Are you one of those people that when strangers ask you how life is you draw a complete blank, figuring that life has become so monotonous nothing is worth talking about? You stand there with the faintest bit of drool trickling out of the corner of your mouth and begin zoning in on squirrels playing over the question asker’s shoulder? It physically hurts to think about and articulate the happenings in your life. That physical pain and frustration turns to rage and you begin growling at the person; they run off and you’re left staring into a gaping void known as your life.
Or when a true friend asks you how life is, you scramble to find something to gripe about because you have no idea why? Instead of saying “LIFE IS GRAND!” (which it is) to the question of your well being, you respond with, “Eh, I’m ok. Yeah, just ok. I’m fairly certain the right side of my body is dying with more speed than the left and I’m not sure I ever want to get married or have babies- unless they help drive up the traffic of my blog. But that would make me a terrible human being, right? RIGHT?! TELL ME WHO I AM?!!!”
I realized that I am one of these people recently.
My theory on why is this: I’m one of the lucky ones. L….ife has…. treated me…. w…ell (I have difficulty typing that sentence out of fear I will now jinx myself). When I hit my twenties, I started to lose sight of who I was. I was in a constant state of bewilderment and frustration which led to ridiculous amounts of whining. As I slid into my late twenties, life got better, but I forgot how to say “LIFE IS GRAND!” when people asked me how I was. And though I’m much happier in my late twenties, I still have large goals and dreams that I have not accomplished, and in my jumbled thinking, LIFE IS NOT GRAND! until all goals and dreams are accomplished, so then I can focus on more GOALS AND DREAMS AND EVENTUALLY TAKE OVER THE WORLD!!!
It’s all poppycock.
LIFE IS GRAND! even when it isn’t. Even when you wake up with a dizzying sinus headache that causes you to brush your teeth with Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap. Or even when you get a nail in your tire on the freeway from all the construction going on around you. Or even when you don’t get that job you thought would change your life. Or even when you lose your job. Or even when you want to leave your job, but you’re too afraid to follow through with it. Or even when you fight with your significant other. Or even when your shitty significant other dumps you. Or even when you chip your front tooth and look like an adorable chipmunk. Or even when you make a movie, write a book or create a piece of music and not everyone likes it.
So when you find yourself bitching about nothing or drawing a complete blank when someone asks you how life is, respond with “LIFE IS GRAND!”
Or in the words of Gob Bluth, respond with “Incredible… I’m having an incredible year” (and then high-five them awkwardly).
Ditto and Bravo! You are awesome and I have loved watching your career skyrocket…………cj
i love your optimism !
This is so true! The best thing about being in my 30’s has been this sudden internalization of the fact that just being alive is awesome. In my 20’s it was all about achieving grand goals and then despairing if they weren’t adequately accomplished. Love this quote by Agatha Christie: “I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.”
I very much needed to read this post. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in all of the things I want to do and see that I forget what I have already accomplished. I’m 20 now, so I completely understand what you mean when you said you felt bewildered and frustrated and whined a lot when you were this age. I’m in that boat right now and have no reason to be. Sometimes everything just feels so overwhelming and vast. I’m just one person, living one life, but I am that one person living one GRAND life.
Live the life happening around you now. Be in the moment and do what makes you happy. If you are happy with you, good things will follow. You’re exactly right. Life IS grand! Thanks for sharing this. A little friendly reminder now and again is always appreciated. I get caught up in the little things so easily. After all, life really is a beautiful and grand thing. I need to remember that… always.
What about when the only person you ever loved left you.. and it happened over a decade ago so you’re ashamed you’re even upset about it. What if when you rise up and assert your courage to the world your very own mother chooses to believe you’re mentally ill, spreading belief to family members with steadfast determination. What if treating people kindly your entire life – because that’s how you’d want to be treated – rendered you a path of least resistance that got you trampled in the world; further dismantling your respect for self. Is life still beautiful then? The answer is no, it is not.
There must be impetus if there’s ever to be change. One suffering cannot simply say “life is grand” with any marked determination. There is a piece – in the way of peace. It’s that impetus I’m most interested in; I believe it rests isolated within the confines of even the saddest and loneliest.
(to be clear, i love this article)
@Lauren, well said, “do what makes you happy”, “If you are happy with you…”; it’s true good things follow, then life IS grand.