June 15, 2012

The Honeymoon Stage

When people tell me they can't (don't) blog because they don't know what to say, or because they don't know where to start, I often flippantly riposte, "Don't worry too much. Just write." How rich that I have been in Singapore a few days, and still awkwardly teetering on the brink of my first post from The Lion City. Can't seem to find a starting point.

Trouble is that I want it to be just right. I want to be in the perfect mood. I've been waiting for the words to spill forth from somewhere inside me and dance into place. The longer I wait, however, they are becoming jumbled and congealing in the parts of my brain that need to be aired out for the summer. It's time to heed my own advice and let the words go.

I am happy. Simple. Right? The days are sunsoaked and everything flashes through bokeh tinted lenses. The days are long and warm and cloudless and melt into one another. It is summertime. It is perfect. I am happy. I can see some of you shaking your heads already--yes I imagine you individually and collectively reading these words--oh here he goes again-- painting the grass on his new side of the fence as green and verdant as we allow. Your accusing tone, may be hushed and whispering, but it is pronounced nonetheless, "He is projecting his needs onto a reality he has constructed to make himself think he is happy, but really he is choosing to ignore elements of Singapore that are similar to Jakarta or Doha, or all the other place he has griped about in the past."

I hear you. You are probably right, but I am happy. Did I mention the length and temperature of the days?

Perhaps Singapore is not the perfect place, but at this point in my life, it sure feels like it. I don't want this to be a Jakarta bashing post, because there is a lot about Jakarta I like. It was great for me professionally and there are always lessons to be learned living in a developing country. Perhaps if I was younger and single, I would be singing a different tune, but as a thirty-eight year old father of two, I think it is obvious where it makes sense to raise my girls.   

Don't get me wrong, I don't want my girls living in an unrealistic world, where they think the world is all perfectly manicured streets and efficient city planning, but at this point in their lives, I want parks and buses and sunny summer day walks. Am I petty for wanting these things for my kids? It sometimes feels like it. Happiness has always been the most awkward emotion for me. I have a difficult time de-tangling guilt from joy. Hard to smile when you feel like the spoiled expatriate roaming the world looking out for his family. What makes it worse is that said expatriate paints himself as some kind of champion for the oppressed. I never feel I deserve to have so much, when others have so little, but then have no qualms about enjoying it all anyway. Joy and guilt are so intertwined. Ahh....and this was going to be a post about happiness and contentment.

So what the hell am I trying to say? Honestly I have no idea. Maybe I should have waited until my thoughts were better sorted, before I started blabbering online. All I know is that every night, I sit at this machine, listen to some tunes, and listen to my mind as it begs to be heard. Most nights it is cheering and singing and smiling. Tonight was no different, but as you can see, once I got started I became side-tracked with the doubting, questioning, and dealing with guilt. I wanted to document this moment of joy as it is happening, but ended up tainting it with the other stuff too. Here is what I know at this moment: It is early June, summer, 2012, I am nearing my thirty-eighth year on this planet, and with all I have seen and done and felt in my life- I am happy.

The colors feel vibrant.

The water tastes clean and the sun shines.

Everywhere I look this is what I see.                                            (It is all painted with a golden brush)

Am I writing from the Honeymoon Stage? Of course, but please allow me at least a few days to swallow it all up. There it is- the first report from Singapore!

How do you deal with the guilt of being happy? 

1 comment:

  1. Honeymoon or not, your pics from the last few weeks have been warm and clear and full of bliss - cant wait to see how your young clan's story continues to unfold in their new digs!