I came across a contest on one of my favorite blogs, and I decided, what the heck, I might as well give it a whirl. I’ve been agonizing over it for days now. I couldn’t decide if I wanted an upbeat, happy piece on my “regular” blog or if I wanted to do something more focused on my DV experiences, and the joys of being out. I’ve decided to just write and let this take me wherever it takes me.
The question at hand is “What brings you joy?”
Of course, the normal things bring me joy every day. My daughter’s smile when I first walk in her room in the morning. Hearing my boyfriend and daughter having a very “in-depth” (read: babbling) conversation while I’m doing something in the other room. A beautiful sunset. Children’s laughter. Perfect weather. Hugs from friends. It all sounds so cliché. Especially after all that has happened in the last, oh, 7 years or so.
It still amazes me how much joy I find post-abuse. It has brought a whole new perspective on the concept of joy. So, in no certain order:
I find joy in the moments when I can express my opinion freely, without the fear of being chastised or hurt.
Discovering that I, too, deserve a “normal” relationship has brought me joy.
I find joy in rediscovering myself – my own thoughts, my passions, my ideals, my independence.
I find joy in helping others who have been victims of domestic violence. It makes me feel like everything that I’ve been through is not a waste.
Wearing pajamas brings me joy.
I find joy in the knowledge that I am doing everything I can to prevent my daughter from growing up in a household where there is abuse.
I find joy in going to bed and waking up as I please (or as dictated by the little one), but without being ordered to do either.
I find joy in getting through a work day in peace, without harassing phone calls or e-mails.
Going back to school in a month to finally finish my bachelor’s degree brings me infinite amounts of joy.
I find joy in knowing that I am much stronger than I ever thought.
I feel joy simply because I am lucky enough to be here, writing, and sharing my joy with you.
With all that I’ve been through, with all that I’ve endured, (which, I might add, is FAR from what others have gone through, but still traumatic in its own right), I feel like I’m able to find joy in so many things. I am forever grateful that I find joy, and not bitterness and pain.