my body aches and the aches burn and the burning stings and the stinging stabs and the stabbing tingles and the tingling feels like needles and the needles feel like knives and the knives feel like fucking goddamn knives what the actual fuck….
Things happen in seconds. We react to them in minutes. We talk about them for hours. They mess up our days. We tell people for weeks. We think about them for months. They have consequences for years and they change a lifetime.
Look back, glance over your shoulder. Every so often, peek. Sneak a glimpse. You’ll miss it otherwise. How far you’ve come, the distances you have gone. Sometimes the journey is forgotten in pursuit of its destination, especially when we do not yet know where we are meant to be going. It is okay to remember.
Happiness feels like jumping into the lake on a hot day, a sore stomach from laughing hard, the warmth of the indoors after being out in the cold, confidence when you’re wearing new clothes, a hot shower to wash a bad day away, your favorite team winning. Happiness looks like tiny lights or city lights or Christmas lights on a dark night, colors blending in the sky during a summer sunset, the powerful ocean waves that make you feel so small, a dark summer night completely scattered with stars, the first snowfall where everything is peaceful and still, watching other people lost in conversation or a good book. Happiness sounds like your favorite music that you like to sing at the top of your lungs, laughter, midnight frogs, a bustling city full of people going nowhere, birds singing, rain falling, the purr of a content kitty. Happiness doesn’t have to come from other people. You can find it anywhere if you’re willing to look for it.
Describe to me what you see in yourself,” he said one day. “Well,“ she started, “I see blue eyes that could be brighter, blonde hair that could be sleeker, a smile that could be straighter, skin that could be smoother, arms that could be stronger, fingers that could be thinner, legs that could be longer…” He stopped her mid-sentence. “You want to know what I see? I see ocean-blue eyes that gleam with happiness, blonde hair with hints of honey, a smile that brightens cloudy days, skin that is soft to the touch, arms that are strong enough to comfort many, fingers that fit perfectly with mine, and legs that are the perfect length so that your head rests on my chest when I hug you.” She started to blush but he continued, “If you could see yourself through my eyes, maybe you’d realize how beautiful you truly are.
You are a closed book, placed inside a giant library; people look at you in awe, contemplating about the secrets you might hold within you, yet they are never able to open you, for often you are beyond their reach and even if they somehow get their hands on you, they simply do not know how to open you, because you are not like the other books.
i read an article yesterday by lena dunham that talks about coziness & chronic illness. She says “coziness has very little to do with your cashmere and your candle and everything to do with the sense of community that we derive from the shared pursuit of staying safe” and “if we know how to create cozy using what’s inside us, we can search for it on the outside no matter where we are, and each day stack the odds in our favor for happiness and, on some days, survival.” living in a body that hurts all the time isn’t exactly what most would call cozy – and yet we can still find coziness all around us, maybe just defined a bit more loosely.
For instance: a needle can feel cozy when it’s placed by the right doctor. my headache is, in a terrible sense, cozy because it’s presence means i’m upright and continuing on with my life. I used to hate compression socks but now I find them cozy. I find the medium sized pharmacy I carry with me everywhere I go cozy because it makes me feel safe & prepared. Being honest and vulnerable about how i’m feeling is cozy because it fosters connection. Joking with my favorite nurse about how shitty my veins are is cozy.
It’s interesting how chronic illness has changed my perception of so many things. life is funny – the more uncomfortable my body has become, the more things I find to be cozy.