My mom called me from the car one afternoon. She does that when she has a long drive ahead, going or coming from a work trip. It’s always a good time for us to catch up because we have each other’s full attention. I do it, too. Like mother like daughter.
“I’m focusing on happiness right now,” I told her.
She asked about a copywriting job opportunity I was in the running for a couple weeks ago. Things were looking good, but. I turned it down. Easily and happily.
I love writing and the electric environment of an ad agency…but the office life isn’t the life for me right now. These days. I’m working on happiness right now. I’m taking it seriously and I’m treating it like a full time job. So I said no thanks.
The happiness thing felt truly impossible in Florida. I was suffocating and I didn’t know it until October, when I had it in my rearview. When I was literally crossing state lines, running away from Florida and the dark cloud that hovered over just about everything in my life at the time. I didn’t see doctors and I was never diagnosed, but if I had to guess, I’d say I was wading in the depression waters. I was lonely and alone, in the most painful sense of the words.
Definitely not here.
“Your happiness is what’s most important. As long as you’re happy.” Her reply was quick but completely genuine.
My mom gets what I’m going through and went through, and she respects it. She knows it’s a process. Because she was there with me on the phone when I couldn’t breathe between sobs. When my relationship fell apart, my heart following close behind. She’d answer when I would call in pain and wait patiently when I wouldn’t call at all. There’s not much to say to someone suffering, I learned, because the sufferer has a hard time hearing it and believing it.
Definitely not now.
So I turned down that job because the reason for my happiness and the smile behind all these words is the community I’ve found and fostered working in a people-facing job at Rapha. It’s been a blessing beyond my comprehension, I know that for sure.
Right now, I know I can’t sit behind a desk full time.
Right now, I know I need a circle—the one you call on the weekends and late at night planning and scheming ride routes and coffee stops along the way.
Right now, reclaiming happiness is the best, most rewarding unpaid job I’ve ever had and it’s priority number one.
I was reminded of all this on a recent ride along some of Boulder’s most beautiful singletrack. A good friend and I headed out early in the morning while the sun was still waking up. As usual, I was a bit hesitant on my skinny, slippery 25mm tires; my bike is made for ripping on the road. But I make exceptions for exceptional rides. This was one of them.
Boulder Valley Ranch Open Space combines beautiful views with some of the best gravel a 25mm tire has ever met. And when the sun shines, I feel…giddy. That’s the best word for it. Like a kid bombing down a hill with no intention of touching the brakes.
Right here, in this exact moment, I shouted down to my friend, Laura, “I can’t believe we live here!!”
I think I think that every day out here. And you’ll need to come visit to have your soul totally rocked by these mountains—to use yourself as scale to feel how giant they are in person.
This is happiness. All of this.
Right now this is what I need and, you can tell me I’m straight up bonkers, but it’s what my soul needs, too. We dodged the mud puddles and talked about boys. We descended through the windy dirt paths and swapped life stories. We dreamed up our dream jobs between big gusts of wind that almost knocked us off our saddles.
I’m happy here. And being happy means I can make time and space for others—a little big something I realized I’d never done in Florida.
We ended with coffee and more conversation and plans to do the whole damn thing over again very soon.
Now, how do I get paid to ride a bike in the mountains all day…?
Push on, PUSH ANIMALS >>>