17 March 2014

The Happy List

I think that, when everything changed back on Boxing Day, part of me wondered if I’d be happy again.

Not because my heart was broken. Or that I was longing to turn back time. But because I felt like I’d failed a little. I felt like I’d taken my son’s family from him. I felt like I resigned myself, and my imperfect body, and my many flaws, to a life on the shelf. Watching other people’s happiness and love from above. Gathering dust and wondering if I could find a home in someone else’s heart. Like a charity shop find, hidden behind mismatched China and well-read books.

“Used, in full working order, but may need new batteries.”

It wasn't that I felt I needed someone to love, to be complete. I just wasn't sure of my place. I couldn't remember how to be me, without being part of a duo. However ill-matched it was at times.

In the past few months, I've slowly had to search through the rubble of my life and find the pieces to put myself back together. The physical things, as it turned out, were the easiest things to work on. I could see results. And that was tangible for me. It's like someone had taken me off that shelf and given me a good dusting. And brought my shine out again.

But what has really shocked me, is what's inside. I wonder if I'm always going to be that girl that walks along the street with her head down or, at best, mouthing along to the music that trills a little too loudly from her headphones. I don't quite understand it. I'm confident when it comes to work. I'm confident when it comes to fighting for other people. I'm confident in what I believe in. But what I don't believe in, is myself.

And I know, I know, it's a little teenage angst of me, but that's how I feel in a way. Back at those mid-teenage years when Britney's I'm Not A Girl made perfect sense to me, as I lay on my single bed and stared at the ceiling. I'm remembering what I like, without compromise again. I'm certainly learning about my capabilities too. I put the bins out today. My mum had to remind me. But I'm totally recycling. On my own.

Almost three months ago, I waited for unhappiness to set in and stay a while. But it never really did. It started to fade, like a gloomy day that slowly breaks into sunshine, one beam after the other. I don’t need my umbrella or winter coat to shield myself from it anymore. Instead, I pulled back the curtains and let that fresh air and sunlight fill my head and it felt so good.

My life has changed for the better. A few significant reasons why; some obvious and some not yet.

But the list above is just a small collection of things that make me happy. And whenever I feel myself starting to worry or fret, as often is the case with me, I think of them, or I play my Happy List playlist that is steadily growing on Spotify. It's full of songs that make me smile, or remind me of the special people in my life. And it's stupid, perhaps, to rely on music to lift my spirits.

But if you are one of the people that passes me in the street, and you see me, head down, nodding my head, and mouthing some mystery words, know that happiness is the soundtrack I'm living to. 


  1. 'Listen' from Dreamgirls is my ultimate at the moment. Proper two glasses of wine karaoke at the computer type territory! x


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