A new kind of joy

Check out this gem I found in my writing folder!  It was meant to come sometime after The little girl with the sparkle in her eye.  Enjoy!

 

a new kind of joy

 

I don’t remember exactly what the instructor said on the phone.  I believe it was something related to teaching because I found myself filled with such resentment for the way teaching, as a profession, is viewed that I hung up the phone and began to cry.  I’m too young to be this cynical, I thought.  I deeply missed the person I used to be, the one with the sparkle in her eye, who believed anything was possible.

 

I would imagine that for all of us there comes a day when the rose colored glasses of innocence through which we look at the world–the ones that gradually get scratched and chipped–are ultimately shattered.  For me, it happened in a few fell swoops over the course of the last ten years.

 

Disappointment, heartbreak, and devastating loss in more forms than I would have thought possible in such a short amount of time.

 

There have been a series of moments over the years, maybe you’ve had some too–the ones where it becomes painfully clear that you’ve grown up to find that the world is not at all as you thought it would be.  As you think it should be.

 

Acknowledging this is how I first began to bridge the gap between what I thought life should be and life as it is.  But ultimately it takes being willing to let go of what we thought life would or should be in order to claim the one genuine life we each have right in front of us.

 

I’ve come to believe once again in the possibilities for my future, but in a new way.  I can’t simply hit the rewind button and get that little girl back.  I’m not that little girl anymore and never again can I have the joy she experienced in her innocence.

 

But perhaps my change in experience and perception unlocks a new kind of joy.  A truer joy.  Not the joy of innocence, but a joy that comes from knowing suffering and having the courage to somehow find peace and beauty within it.  A joy that comes, not from believing nothing bad will ever happen but from knowing that tough stuff does happen, and trusting that you will be okay anyway.

 

Now THAT is the kind of joy I choose to claim every single day.  And each day, it feels better and brighter.

 

What about you?  What kind of joy feels most true to you right now?

 

With the joy of a thousand puppies!

Caitlin

 

 

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