I’d forgotten what it feels like to feel okay.

Sometime, over the last year (overscheduled and too little time alone and failing classes en masse) or maybe over the summer (the painstaking battle of learning how to drive and working childcare again and not being where I meant to be) I lost the gentle, unassuming rhythms of happiness.

I’d forgotten how, when you’re happy, it doesn’t settle on you all at once or shine through your windows when you wake up in the morning. How instead, all your inconsequential, nothing-special moments start feeling like they’ve been ripped from a book or unwound from a movie reel.

Like when I was sitting on my porch drinking wine and talking, talking too loud, the conversation floating into the neighborhood and waking up my neighbors — that was happiness.

And when I was steering my new-old car through twisting mountain roads, and the perfect song came on my iTunes, and I sang that song to those mountains that keep calling me home, too — that was happiness.

And it was happiness when I was stopped in the driveway outside my house, not ready to go inside because another perfect song was on the radio, and I was looking at the “118” outside our door and thinking of how I’m going to be sad and confused and happy and alive here at 118 Margot.

I’m going to be happy here.

“Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the overcompensations for misery. And, of course, stability isn’t nearly so spectacular as instability. And being contented has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune, none of the picturesqueness of a struggle with temptation, or a fatal overthrow by passion or doubt. Happiness is never grand.”

–Aldous Huxley, Brave New World