I just want to report that there are days when I feel so glad to be alive.
Especially these days. This morning I woke up feeling vaguely optimistic that it would be a good day. No reason, no rhyme. Had the usual set lunch at the usual cafe, finished some work, made some drawings. Right now we’re stuck in the cafe because it’s raining cats and dogs out there. By all accounts this has been “just another day”.
Just another happy day.
It feels like my soul has finally eaten a good meal and she’s spread out on a grassy meadow, staring at the sky, just watching the clouds float by. The blue of the sky is the perfect tint of brilliant blue that goes with everything. The breeze is firm but gentle. The smile on her face feels like it belongs there.
Could it be the nourishing creativity that I’ve been exposing myself to? The hours of losing myself in drawing just for the sake of drawing? The long conversations with K, my art teacher, which meander down long and winding paths to nowhere, paths that I had always wanted to venture down but never did because I didn’t know how to? The flashing eyes of my Japanese teacher, Another K, who empathetically said that she agrees fully with the Japanese essays that I write (the content, not the grammar)?
Could it be the routine everyday that I had craved so badly last year when I was living out of a suitcase, skipping from hotel room to hotel room, wondering what I was doing with my life? The servers at the neighbourhood chicken rice place and the cafe we go to every week know our usual orders by now. Ukulele class on Wednesdays, yoga class on Thursdays, Japanese class on Fridays, art class on Sundays. Even Spot peeing on my house slippers isn’t so bad, since Leo cleans them up. Bless him, bless the cats, bless everything routine in my life.
Could it be that things make sense in this country again? Every day I open Malaysiakini with eagerness. So far it’s been two weeks since we’ve changed governments, and the novelty has not worn off. Every day something extraordinary happens, something completely inconceivable a month ago, as I shake my head with wonder. I agree with many of the policy decisions and stances that have been made (not all though). The simpering pink face of greed and cowardice is finally facing the music. His counterpart, the bloated and stiff face of horror as well. Our national debt is through the ceiling, but the very fact that I actually know this, gives me hope.
Could it be that I’m doing work that I like again? I’ve just accepted a part time lecturing position in a university, and I’m tweaking and redesigning the course that I’m going to teach. It’s a different ball game from a research project and is actually, dare I say it, fun. And every other day I get some random potential project. People ring me up and engage me in all sorts of small projects, sometimes it goes through and sometimes it does not. Lots of times it’s a promise of something that might happen, and I’m forever waiting. I’m still in the red, but I’m optimistic about staying afloat.
It’s just this feeling of being at peace, building stuff, laughing at small things, again. Some of that old naiveté is back. Believing that good things will happen. Having faith that even if bad things happen, there is enough strength to withstand them.
It’s been years since I’ve felt like that. The hitch hiker’s thumb. The mischievous smile. The surge of confidence in the “definitely, yes”.
I made all the drawings. Regular updates at @juneysketches.