Last Friday night was one of the most fun nights of my life.
I was a bridesmaid in one of my best friend from high school, Brit’s, wedding. I’ve been a bridesmaid seven times now, so my friends generally know that when they ask me at this point, I’ll roll my eyes and then give them a hug and say I’m excited. I then complain about the dress for awhile, moan about all of the activities I have to do that interfere with watching sports and then show up the day of the wedding wearing the “Super Bridesmaid” cape. Hey, when you’ve done something this many times, you get a routine, ok?
Brit’s wedding though, was truly special.
Yes, it was special for all of the obvious reasons: She was gorgeous, her entire family was present and she married one heck of a dude.
But for me, it was special for another reason: It took me back to my most carefree days.
I grew up around a solid rock of friends. Every Friday night, we would pile into cars, blaring music as we drove around the little American suburb our parents chose to raise us in. We’d sing and laugh, holler at boys and wave our hands out the windows. We were free and the world was ours.
Last Friday night, we all got together and did much of the same. We danced crazily. We sang. We laughed so hard we fell to the ground. Literally. Brit fell onto the ground during the best man’s speech, because she was laughing so hard.
For a few hours, all of the pains that have crossed into our lives since we left the safety net of our suburb were gone. The first heartaches. Layoffs. Planned pregnancies that were lost. Unplanned pregnancies that really threw things for a loop. Divorces. Disappointments when dreams didn’t pan out as planned.
They were gone. Happiness was our only objective, like it was when we were 16. And we sure met it.
It’s simple, but that’s what I want the most in 2013: Happiness.
And, so that’s what I’m going to do. In 2013, I’m going to chase happiness.
No, not in the ways that I’ve done in recent years. In recent years, happiness has been contingent upon a whole slew of things. Like my agent calling and saying the worldwide leader in sports wants to hire me. Or that boy I’ve been chasing for the last two years waking up and realizing I’m better than anything else he’s going to find.
I’ve chased those things hard, like a schoolgirl chases the cutest boy in the class across the playground. I’ve run and run and run and there has been some happiness. But, last Friday night, I realized that those things happening cannot be the only source of my happiness.
This year, I’m going to chase more memories with the things and people who have chosen to be in my life. I’m going to have more special dinners with friends, more serious talks with my mom, more sports afternoons with my dad. I’m going to take a deep look, in appreciation, at the things that are in my life now. And I’ll continue to hope that someday the wants of mine will find their way into it, too.
But most of all, in 2013, I’m going to be happy. Really, really, really obnoxiously happy.
Happy New Year to all of you. May you shine this year and do whatever it is that makes you happy.