Thursday, June 18, 2009

my pursuit of happiness

So today I signed my first legally-binding rental agreement, handed over a wad of cash, interviewed for a babysitting job and had a fly breathe its last in my eye. And all of these events led to greater happiness? Yes, indeed they did.

My new apartment will be too small and it doesn't have laundry and maybe the neighbour's dog will drive me nuts, but the apartment will be mine. I can hang things on the wall and have dinner parties and crazy fights with my lovely roommate. All of these seem like luxuries after ten months of living virtually alone in a brand-new-still-for-sale house with only the landlord's mother for company. It has been a good place for me...but I am ready to leave the dream house behind for a real home.

I love living in a place where people want to know you, where more than surface level relationships are formed and where people you only know as customers at the store where you work, pass on your number to their friends who need a babysitter. I love arriving (on borrowed bicycle) at a home and having my knock met by a little face in the window and a child's British accent calling out "Hello Kim! Mum, Kim's here!"

And as for the fly, well it too has led to pleasant moments in my life. I encountered the unfortunate fellow while cycling back from the interview and on my way to find my roommate a job. Concerned after excessive blinking and rubbing did not dislodge him from my eye, I entered the first place I came to, an odd cafe run by an unfriendly couple and their adult son, none of whom seemed to love their job. I first asked for their washroom, though after I saw the look on the proprietor's face I felt obligated to become a customer. And I could smell the cinnamon buns from the moment I entered so it wasn't really a hard thing to do. Then he asked if I wanted something to drink and I felt obligated to order tea though water would have sufficed.

Only then did I remember I had no money allotted for frivolous and fattening spending...damn. But then the sullen couple brought me my food and drink and it all became worthwhile because I now had the simple pleasure of sitting in peace on the sidewalk with a crazy-good cinnamon bun and hot English tea.

And this is how I pursue happiness. I seek out moments and opportunities that bring me happiness. I make choices that afford me these chances. And sometimes I just fall into it all. I think this kind of pursuit benefits the soul and makes other forms of happiness seem a little less worth chasing.