Yesterday, I went to the coffee shop, as I always do on Sundays, with my book. It was raining outside and the air was flat grey, no shadows or light being thrown. I never mind days like this, especially on Sundays, because there's something languid about them and that suits my mood. The window I sat facing was smeared with rain, not in drops but like a wash and it softened everything and I found myself gazing out dreamily more than reading my book.
I'm happy right now and not in any dramatic way, just content from deep down inside and I can feel it in my tummy and in my chest. And this is new for me and the feeling of it makes me happy too. But the atmosphere around me yesterday was the kind that makes me reflective melancholy and I started thinking sad thoughts.
I thought about people in my past, especially old romances, and felt loss over the distance that has grown between us. It's not just because I've moved so far away. I feel it poignantly when I'm in the same room as them or when I see them on Facebook but we never talk. And I remember when we used to say so much and touch each others arms as we talked and I carry a lot of grief over that.
And I feel bad because I too easily think I'm the only one who feels this. For me, there's always so much in each person but other people seem to move on and let go. I don't. Instead, I dwell on moments when I wasn't honest with them and tried to play it cool. When I didn't tell them how much it all meant to me. And this all seems in stark contrast to my post about arcs and endings a few weeks ago, but the truth is I feel both ways at the same time.
Especially when I was younger I used to fake lightness about all kinds of deep feelings. The truth was many moments had important weight for me but I was ashamed of my feelings for their cheesiness and messiness and playing it cool seemed the better way to be. And yesterday I started to feel misty thinking about all of this and I wondered how things might have panned out if I was just myself in those moments.
Then I thought about how happiness has always seemed boring and one-dimensional to me, like Milton's heaven. But I'm starting to understand that deep happiness can be as complex and interesting as angst. I can be sad and pensive at the same time I'm happy too. And when I left the coffee shop I could feel both the sadness in my eyes and the happiness in my chest and the one intensified the other so I was almost high on feeling so deeply.
And, for perhaps the first time, I stopped wishing that I was the kind who could play it cool. Because there was so much more to dig about feeling all of this at once.
Image by Cig Harvey