I get into periods where I can't help but wonder if there isn't more. As in: Is this it? Is this all there is? I go into existential crisis mode: What the hell are we doing here? Do we just grow up, go to work, get old, and die?
I get into periods where I recognize and appreciate the ups and wouldn't trade them for the world, but I can't help but wonder if they really, truly are enough to justify the downs. Are we to always scramble to capture what joy we can, while we can? And will it always be this pattern? Up, down, and on and on and on and on until...
You get the idea. I suppose this has crossed everyone's mind at least once or twice.
Today I got two things that touched me deeply. The first was a postcard from my friend Lynn with this afternoon's mail:
The second came as a little brown box sitting outside my door when I got home this evening. It requires a brief bit of explanation.
A couple days ago when I was so sick, I thought of how nice it would be to have a chocolate chip cookie. At least in theory. I knew I could get one if I really wanted one, but I would never be able to consume it. But it sounded lovely to feel well enough to feel like eating a chocolate chip cookie. Rather randomly, I made my Facebook status update say, "Amie wonders if you have any cookies to share." This evening I got a little brown box of chocolate chip cookies in response to that wish from my dear friend, former fellow graduate student, and adopted older brother, Brian. He sent them from Philadelphia.
They are delicious, and they made me feel indescribably good.
And tonight I am wondering if I found the closest answer I'm ever going to get. I'll have other existential crises, and this particular one's not completely over, but I can't think of a better answer that I'll ever find. It's cliched and trite and sappy, but maybe the best we can do is grab onto those we love and who make us happy and, in one way or another, keep them close and weather out the bad spells until the good ones come around again.