we live in a culture that celebrates self-denial as strength. the less pleasure you permit yourself, the more impressive the strength of your character, the worthier you are of temporary accolades and quite possibly eternal salvation. i buy into this to some degree, certainly; i try to keep certain indulgences to a minimum, as excess consumption and spending, for example, inevitably end in the fattening of things one doesn’t want fattened and the withering away of things one prefers to keep robust, respectively.
but while i do my best to pray faithfully at the altar of calorie watching, physical activity, and a practice that can be most eloquently referred to as ‘not buying shit’, i can’t help but regard myself as something of a hypocrite. lurking beneath the façade of at least minimal self-control is something more carnal, more honest. in truth, my friends, i revile the values of this pleasure-starved (part of the) world. in truth, i have a strongly-held belief in the dogged pursuit of spelled-with-an-i happiness, even if one must pay for it with an extra workout, a skinnier bank account until next paycheck, the judgment of peers, being passed over for a promotion. i don’t know why i’m on this planet (aside from the direct biological facts), but i do my best to make sense of it through a mix of making things better for other people and not making things worse for myself. i value my health. i value my ethics. i value my sense of well-being. when i create my family, i will value that above all. this is a major consideration in finding a partner. oddly enough, fighting for your right to be happy is something radical.
a list of some of my loves, because life is too short to only have one:
- wine (carménère has played a key role in the writing of this post)
- dark chocolate
- good food
- good conversation
- going out and sharing any or at best all of the above with a friend. i’ve never denied being easily entertained, and this simple experience is more likely to bring me joy and contentment on a deep level than any elaborately planned outing/party/date/etc.
- songs that transport me
- smells that comfort me
- having someone to sleep next to
- having my hair played with
- hearing people speak languages other than english
- seeing happy families or couples
- feeling live music
- dancing with someone
- singing with someone
- empty beaches
- the mountains of puerto rico
- trains and subways
- comfortable silences
- being known
- getting text messages/e-mails/phone calls
- my little brother
- validation from otherwise antisocial children (or adults, i suppose)
- writing letters
- books that are worlds you don’t want to leave
- giving gifts
- pictures that capture the feelings behind the moment
- my dog’s manipulative cuddling
- having my silliness indulged
- you, of course
i will stop myself there. what do you love?