How to Have the Happy

Posted by: Jeffe Kennedy on May 20 2012, 9:50 am in , ,

First things first – I’m in the newspaper today! The local paper, The Santa Fe New Mexican, asked if they could do a feature on me. I checked my very busy schedule and managed to squeeze in an interview.

I’m cross-posting today, from the group blog I’m part of, The Word Whores. We have weekly topics and this week’s is “the one that/who got away.” I confess it kind of stumped me.

I don’t fish and I’m not much for regrets. I’m trying to think of something, or someone, I’ve lost that I fought to keep. I suppose I’m lucky that way. Blessed even.

I’ve lost people and beloved pets to Death, that final and inevitable loss. But I know better than to fight it. Those haven’t so much gotten away as moved on. I hope to find them again someday.

My heart got broken by one charming boy, dramatically and twice over. At the time, I wept for that loss, but now I know he would have been terrible for me. Things turned out just as they should have.

I think of moments that escaped me. Chances for success I came close to but didn’t quite catch hold of. Like the agent who contacted me after a review of my essay collection, wanting to see what I was working on. It wasn’t what she wanted and that door closed. But did it really get away from me?

The article I linked to above implies that I walked away from a science career, which isn’t entirely accurate. That degree still pays the bills. But I did give up that dream – the rosy hopes for a Nobel Prize and a place in the annals of science. Still, that isn’t the trophy fish that slipped the hook. I weighed it, thought about the price I’d pay and cut bait. Amusingly, given the metaphor I’m using today – I’ve always referred to my quitting the doctoral program as “I cut bait, took my Masters degree and left.”

In many ways, this might be a reflection of my trust in the universe, that things happen as they should. If something I wanted fell through my fingers, then I wasn’t meant to have it. More, it wouldn’t have made me happy to have it.

And having the happy is the most precious thing of all.

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