1 March 2006
12:49 A.M.

The Pleasure of Life

Just like anyone else, I have my moments of despair. I have my moments when the world seems to be the cruelest place to be and nothing seems to go the way that I want it. Part of that, of course, are natural human feelings, the other is plain teenage angst. And, like a normal teenager, I have those feelings of inadequacy. You know, those feelings that you just don't know anything about life. Of course, I do know a great deal more than I give myself credit for, not to toot my own horn. But those moments of despair hit often and they hit hard. It's a serious punch in the gut that leaves me gasping for breath for hours or days on end. And it's not until afterwards that I remind myself it's natural and I just need to accept it and not dwell on the despair but the simple pleasures.

When I'm at my lowest of lows and missing my Nannie more than my heart and soul know how to deal with, there's still pleasure in that. The simple fact that I am missing her is in a way a pleasure. Because I miss her, it also means that I treasured the time I had with her, which of course is the greatest truth there is. Nannie was my heart and I treasured every moment spent with her, whether it was in body or in spirit. I like to think and I like to remind myself that a part of her heart rests in my own. After all, she was the first person to welcome me into this world and, tragic as it was, I was the one with her to guide her out of this world. The bond that we shared will never fade, but will continue to grow, culminating in an unimaginable love when we meet again.

And when I find myself cursing my father and wishing I had had the time to know his family, there is pleasure in that as well. It is a bit harder to find, but it still exists. I may not have known my father, but because I did not know him, I knew my mother better. My mother and I may not have always gotten along, and we still do not always get along, but she knows me better than anyone else and although it is not always shown, we care very close. I do not know much of my father's family, but I have been fortunate enough to meet his mother and his sister, my grandmother and aunt. And although it hurts me every time I talk to my grandmother, I know the hurt is because I love her and she loves me. That love is the joy underneath the sadness. We may have just met a few months ago, but a bond has been formed that will carry on past the physical life. That is a great blessing that may not have been appreciated had I known her from birth.

Likewise, when I have feelings of displeasure over my body there is a bit of pleasure underneath. For beneath it all, I know that I am a child of God, created in His beautiful image. I do not always pay tribute to the Heavenly Father, but a part of my heart and soul constantly praises and thanks Him for what he has given me, even if my body is not as beautiful or as perfect as I would hope.

When I am at odds with my mother and wishing I could be anywhere but in her presence, is it possible to find pleasure in those moments? I believe it is. Underneath the anger and the upset, I love my mother more than life itself and there is nowhere I would rather be than wherever she is. Fighting with my mother is another way of expressing our feelings and becoming closer, although it does not seem that way at the time. But later, once the apologies have been made and we are at peace again, the bond is stronger than ever. And hearing the pride in her voice when she talks about me, or seeing it in her eyes when she looks at me is more valuable than anything this world has to offer.

Life is not always pleasant. There are hard times and there are rough roads that we must cross. We build our bridges and we burn them and we go back and we build them again. Relationships are made and broken and then restored. In every bad moment, there is some good. Our challenge is to seek out the good and make sure that it outweighs the bad. Only then can we truly enjoy the pleasures in life.