Ahh… Joy! Today, for the first time in a very long time, I feel the first fleeting stirrings of joy.
It feels different to happiness and contentment. I have felt bits of those in the past six months – but not joy. Just to be clear on how I perceive the difference, here’s a collection of synonyms for joy: bliss, ecstasy, elation, exhilaration, exuberance, euphoria, glee, jubilation, rapture. It sounds pretty jolly good huh?!
Why am I feeling some tingling of joy? I got a job 🙂 I got a job I really want. One I believe I can do well. With perfect hours, in a field I love to work in, with people I know and in a great location.
My unemployment status has been a big contributor to my current levels of fear and anxiety – causing much concern about finances and purpose in life. I was also terribly fearful I would never find employment again. I have no idea how many times I tell people I fail all interviews and auditions. Now I’ve proved myself wrong. I had two job interviews on Tuesday, heard from my preferred employer today and I start tomorrow. It just feels like 2017 is starting in a positive way – like things that are meant to be, are falling into place.
Great. Right?! It’s also really frightening to me. For the past five years, every time I dared hope – every time I pulled my socks up and reminded myself, “This too shall pass” and that we all experience major stressful events in life – I would be knocked down with another major stressor. I couldn’t win a trick. Everyone was dying. Everyone was getting sick. Everything was going wrong. Now all those events are firmly relegated to “the past”, so hopefully this too DID pass and now is my time to move on, to work steadfastly on recovery, and to offer encouragement to my friends and family members when their crises hit. To show them bad times do end.
However! I’m also afraid my bad times haven’t ended. That the universe is playing a big trick on me and I’ll settle into a routine and a comfort zone and I’ll think my life has turned around, and then the rest of the people I know will die. And get sick. And have major issues [financial, emotional, marital, career, health, and every other possibility]. And I won’t cope. And it will all fall apart again. That this big bubble of happiness and joy and hope for the future, will burst in a spectacular fashion. That is what I fear. That is why I’m afraid to be joyful.
It doesn’t however, spoil the joy I am feeling today. There is a lightness in my spirit and there is a sense of hope. The bubble that is swelling around me is worth clinging to, and I refuse to live my life in fear of it bursting.