It’s always far easier to dwell on the negative, to complain about what we don’t have and not look around to appreciate the things that we already have. We get so focused on ourselves and often times not pay attention to the people around us. We live in a time where narcissism is at an all-time high. Where “likes” on your Facebook or Instagram accounts quantifies your validation on this earth. Rather than staying true to the course of treating your neighbor as you, yourself, would want to be treated, I couldn’t help but wonder why it’s so hard to get happy?
Last week, I found myself starting off the week with actually being in a state of happiness. The many reasons being was that the week was filled with nothing but exciting social things for me to look forward to. I was going to be spending time with friends, going away for the weekend and ending it with hanging out with Mr. D. I knew exactly all that I needed to be grateful for.
It all started off with seeing a girlfriend of mine for some wine in Chelsea at the wine bar, Bar Veloce. We ordered a bottle and immediately began updating each other on our jobs and of course the status of our relationships. While she was in a more committed, official and understood relationship; what I had to bring to the table was a little bit more complicated. She had actually met Mr. D. last year briefly but a lot has changed since then for everyone. It was so good to see my friend whom I hadn’t seen in over a year, even though she lives in Brooklyn, be so happy with her life and the current state that it’s in. After we said goodbye, I got a cab for her and I took the subway home and knew that this week was going to be an amazing one.
The next day, I was at work and in a meeting when I got an instant message from Mr. D. saying that he forget his client was coming in the office today and that he wasn’t properly dressed for it. He asked me if I had time during lunch to quickly help him pick out some clothes. Seeing how he doesn’t like to spend a lot of money on his attire, I figured the best place to take him would be Banana Republic. So, we quickly rushed over to the store and I began picking out a dress shirt and pair of slacks for him. Once we picked a few options, he went in the dressing room to try the clothes on and I waited outside. It was at that moment that I looked in the mirror and was smiling. At first I didn’t know why I was smiling but I discovered that it was because I was happy that Mr. D. not only asked for my help with the clothes but really valued my opinion. He came out and asked what I thought and he liked the clothes that I had picked out for him. We went to the register to pay for the clothes and when the bill came up, he looked at me and said he’s never paid that much for clothes. I thought it wasn’t that expensive but he is a man of simple taste and afterwards he thanked me a few times for helping him out.
After work that day, I met up with Feathers, his husband and a girlfriend of mine for a quick dinner before heading to Broadway. As a gift to Feathers for his 50th birthday a few weeks ago, I got him tickets with the help of another friend, to see the show, Aladdin. It was rather fun for us to see a show that reminded us of our childhood and after the show we all parted ways.
On Thursday, work was super stressful and I was craving a drink. One of my friends just happened to contact me during the day and asked if we could do happy hour. I instantly accepted and we went to our usual spot, Rise Bar. While at the bar, we were having our drinks when I got a random text message from Mr. D. He asked me where I lived. I wasn’t sure why he was asking but I’ve told him a million times my cross streets. He was being vague and said, “Well, your apartment must be nice for I still haven’t seen it.” I casually joked with him and told him that he’s more than welcome to come by anytime. He said, “Awww…that’s very sweet of you.” I’m not sure when that time will come when he will be over at my apartment but I’m thinking that it’s in the very near future. After a few drinks with my friend, we hugged goodbye and I knew that things were really starting to fall into place and I couldn’t be happier.
Next morning, I woke up and it was a snowy wintery mix and it made me nervous because a lot of my friends would be traveling that afternoon and I wanted everyone to be safe. Thankfully by noon, the weather had cleared up and we were on our way to the weekend.
The weekend was going to consist of about 20 of us going to small town in Pennsylvania called, New Hope. We had rented out lodges and the reason for this trip was to celebrate our friends 40th birthday. I had taken a bus with a friend of mine and we tried to sleep for most of the way there since we knew that it was going to be a crazy first night there. True to form, my friend and I were the last to arrive and the party was already started. We checked into our room, changed and went to the lodge’s bar properly named, The Cub Room. The birthday boy was so delighted to see most of his friends all come together for the weekend. We ended up staying up super late and I knew that the next day we all were going to wake up feeling rather hungover.
On Saturday, despite us all being hungover, we managed to pull it together and went to brunch. After brunch, I volunteered to watch my friend’s two and a half year old son while the others walked around town and did antique shopping. It was actually rather easy to watch the kid and take our time while the others were shopping. Finally toward the end of the afternoon, we all got together and had a few drinks before needing to head back to the hotel in order to get ready and go back into town for the birthday dinner. The dinner was amazing and we were there for a couple of hours. It was non-stop drinking and eating and then we all retreated back to our rooms, changed clothes again and went across the street to the dance club, The Raven, where we danced and I was so exhausted that I retreated back to the room and was passed out by 2:30 a.m.
The next morning, we all checked-out of our rooms, had brunch and during brunch it was decided that since I wasn’t drinking and the least hungover that I would drive my friends car back to the city/Brooklyn where she lives. Before we started the drive back, I confirmed with Mr. D. that our plans were still on for that evening when I got back to the city. The plan was to figure out something cheap and relaxing to do since he knew I was going to be coming back in a pretty bad state from all the weekend festivities. The drive back took a little over two hours and most of my friends slept the entire way. So, it actually was rather nice to just have me, the road, my friends silently sleeping and my thoughts.
When I arrived in Brooklyn, I dropped myself off at Mr. D.’s apartment building with my luggage from the weekend and I rang his buzzer. He let me in and I dropped my stuff off and we decided to get some beverages and walk around the area. He took me to one of his local coffee shops where I got a hot chocolate and he got a coffee. Like most of our adventures together, he paid and I just found that very kind of him. We talked about our weekends, work and what the week ahead looked like for us. He showed me this antique store and as we were walking, I realized that one of my friends actually owns a bakery in his neighborhood. So, we found the address and walked over to the, Sweethaus bakery. I was showing him the bakery and all the delicious goodies when I saw the owner’s husband whom I’ve known for many years was working. I introduced Mr. D. and the husband hooked us up with some more coffee and treats and I just let them do all the talking while I watched with happiness, Mr. D. interacting with a friend of mine. After we left the bakery, we started to walk back to his apartment because I was exhausted and needed to go home and get rest. We confirmed our plans for this Friday and once again, he was kind enough to walk me all the way back to the subway station. We hugged goodbye and I thanked him for the walk and the hot chocolate and in return he thanked me for introducing me to one of my friends.
Being happy, staying happy and getting happy are not as easy as one would think. It requires patience, surrounding yourself with the right people to enrich your life and making sure that what you do in this life that you not only appreciate all that you have now but that you will be able to recognize that happiness when it finally comes your way. So, what are you waiting for? Come on and get happy!
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