“Do you like your life?” you asked me, almost eager for my response.
The answer should have been, “Yes. I like my life. I’m here. I’m breathing. I have a good family who loves me. I have friends who care about me. And you’re here. With me. Yes. I love my life.”
Instead it was, “I don’t know sometimes.”
You looked at me and said “What do you mean?”
And I had to think, because honestly, I didn’t know what it meant. But I knew that what I said, however ignorant, was how I felt. Somewhere, pent up inside me, was this feeling that things were bleak and bad. But I choked an out explanation in the clearest haze of words I could create.
“Sometimes the days are just heavy, you know? Sometimes I come home at night feeling so damn heavy. Like when the sun goes down it’s pulling me down with it. Always pulling at me, tugging me down. But it never lets me collapse. It pulls just hard enough to let me be here, feeling its weight. Do you ever have that feeling? Like someone threw weights on your shoulders? Like something is pressing down on your back, pushing you into the ground like dirt on a boot heel? Do you ever feel so heavy that you think your body might just give out? Just give up and crumble? Because I do. And those are the times when I don’t know what happiness means. Those are the times when I don’t know if I like my life.”
I wasn’t sure if anything I said made sense, but I guess it didn’t matter, because it felt good to say. Disillusionment crept over my shoulders and took away some of that weight. It wasn’t gone, but it was slowly lifting away from my cluttered head.
And you just looked at me and smiled as if this was your plan all along. To get me to say something that would make things a little bit better. It worked.
Even if it shouldn’t, that question still lingers in my head. Do I like my life? There’s a lot to like, I guess. There’s a lot of bright, light things that are worth admiring. Most times I don’t admire them enough.
But it’s impossible to ignore what I carry on my back most days and most nights. It’s there, and it will be there for a while, I think. And that’s ok. Because it makes my legs strong and my back sturdy. Someday it won’t seem so heavy, and I won’t even need to think about it.
Until then, you’re here, smiling and plotting your next question. And for that I’m thankful. Because it’s only making things better.