Tuesday, July 27, 2010

July Resolutions Checkup

I’m feeling a little lost today, but it’s time to see how The Happiness Project is going.

1.Music, Music, Music, Music, Music, Music!

Done, done, done! I bought concert tickets, learned to use the new computer’s music stuff, made a million mixes, went dancing, and helped throw a great dance party. And a band played at my house. Successful resolution.

I don’t want this part of myself to get forgotten. Don’t want to forget to go dancing for another bunch of years.

2. Recognize, accept, and believe love.

This resolution will take a lifetime.

I’ve seen and felt some overwhelming expressions of love this month and I have a lot of emotions swirling around right now. It’s hard not to go back to being guarded because right now I feel like the Massive Undersea Oil Spill of Love. It’s spewing out everywhere and I can’t always direct it—that’s scary. I wouldn’t say that my love is suffocating pelicans or destroying ecosystems…it isn’t toxic but it does feel huge and dangerous.

I know how to recognize love but I don’t know how to trust it to stick around. Guess that’s an upcoming resolution.

3. Practice writing about race.

The more I explore what happened over the last few years, the more I see my self-racism as a new expression of an old problem: I’ve always had this suspicion that I am not supposed to be here, that there’s no real place for me on this planet, that I should feel guilty for being here at all. There are a lot of other things to say about my AmeriCorps experiences, but I can see that it was in some ways an expression of my innate sense of unwelcomeness and unworthiness. An attempt to become worthy by doing something good.

This month I have made steps toward believing I can have a point of view, but I have a long way to go.

4. Sit in cafes with stacks of books as often as possible.


5. Be less aloof from the divine and more open about my religious side.

Being less aloof from the divine doesn’t mean it is necessarily going to be less aloof towards me. I’ve asked for help maybe too much, opened “Love Letters from God” to a random page most days, taken walks in the Wissahickon, cared for the garden, connected with people at church.

But sometimes I still feel cut off, like the love is never coming back. My friend Courtney says I should take up peek-a-boo, develop a sense of object permanence. Sometimes the overarching emotion is just “Don’t leave me.” and all I can do is hope to make it back to faith.


  1. I really can't express enough how much of a good idea this blog is, Jane. I've been doing my own kind of "happiness project" recently and it really helps to read about yours. Maybe I'll start writing about mine too... I probably should have been all along!

  2. Thank you so much. Make sure I know where to find your blog!