Monday, August 18, 2008

When Happiness (or what looks like it) Is Not Worth What It Costs....

I don't know if you guys realize this or not, but I am a very introspective person in many ways and as such, I find myself spending quite a bit of time reflecting on events that have occurred during my life and how those things impact me and my outlook. The last few days have been an absolute exercise in introspection for me; let me explain.

I am blessed or cursed [depending on how you look at it], with a really good memory for dates and events. If a date is special to me for any reason, good or bad, I will always remember it. Today, August 18th, is the birthdate of my ex. Over the weekend I was acutely aware that this day was coming and it still carried the significance of being my ex's B-day in my mind. From the moment the thought of his impending birthday popped into my mind, I found myself doing what I do...reflecting back on his previous birthdays.

Two years ago as his birthday approached, I was busy as a bee as I ran around purchasing special gifts for him which I arranged to have delivered along with each course of the delicious dinner I had arranged for us at a premeire restaurant here in St. Louis. I picked him up from the airport the night before his birthday while my girlfriend delivered his wrapped presents to the restaurant on my behalf where they would be stashed until his birthday dinner the following night.

When his birthday actually arrived, as it turned out, we spent the entire day arguing and almost did not go to dinner as I had planned. It was one of the most trying days I have ever spent with anyone as he was angry with an administrator at his college but chose to take out his frustrations on me all day. I remember thinking "Buddy, you are going to feel so badly once you see all of the trouble I've gone to trying to make this a special day for you." I wrote this post about him and how blessed I felt to have him in my life and what I hoped the future held for us. Somehow, we made it through the day and when we finally arrived at the restaurant, we had the best date of our lives together. That was the high point of my time with him....I was happy.

A year later (last year), as his birthday approached, I was at the lowest point I can ever remember in my life. We (read he), had made the decision to end our relationship against my wishes, and I truly did not see how I was ever going to recover from the heartbreak that came with that decision. I wrote several sad little posts which illustrate the depths to which my spirit had sunken during this time. Never before had I been so depressed, and I hope never again to have that particular experience.

This year as the fact that it was soon to be his birthday once again reached my conscious mind, I found myself reflecting on the last two years and the thought I was left with was this....

What is happiness worth? Two years ago as I planned his birthday surprises, I had never before been happier. However, in the midst of my "happiness", I had to work harder than I ever had before to try to make him happy because he was in my opinion a very high maintenance and temperamental man who was prone to rapid mood swings with which I could barely keep up. When he wanted to, he could make me feel like the world revolved around the two of us, but just as easily, he could erase me from the world if he was of a mind to do such a thing. Then, last year I couldn't spell happiness as he completely changed the world I knew by deciding to no longer be a part of my world as abruptly as one might decide to change one's mind about what to wear. With that seemingly spur of the moment decision, he took away every shred of happiness I felt. Today, though I wouldn't say that I am happy [though I also would NOT say that I am unhappy either], I can say with absolute certainty that I am content and looking forward with boundless optimism to the happiness that I am positive is coming my way. The funny thing is that as much as I appreciate the lifelong love affair I have had with happiness, I must admit that when I think of what the tenuous happiness that he brought to my life cost me and my spirit, I'll pass and take the contentment and peace of mind I am blessed with right now over that particular brand of fleeting, erratic happiness.

Like every major relationship I've ever had with a man has done, this one taught me a valuable lesson as well....sometimes what passes for happiness may not be worth what it costs. Whenever that is the case, I have learned to simply let it go and hold on to my belief and faith in the fact that what is for me is mine as I continue living for the happiness that it sure to find me eventually. I know that whenever it does find me, it will definitely be worth the price I will be expected to pay for it! The take-away?...

Everything costs you something....just make sure it is worth the price!!!


LadyLee said...

Great post as always, Oldgirl...

You leave for a spell, then you come back with a post that blows me away...

I love this:

"Everything costs you something....just make sure it is worth the price!!!

Yes it will cost us something. Hopefully it will cost the loss of some negative attitudes in our lives, like the selfishness that we all have (to various degrees)... But when it costs us our self-worth, self esteem, and self love, well, that's just too high a price to pay. Much too high. And we as women pay that price everyday, just for the sake of fleeting happiness. sigh.

I think the issha that comes up is this: We all have a standard by which we feel loved. We have to make a decision whether it is worth it to stay in a situation that is below our standard or not. The decision is obvious, but the emotional and spiritual bonds we have to that man makes our decisions all muddled and slow to gel in the right direction... Eventually it will be over, as we as strong women will not deal with anything that will decrease us...

But the pain of letting go, well, it is pain indeed.

Here's to your healing, girl... And here's to you finding someone who will respect your worth...and bring more happiness and contentment.

Lovebabz said...

Are you talking to me? You must be talking to me!

Arrgghhh! This is so what I know. I have been doing htis very same thinking. I am doing this thinking as I contemplate getting out into the world of dating and sex. I know what I long am I prepared to wiat. And WHAT AM I PREPARED TO PAY? What am I willing to anty up for love and happiness.

EVERYTHING! EVERYTHING! I don't care about being hurt again. I am not worrying about that. I chasing down happiness and joy and love. I am running full speed. This is anew year. A new time.

A year makes a huge me on that. Girl we are not scared women...we love big and we live large!


chele said...

That's truly a message for all of us. I remember about six years ago, when I didn't bother to make sure what I was giving up (dignity, pride, self-respect) was worth the price. I call it my "season of insanity" because for 5 months I was certifiably insanse. We all go through it and trust me ... we ALL recover and go on to make smarter choices.

Anonymous said...

How I love your write-ups...YOu truly speak your mind and leave no room for curiousity. Thanks for your words because you share similarities as me, and the

So I always look forward in reading you, take care!

The Dreamy One said...

u are so right, i have been through the same thing that you described and then i made the decision to be by myself

cause my happiness should not be sacraficed. two years i have spent by myself and though i am lonely, i am happy!!!

so i know sooner or later i will meet the one who is meant for me!!

thanks for this post,mami