On paper, last week was not a good week. At least, not when compared to the week before.
The week before was full of potential. The romantic situation was convoluted-but-promising and I had an amazing job interview. An interview where I saw a future for myself, with a company I admired and was excited at the prospect of joining. Just like that, out of nowhere, in the space of a few days, life appeared to be in an upswing.
Then last week happened. The email from BT happened. Then I got a call from the company, telling me how much they loved me, what a great impression I made... but how they decided they need someone with more relevant industry experience after all. Just like that, everything seemed to go to shit.
In the past, I would have let the disappointments really get to me. Granted, I did spend a little time moping, but I decided to shift my perspective. The fact that my love and work life took these unexpected turns taught me to expect unpredictability and weather the (positive and negative) surprises with as much grace as possible.
A few weeks ago, I saw The Last Kiss, a movie in which Zack Braff has a fabulous career, a gorgeous girlfriend pregnant with his child, and a group of awesome friends, but because he is about to turn 30 and thinks his life has no more surprises in store for him, he has a big ol' existential crisis and acts like a dumbass for 90 cinematic minutes. For the most part, I enjoyed the film (I'm partial to the angst of my peers). I found it comforting that a character that had a great life mapped out for him would envy the thing that my life is currently rife with: unpredictability. It made me realize how much freedom I have, and how open I am to the unexpected. I am not tied to my job, I have no kids or other family to support, and my lease expires this summer. I have some responsibilities, but in many ways, I am a free agent. That's pretty great.
If I learned anything from the movie, it's that people will always find reasons to have a crisis, reasons to be dissatisfied with what they've been dealt. I'm trying not to do that. Yes, I do feel anxious at the lack of stability in my life, but I also know I'm taking active measures to improve my situation, while remembering that the "right" job or man will not make me happy. All I can do is find that happiness in ways that are within my reach. I'm learning to focus less on having a perfect life and more on enjoying perfect moments.
A short list of perfect moments this weekend: seeing the magnolia trees in bloom in the park, eating sushi while watching DVDs on my couch, having a drunk bartender shamelessly flirt with me (no, not Ben or BT), laughing with Polly, and most of all this:
5:00am Saturday, smoking outside, tipsy, not realizing the drop in temperature until back inside.
"Why are your fingers cold?"
"Because I was outside smoking."
"How many did you have?"
"Three. In a row."
Suddenly, my cold hands were enveloped in warm ones, the chill rubbed out of them, the fingers kissed.
I looked up and smiled.