Embrace the Joy of Being Yourself

Lanterns on the beach

This past weekend, we went to the Lantern Festival for Marine Day at Odaiba.  I tried to find some information about the significance of the lanterns, but I found none.  I think it is a typical Japanese thing—the aesthetic is the meaning of it—lanterns are pretty, fun, and they make great Instagram material, so why not?

We walked along the beach until we were out of range of the festival and sat down to enjoy the sea and the view, which is really the best way to appreciate the ocean.  Marine Day or Sea Day, depending on how you translate it, is about appreciating the bounty that is given to us by the ocean.  I love anything that celebrates nature.  I think that’s why I love nature-based religions.

Sitting there in the breeze and smelling the salt air, for the first time in a long time, I was content.  I’ve been depressed a lot, lately.  It’s mostly about grieving Zophia and worrying about Dylan.  Today’s world doesn’t pause for grief, though.  I think this is the reason we struggle to process loss.  Everyone experiences loss, yet we don’t allow for it.

So, earlier today, I decided to listen to the audiobook version of Lauren Graham’s commencement speech called, “In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It.”  I was looking for a quick and easy to pick me up and that did the trick.

There were only two bits of advice in it that I could appreciate, but they were the two that I needed.

The first was to embrace the joy of being yourself.  It sounds lame in isolation, but in context, it’s about the fear of judgment.  During a long-running play, Graham prioritized other people’s opinions of her acting, and the fear of their judgment paralyzed to her ability to perform well.  I am not an actor, but the fear of judgment is paralyzing to me, too.  She reminded me that I don’t need anyone else’s approval to be happy.  The joy of other people’s approval is a fleeting, anyway.  I can offer myself joy by approving of myself.  I can simply enjoy being myself.  I didn’t interpret “the joy of being myself” as an instruction to embrace authenticity.  I see it as embracing the human experience.  Find the joy of being inside your perspective.  The book doesn’t put it like that, but that’s what I got out of it, anyway.  Maybe it still sounds lame, I don’t know.

The second piece of advice was to respect yourself and your work as if you have already achieved the success that you desire.  I think it’s a great idea.  The problem is that once I started to inhabit that feeling, I got anxious that I was about to lose everything I’d achieved.  Only I could get anxious over the possibility of losing my imaginary success.  Heh.  Oh well.

During meditation today, I had the weirdest premonition that a year from now, I will be feeling freer than I have ever felt before.  I have no idea what circumstances would lead to that feeling.  I’m curious about that.  All good, I hope.

On Friday, Dylan didn’t seem like he was doing well.  His appetite was low, and he was lethargic.  We’ve given him three subcutaneous injections since then.  He bounced back after the first one and every day he seems a little more himself.


Anyway, things to do.

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