I’ve always found it difficult to stand up tall and say “Hey! Hey world! I’m happy!” because to do so feels like daring the universe to immediately send me crashing to the ground.
I say this for two reasons.
1. You now know that publishing these proclamations of exhilaration was a triumph for me. For once, I felt strong enough to say that At This Moment I Am Happy, not “back then, things were good” or “I hope things will be great later”. I knew I was daring the universe to send me spiraling and crashing, but I did it anyway.
2. The universe did indeed send me spiraling and crashing, just as I’ve always feared. The surprise factor, though, was that the crashing was literal.
On Valentine’s Day morning, I had just poured boiling water over the coffee grounds in my French Press when I decided to run upstairs to get a band-aid for my foot. (Hah!)
On the way back down, band-aid in hand, my thick socks slipped on the seventh wooden step and thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump. With smooth slippery clothes on every part of my body and no handrail to grab to slow my descent, I recall flashes of dread and fear as my back, head, and elbow hit hard edges and I slid and crashed down onto the hallway tiles at the bottom of the stairs.
I lay still, aching, willing myself to be fine. I tried to move and then stopped. No. Not yet. Not yet. Everything felt paused.
The timer in the kitchen beeped, signaling the end of the coffee brewing time. I remember thinking: Need to push the French Press down. Need to stop the coffee brewing.
The next thing I remember is opening my eyes on the floor of the kitchen with everything spinning, a cacophony of nonsensical thoughts swirling in my mind, all underpinned by a sense of urgency. Science class in high school. Puppy. Trim the agapanthus. Mum and Dad. Need to be somewhere. Have to do something. Where am I? Room is different. Snow? Snow. Why is there snow? Why am I in Canada? This doesn’t look right. I have to be somewhere. I’m scared. I’m scared. This isn’t right.
I pulled myself into a standing position, and with a jolt knew again that I lived in Toronto and was due at my internship in an hour. Somehow, I walked to the couch in the living room and crawled amongst the cushions, listening to the steady tune ringing in my ears. Bells. Slowly, they faded. Hurting. Have to call Mum and Dad. Have to tell them I fell. That I’m okay. Get to the computer. I’m slared. No. Snared? No. Word. Scared.
As I tottered towards the laptop on the dining table, I caught a glimpse of the kitchen behind it and noticed that the freezer door was wide open, and postcards and fridge magnets were scattered all over the floor.
That’s not right, I thought to myself. What happened over there? Let’s look. Close the door. Close the frozen. Get the magnets – oops no! Don’t get the magnets! No bendybendy right now. Hurting.
Postcards and magnets can stay on the floor. Shinyshiny floor.
After all, they look so pretty there.
Let this be a lesson to you all: never run down shiny wooden stairs in thick socks after telling the universe that you are exceedingly happy with the way each day of your life is progressing. If you do, you might end up with a host of iridescent bruises, a back that looks like a three-clawed creature swiped at it, and a concussion serious enough that your physiotherapist housemate stares at you in disbelief when she finds out you went to work anyway (in my defense, I didn’t want to be alone and later got a taxi home as soon as I started shaking), and then orders you to Total Bedrest for the next few days.
However, never stop shouting from the rooftops that you are happy. Because you deserve to be, and the world deserves to know.
Imaginary heel click,