"Happy girls are the prettiest" - Audrey Hepburn

January 25, 2010

Bertrand Russell writes that, "To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness." 

I'm not sure exactly what he meant. But I know what his words mean to me, and I'm a firm believer in making other people's writing my own.

I suppose you've seen he's just not that into you? 

(If you haven't, watch it).

Now, 'nuff said?

I will say that planned out my semester one way, in my head. Fabulous dream creator that I am, it only took me a couple weeks of obsessing to have it perfect. 

Shouldn't surprise me that it's not looking so much like I dreamed up while I was blow drying my hair and finding my favorite black dress. Reality doesn't go like that. 

I caught myself moping, my second day here. Thank God I had a chance conversation with my cousin where she mentioned "getting out of the way" so life can start happening the way it should. "We hold on so tight to things we don't really need," she said. "We don't leave room for the things we do need. We keep filling the empty space with stuff we think is best, and we crowd out what we should be living."

I took that and put it in my pocket and walked around with it all day long. 

I realized that I was starting to do what I always do. I was forcing my way again. I was throwing a mental tantrum about things not falling into place like I wanted. I was chasing the thing I wanted and didn't get - I guess as if I can see the future and I know it would have been good?

And maybe it would have.

But I think that when one door slams, you look for a new one.

I found several this week. 

And, in all? I have to say that week #1 was a success. I thought about it for a while last night, sitting on the counter eating pineapple tamales by myself. I decided that I deserved a bit of a pat on the back. I've been moving toward my goals just fine.

It's been almost a week, and I think I've been enjoying the things in front of me IMMENSELY. Long Beach and I are getting along most famously - 

Things I loved this week:

1. A night out on 2nd street in Belmont Shore for the Lakers game with my cousins.

2. An incredible blind date with Jasmine, at Aroma Di Roma. She reminded me of so many things I keep forgetting - like how it's okay to be angry about things, and to ask God why. Like how it takes a long time to work through some things, and that's okay too. Like how I'm not sure why I didn't start going on blind girl dates sooner...? Also was reminded of where, exactly, the 710 is, and the fact that I should really pee before I start driving around with the possibility of getting lost with a full bladder (possibly not the first time I have seriously considered peeing in my driver's seat). 

 3. A day to myself, and the house. I cleaned, wrote, and drank an incredible mocha I found at the closest coffee bean. 

4. Jasmine's church recommendation. Under the firm conviction that I will never feel at home here unless I force myself into a few awkward situations, I made myself drive downtown by myself and go to The Garden, a church that meets at Cohiba Cigars. These people have church in a club so they can be close to where life happens (and the people who need love and hope and help) downtown. They talk about the homeless. They sing with the lights down low so they can't stare at each other while they try to talk to God. They talk A LOT about the city, and how to be active in their community. They have a coffee bar in the back. Most of them have killer tattoos.
...I just might fit in.

5. I introduced myself to another girl who was standing alone looking like she'd like the floor to swallow her, and girl date #2 happened last night with Amy, who just started going to The Garden herself. We ended up laughing hysterically about awkward dates and awkward editors...of all things.

I walked away laughing a little at myself for looking something like the girl version of I Love You Man

But I walked away happy.

I think I'm starting to get the hang of some things. 

Thanks for the leg up, dearest Bertrand.

(photos via weheartit.com)


Jess said...

writing on glass with dry-erase marker = brillant!

Phoenix said...

I'm enjoying reading all about your adventures in LBC - girl blind dates sound infinitely better than guy blind dates (shudder) and The Garden sounds like such an incredible place to worship and connect with others. We probably have something like that up in LA, I just haven't found it yet.

Glad your sister is safe home from Haiti, and nobody has any right to give you crap about working daily to find happiness - we all struggle with that. We might get a miracle on Monday and then spend Tuesday wondering how we're gonna pay our car insurance - welcome to being human. It's in the struggle and the ability to resist complacency and settling into doubt that we show our true character.