I have stopped expecting the out of doors to be inhabitable in Austin from mid-June to mid-October, and so I am not disappointed, nor do I complain about the heat in summer anymore. It is reverse Arctic winter.
I had done the same with my relationships (an area of actual arctic winter), not expecting to get much, to give much, to discover or share much in them. Then I recently read this at the tail end of the book The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner “… now I realize that Karma (a Bhutanese scholar and cancer survivor) meant exactly what he said. Our happiness is completely and utterly intertwined with our people: family and friends and neighbors and the woman you hardly notice who cleans your office. Happiness is not a noun or a verb. It’s a conjunction. Connective tissue.”
Reading this I realized that this was something I always wished was true, but had been told wasn’t. “Happiness is up to you,” “happiness is within you,” “be happy with yourself first,” and so many other pop-psychology directives of the late 20th century rattle around in my head. I even foolishly took a six year sabbatical from relationships until I got in “a better place.” The thing is, I never really did, because you don’t learn about love by being alone. Good, bad, or 50/50, relationships are how we learn, grow, and love. They are like air, water, and food. They are necessary for life.
I feel like such a dumbass for missing that in the welcome brochure that is every natural instinct in my heart that I continually ignore. I wonder what else I wish was true, actually is true.
Thawing out, in Austin. Susannah Raulino