’t need to talk about others to love who I am. And I don’t need a lover to know that I am not ready for a relationship. 

Like Britney Spears sang years ago: “I need me. I need space.” 

I don’t need anyone to tell me how to be. I just need each one to concentrate on healing themselves. I can’t heal you…. I do well to heal me. 

I am healing every year. I’m happier every year because I’m working through my past. And I love the guy who writes, reads, geeks, and sees that so many idiots just need therapy and maybe some good medication. No, you aren’t bad people. I just won’t fix your problems for you. I’m not gonna help you live in denial. 

If you’re so happy, I don’t want it. I’ll stay over here with my books, my Kindle, my Pacific coast fascination,  my tea, my coffee, my writer friends, my musicals, my librarians, my Chromeo, my, Weezer, my Ted Schmidt cardigans and vests, my Khaki-pant love-affair, my NPR, my anime.

I’m happy to be connected and I’m learning to be content. I’m getting my life together. And it’s not a personal vendetta, if I’d rather not write my story as embedded act in the gloom of these other ones. 

I am happy… I’m just not sacrificing my own peace, to make you happy. I know what that’s life. I gave more than 20 years to such an equation and came away with regret, bitterness, and insanity. 

Again, I’m happy… I think you’re just grieving because I’m not nearly as stupid as you manufactured me to be. 

About the wildcard thing. I know it was expected that I’d be afraid to abandon my comfort zone. Well, I can tell you. I am not scared anymore. If you lose me… it won’t be because I abandoned you. It will because you assumed that shaming me was better than healing yourself. 

Stay classy, not brassy.

Harold

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