road to joy

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I’ve had this blog for a year today, and my my my…how things have changed. It’s only fitting that I post something to mark the occasion.

“Something.”

…………………………………ha.

I’ve got jokes.

I’m only 5 days in to my cleanse and already I’m noticing so much. My skin is a little brighter than it has been (though I’m not sure how that’s possible today since I got zero sleep last night,) I feel like I have a little more lightness in me and though it’s been emotionally draining thus far, it feels damn good to allow myself to feel everything. I didn’t realize that I’ve been putting off my emotions; I think I flipped a switch after my birthday and just stopped feeling anything, honestly.

Through being busy, but not as this week, I’ve been able to think about things that I want and things that I don’t, the main focus being joy. I led two pop ups this week and spoke openly about finding joy and what that means. As I spoke, I felt empowered, something I’m not used to feeling unless I’m behind my drums or upside down, on my mat completely solo. The idea of feeling joy – which is defined as a feeling of great pleasure or happiness – is positively overwhelming sometimes. I know that we can make it in to a  grueling task instead of part of our path and that’s just nonsense. It is the easiest choice we can possibly make, and we have the opportunity to make it every single day. We are blessed with this adventure we call life. We have countless options and opportunities for happiness, so why would we choose anything else?

This week was hard. The work week was stressful and I officially filed for divorce from a man I was supposed to spend forever with…a choice that even as I walked up the front steps of the law office was heavy on my heart, though I knew it was right. I held my head high and spoke to my lawyer as professionally as possible. I’m really great with not crying in situations like that and for that particular iciness that runs in my veins, I’m grateful. I left feeling relief above anything else, because I knew that this was another step in the right direction, another step towards sublime happiness…pure joy.

I know it’s odd to associate the idea of joyousness with divorce. I wasn’t brought up to believe in the institution and I still don’t have any idea how I wound up having to make that decision, but here I am, on the cusp of what I know is the correct road for my future.

Life gives you signs and I didn’t believe that until I started following them.

Most everyone that knows me well rolled their eyes when I said I was going to take a twenty-day long cleanse of all the things that are,”bad,” for me. Coffee, alcohol, etc etc….PIZZA (really what was I thinking with the coffee and pizza?) None of them doubted I could do it, but I know most of them questioned how long I would last without certain vices. I was two days in and suffering from a wretched caffeine headache when I showed up at the law offices with my mom, because let’s be honest, who else was I going to bring to that? We talked for only a few minutes and I posed a final question to my legal eagle: “Okay, it seems simple enough and everything is in order, but I want to know…how long is this going to take?” My lawyer looked at me, with more than a frown but less than a smile and said, “twenty days.”

My jaw went through the proverbial center of the universe and I knew right then that I’d made the right choices up to this point. The, “cleanse of the things that are bad for me,” was all-inclusive, encircling the marriage I’d left in New Orleans that, seemingly now, meant nothing to no one but me. How’s that for a learning experience? How is that for the natural world saying, “hey, I know it sucks that you had to learn this way, but here’s a little something for all the shit that you endure.” We never stop learning, y’all.

Here’s what I’ve learned in the last few days of my cleanse:

I know now that I don’t miss alcohol at all, though that was never a question. I do love my Jameson on the rocks and I like to be out and drink socially, but I’ve always been able to give or take drinking, and that has been all the more validated now. My hatred for cigarettes has been reignited…the smell, the taste, everything positively repulses me. I’m not going to judge you if you do it, but I know it’s not for me.

I now know how to deal with the sugar better, though it’s only been a few days and that’s a big one to bust; I’m looking forward to how I’ll feel about it once the whole cleanse is over. Pizza and processed foods are one of those things I can give or take as well. Eating clean isn’t hard because you really feel so much better inside and out, but it’s expensive and requires time for preparation and sometimes we just don’t have tons of that.

Coffee, though….I can’t even talk about it without getting teary. It’s part of my morning, my mid-morning and my afternoon, and if I’m being honest, sometimes my night. I love it and miss it and on days following sleepless nights it is necessary and I will abuse it only in the best way possible for as long as we both shall live.

Other things that I know now after listening to the new Mumford&Sons on loop for several days:

I know now that I want a man who will stand in front of me when things get hard and tell me what I need to do to fix it, and that his actions are going to mirror mine. I know now that I need a man that’s going to love me, “in such a way that I feel free.” Free but not ignored; free but not alone. He’s going to adore my independence and cherish the moments when I choose to lean on him. I know now that I will accept nothing less than a man that is going to love watching me shine, that is going to push me harder and love me bigger and be more thankful for such love in his life that he can barely comprehend how it happened. He’s going to be confused by me and love it; maybe he’ll look at me like I’m a puzzle…one that he can’t wait to put together; find adventure in pieces that he has yet to discover and feel joy when he’s found the fragment that’s been missing. He’s going to be there when I come undone about stupid shit like losing jewelry or hearing a certain song or seeing sappy videos on Facebook. He’s going to be frustrated with how much I love him sometimes because he won’t always understand why and I won’t always be able to tell him. Most of all…I know now that joy is going to be the front running emotion in any relationship I pursue, because anything else is less than what we deserve and I won’t have that.

I can’t wait. I can’t wait for this. But for now, I’m happy to wake up and choose the road to joy EVERYDAY.

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