I had an unbelievable experience on Saturday night that I have to write down so that I don’t forget it. I went to this event with my best friend. It was called Sea Compression, and the theme was “Let Them Eat Cake!” It being October, it was a full costume party at this amazing Seattle location, and we fully dressed up in the spirit of the event.
Now, it’s important to note that my best friend and I go out quite often, and inevitably, something goes wonky during the outing. Sometimes the wonky thing is a huge deal breaker and ends the night before it begins, and sometimes it’s just a small irritation, but never do we get a smooth, easy, drama free night. Until Saturday night, that is.
I arrived at my best friend’s house where he was ironing the last bits of his costume. With me in my black corset, black leggings, over the knee leather boots, full bustle floor length skirt in the back, and my cute tri-corner mini hat with its cheeky hot pink feather securely pinned amidst my mile high hair in true Marie Antoinette fashion, and my bestie in his leather pants, white vest, blood red collared shirt, and black velvet calf length livery coat, we were quite the pair. Another friend joined us, and perfectly clad in her leather corset, and donning one of my venetian metal masks, off we went to this mysterious event.
We arrived and found a perfect parking spot one block away. My bestie chose to leave his phone at home, so we were not interrupted while out having fun. We met nothing but wonderfully nice and friendly people, and as we were there quite early, we didn’t even have to stand in line to get inside.
My best friend is one of the most amazing people I know, but he’s also very introverted most of the time. Rarely liking to be touched by those he likes, and almost never wanting to be touched by strangers, his wit and sass often make him the most sought out company in any arena, whether he likes it or not. And being an introvert myself, there were A LOT of people at this thing and it was slightly overwhelming. At one point, my bestie said, “I’m feeling really exposed, I wish I’d thought to wear a mask.” To which I said, “Well, why don’t you wear the one our friend here is wearing,” and she agreed wholeheartedly and gave him the mask. And when he tied it on, something magical happened. And that thing…..is joy.
Donning that mask awakened the joy inside him somehow, and even here, two days and many hours of processing later, I am still not sure what was the trigger. But the minute the mask was on, he became a different person. He was open, and happy, and friendly, and dare I say extroverted in the most beautiful way possible. I’ve known him for so many years, and never in all that time had I ever seen him full of so much joy.
And that joy was beaming out of him like a lighthouse, calling all of the other joyful people home, as his magnetism and happiness attracted many people to come say hello, share a dance, or simply introduce themselves as they complimented our costumes. He was the belle of the ball, so to speak, and it’s a mind blowing experience I will never forget. And from the moment we left his apartment to the moment we returned, the evening went smoothly without one hitch, and each moment was linked together by one thing: his joy.
As someone who is in constant search of happiness, not knowing where to find it on a consistent basis, and often only finding it in false idols and half truths, to watch someone have their joy fully awakened and embraced got me thinking: what will awaken my joy?
Which actually led to the deeper question of, is there joy hidden somewhere inside me at all? Do I have joy to be awakened?
And the reason I ask this is because after the event, in reliving the details, my bestie said, “I used to be this joyful all of the time. I don’t know when I lost it!” And I had to admit to him, as we keep no secrets from each other, “I don’t think I’ve ever had it.”
Joy and happiness are not things that come easily to me, and not emotions I remember having either as a child or as an adult. Ask my friends to describe me, and I guarantee you, out of all the wonderful adjectives they choose, happy would not be one of them. Loyal, funny, sassy, sure, but not happy.
I don’t remember being a happy child, I remember being a disciplined, serious child. Not a child at all, really, I was always just kind of a little adult. Always making the responsible choice, always focused on the future, so much so that I never fully enjoyed the present. A good example of this is high school. I was so focused on getting good grades and excelling so that I could get into a good college and out of that podunct town I grew up in that I didn’t take the time to really enjoy myself and build and develop lasting friendships.
And since then, not a lot of joy has come my way, and I’m wondering if it’s because when it did arrive, I had no idea of how to be grateful for it and enjoy it, but instead would just worry when it was going to leave. How have I survived living like this all these years? And how the hell did I never realize this before? I think the answer is, until Saturday night, I had never seen joy in it’s purest form. And now that I have, I want to feel it for myself.
In all this processing I’ve done over the past two days, I am so happy to say it has brought me to a new breadcrumb, in that I need to learn to live in the NOW! Enjoy and be grateful for the things I have NOW! I must stop rehashing the past in my brain and trying to make sense of all the things that didn’t work that I can’t change even if I want to change them, so as Elsa says, I need to let them go. I must also stop worrying so much about the future and what is possibly lurking around the next corner. And I must start living in this moment. In every moment. I think enough moments have been wasted. It’s time to awaken my joy, which I now know, has to be inside me somewhere.
Breadcrumb very emotionally found.
Ciao for now,