My family always honored hard work and resilience. They’re all about gritting your teeth and baring the hard stuff.
I can do that relatively well (to a point). I can put up with anything, keeping my anger and exasperation in check. As I have worked on controlling my anxiety, even things like being late, which used to make me go crazy, are manageable now.
I think the trouble is that I can handle bad things, but not good things. Maybe that’s why I still feel empty when my life is so full. I’m lucky, and privelidged, and I should be happier about that.
Maybe it’s the good old Catholic guilt of yesteryear nagging me. The kind that told me to always keep my luck in the front of my mind, to always feel bad that someone out there had it worse than me. That’s why we licked our plates clean at dinner, right? Because of those starving kids out there who would love to have those beets?
I do that well, too. I’m great at downplaying my successes, at smiling quietly, at keeping things off Facebook.
Maybe I need to spend some time bein happy instead of instantly repressing it. I should take the simply joys and relish them instead of hiding them.
Or, should I? I always worry about making people feel jealous, or making them think I’m bragging. Nothing is worse, in my family, than a braggart.
I don’t know. When is it okay to feel happy? When is it okay to show happiness? When can guilt stop infiltrating joy?
I guess, always, if I let it.