I had a moment at the City Clerk’s building yesterday. You know, one of those moments where a complete stranger says something to you that makes you stop and think.
Lately life has been busy… life has been very busy.
Between going full-time/attempting to catch up on editing, getting a 3-month old puppy, and packing to move to a new apartment – James and I haven’t been getting much (or any) down time together. He worked PM shifts all week, which meant we were on opposite schedules. And when he was home (& awake) at the same time as me – we spent our time trying to train Chloe.
This constant go-go-go and not crossing each other’s paths much has resulted in James saying the following a lot, “What are you thinking when you look at me? You’re looking at me weird…”
To which I reply, “I’m thinking we should pack.” (or insert any of the following in… work, clean, take Chloe for a walk, set up our cable appointment, figure out what we’re doing with the other car, etc).
Sadly, I didn’t reply with something sweet. I didn’t say, “I’m thinking about how much I love you. I’m thinking of how blessed I am.” Instead, I replied with a to-do list. Ugh.
Those conversations came to the front of my mind after my visit to the City Clerk’s building yesterday…
I had stopped by to transfer our current parking sticker to our new residential zone. Towards the end of the transaction I handed my debit card to the woman behind the counter, at which point she said, “Oh my goodness – is that a beautiful ring! It looks new! Did you just get that?”
I replied, “Oh no! I’ve had that for over 3 years…”
Then she paused, looked me in the eye, and said, “Are you still happy?”
Are – you – still – happy
I can’t recall many people asking me that question throughout my life, and here I was – running errands, focused on my mile long to-do list, when a complete stranger asked me a question that made me stop in my tracks.
A vision of our current life flashed through my mind: working from home, chasing around a puppy, sleeping on opposite schedules, driving to Wisconsin to shoot session after session & spending time with family in every spare moment in between, packing to move to a new home – to start fresh with hopes and dreams of what our future holds dancing around in the back of our minds… I thought of it all. I thought of all the craziness, the running around… and the jam-packed schedules. And then I thought – there is nobody else I would rather be doing all of this with. Nobody else I want on my team. Nobody else I want to share my dreams with…
Because who else would act totally un-phased when I burst into the door to announce I’d put in my 3-weeks notice at my day job? (When I got upset that he wasn’t popping a bottle of champagne upon my arrival home, he said matter-of-factly, “I knew you were going to get there. I knew you were going to reach your dreams. Should I have acted surprised? I’m sorry.”) Who else would hoist me up when I’m not sure I can do it? Who else would tell me to snap out of it when I’m having a pity party for myself? Who else would tell me they’re proud of me day in and day out?
All of this ran through my mind in a split second as I stood on the opposite side of the counter at the City Clerk’s building.
Then, with absolute certainty, I looked up at the woman and said, “Yes – I’m still very happy…”
And I couldn’t help it – I smiled a big, huge, goofy smile. The kind of smile that comes from way deep down inside your chest that you try to stop, but can’t help from letting it burst onto your face.
She replied, “It sure looks like you are – that’s great.”
And as I walked out of the building, I kept thinking to myself – Yes, I’m still very happy.