I was looking for a note in my phone when I found this note from January 9, 2020, 7:15 PM (ET):
Leaving a coffee date with a friend during rush hour and watching the traffic.
“I’m never going to be able to turn left here.”
“Can’t you turn right and do some back road loopdie loop?”
“You know, I actually can.”
That’s how I found myself on a narrow back road in Western Pennsylvania tonight, a road I hadn’t been on since I was a teenager.
The same road I was driving on when I had the first “Happiness is” moment in 2011.
As I drove around that exact curve, radio up likely as loud as it had been when I was 17, I had this moment of immeasurable gratitude and genuine peace.
I am coming home to myself and loving joy all the same.
January 2020 was a lifetime ago. At the time of that digital note, I would have never dreamed I’d be working, living, or loving in any of the ways that I now am. I also could never have imagined the collective trauma and pain the world would experience at the hands of the coronavirus pandemic.
And still I am here. Being awestruck by a new musical album. Delighting in a $1 paperback at the used book store. Reveling in the habitual changing of seasons.
I have no idea what will come tomorrow, next month, a year and a half from now. But I hope I am brave enough to show up for it and to lean in with immeasurable gratitude. To find genuine peace in every circumstance. To come home to myself. To come home to joy.