My lovely wife asked if she could read some of my post drafts earlier this week and, of course, I said yes. And so, I’ve been waiting over the last couple of days for any kind of feedback, wondering how she would take my feeble attempts at humor and meager exercises in pithiness. This morning the clouds parted, the sun shone through, and my wife says, “I read some of your posts yesterday . . .”
“. . . you don’t seem very happy.”
Wha . . uh, huh??
“Your humor’s lame.” That I could’ve handled.
“You’re not as deep as you think you are.” That would’ve been okay, too.
Even, “your writing sucks,” wouldn’t have been surprising.
But, “You don’t seem very happy.”? Not what I was expecting.
So I read them again for myself; trying to read them through her eyes. There’s not a lot, I’m not that prolific. But I read them all, and you know what?
What I thought were witty attempts at humor with just a touch of weary cynicism were at times biting; bordering on annoyance and anger more often than I wanted to admit. What was going on? What was I thinking? Why am I doing this? Is it to provide a living, breathing document of my struggles and hopefully, eventual reconciliation between my public-oriented job and my chosen faith—as I’d always envisioned it to be? Or is my subconscious simply trying to exorcise my inner resentment and cynical, jaded demons?
My original desire in writing was to point up the nerve-wracking, wearisome, often frustrating world that we—the ones who have chosen customer service as our bread and butter—live and sometimes even thrive in; interweaving my struggle to come to terms with, and even have a cohesive relationship, between my work and my faith. But, reading through my as-yet-unposted drafts, you might start to believe that I truly do think the worst of people. That my opinion would be that if given the choice of right and wrong, good and evil, noble and self-serving, we as a species would bend to the self-serving, evil and “wrong”. Because, in my opinion and as some people would say, “it’s the way we’re wired.” Or, as I like to say, it’s our default. And thinking of people in this way is apparently MY default.
Ugh. What a wonderful way to go through life. Especially when you don’t know it. Yet when it’s pointed out to you it’s so blatantly obvious you can’t help but go, “oh, crap. Yeah.”
So . . . “You don’t seem very happy.”
No, I don’t.
And I’m glad she’s pointed this out. I’m glad that, what I thought were passable attempts at witticism—attempts to make other people happy—only pointed up the lack of joy and happiness in my own life . . . pointed up by the one closest to me. And I guess she should know.
And that makes me happy.