[Sponsored by the optimism campaign for me, because right now I’m feeling like it.]
I am so lucky. Even though this has been the rough week to end all rough weeks, I am so lucky. And while I’m sure there will continue to be ups and downs – days I feel okay, nights I feel numb, moments in which the world seems to unceasingly crash down – right now I feel alright. Because I have been so lucky.
My favorite musician is in Dublin right now and, while I’m not there, according to social media he’s at this pub, Whelan’s. And I know it because I’ve been there, spent a night learning how to pour beer from the tap and listening to Gaelic trad. I am so lucky.
I may not be able to go to grad school in Galway, but I got in. They wanted me there. They wanted a lot of nonexistent money, too, but they wanted me there. And it’s not like I haven’t spent days in Galway, long enough to know that it’s my favorite city, because I have. And I’m so lucky.
I’ve been published. I get to manage a truly phenomenal literary journal until May, a journal whose previous issues were a deciding factor in my choosing my undergrad university. I get to do this with a fun and talented editor-in-chief, who I also count as one of my best friends.
I’ve ridden down the Amalfi Coast on a motorcycle for so long the insides of my legs tingled for days. I’ve learned how to order espresso completely in Italian. I’ve climbed two volcanoes. I’ve ridden ornery Italian horses and drank amazing Tuscan wine…at a vineyard…in Tuscany. I’ve had these experiences not alone, but with the kindest and most lovely friends. I am so lucky.
I’ve laid down on the edges of cliffs, stood in causeways made by giants, hiked mountain peaks, pushed through street markets, wandered in the gardens of Louis XVI and Monet. I’ve learned how to be alone, and how to travel alone, and how to stand on no one else’s feet but my own. I am so lucky.
I’ve run into old and new friends in the most unexpected and fantastic places – Rome, Dublin, Covent Gardens. I am so lucky.
I have friends who are there for me when my heart feels broken, and those who willingly [jokingly] offer their services as snipers. I have a family that has faith in me, in those I love, and compassion enough to tell me honestly when they don’t think my relationships are over. I have friends who are more blunt, and are there to make me function when I otherwise feel unable.
I’ve fallen in love not once, but twice. I have learned how to forgive all sorts of things. I know how to recognize my own cruelty, and where and why it’s coming from. I have an uncanny ability to predict that the girl who is trying too hard and being just a teensy bit manipulative is going to get her comeuppance [also that I will laugh gleefully, but that this will be cruel, and that I will then – perhaps – apologize].
I am able to trust and to love and to turn the bad bits into something resembling art. I may be coming into something called perspective, ie. the world may not be turning fast enough for me, but it is in fact still turning. I am not afraid to say I love you still. And I am so, so lucky.