I am calling this Santosha #2 even though I have made many mini-Santosha posts via Facebook this month, in keeping with my intention. I may not have made a huge impact on the world-wide web of complaining (that would take an army), but somehow I hope that my sporadic and semi-cheesy blurbs about dogs, vegetables, and car rides brightened someone’s day. If nothing else, this month has served as a reminder to myself to slow down, appreciate the little things, and find joy in what may be right in front of my eyes (especially at the farmer’s market).
As I reflect on August, I cannot help but think about the whole summer… this WHOLE FREAKING SUMMER. I wouldn’t say it’s been “the best summer ever!” as it began with biggest loss of my life thus far, but the word EPIC comes to mind. The roller coaster of emotions and experiences that I have absorbed and shed over the past three months is almost too much to comprehend. I made the difficult decision to say goodbye to my dear Zack, began grad school, left life as I know it for two months, and got my body and mind rocked like could have never imagined. I travelled to Frankfurt, Germany with some amazing new friends, met some more amazing new friends, as well as some good times and challenges that have molded me forever. July was so incredible, I didn’t think the summer could get any better!
Until last week, when I visited San Diego for my sister’s wedding and some much-needed family time. I can see why people visit the West coast and never come back… it IS that great. But not just because it’s sunny, dry, and 75 degrees ALL. THE. TIME. But because the energy, that “California vibe” is positively palpable. The entire week leading up to the wedding was awesome – full of parties, reunions, cocktails, good food, more cocktails, and only a minimal level of “frantics” (you know who you are). The weather, the environment, and the company were nearly perfect; one might say… the epitome of contentment. The culminating event was a little more over the top (but, so is my sister). A beautiful ceremony on a desert ranch, two beautiful brides, 100 of the funnest people (and best dancers) from all over the country, two flashmobs, two food trucks, and lots o’ wine equal a good time. I even gave a toast without breaking down crying or relentlessly stuttering! Most of all, the entire week reminded me how far my sister and I have come. We had a somewhat complicated childhood relationship, likely taking the title of “Rivalry of ALL Sibling Rivalries”. To be a big part of such an amazing event in her and Caryn’s life (as well as for our family, as well as for the worldwide LGBTQ community), with ZERO jealously or competitive spirit, well, THAT felt pretty big. The only thing that won that day was LOVE; if that’s not contentment, I don’t know what is.
As I prepare get back to the grind in hot, humid Charlotte, NC, I am grateful for the ENTIRE summer – the good, the bad, and the great. That’s what Santosha is – being okay with whatever life throws at you, wherever you are. From Charlotte to Roanoke to Frankfurt to San Diego, I’ve been inconsolable, terrified, exhausted, and ecstatic. I’ve been overcome with grief and joy; there were lots of tears – sad and happy. I’ve felt pain from heartache, strained muscles, sleep deprivation, and laughing so hard it hurts. Of course we’d all take the good times over the bad any day, but we don’t always get what we want, or, as Ami and Caryn so beautifully demonstrate, what we expected. So what do we do? Practice a little contentment, roll with the punches, and remember that whatever or whoever is standing right in front of us, if we are open to it, might just… make us happy.