In the true fashion of most Western Millennials I’ve encountered, I’ve spent the better part of my life trying to live one full of meaning and happiness. From the deluge of posts on social media, I see us all calling out to one another, manically searching for this Holy Grail of Happiness. Like I imagine many of those in my generation, I have read my fair share of articles and books, attended many a promising lecture or sermon, and have even times futilely attempted to force an experience that was ‘meaningful’ and could ‘make me’ ‘truly happy’.
The days grow shorter.
The years go by faster.
In the blink of an eye, I am no longer an angsty teen nor a restless young adult.
I see society around me shift. I am now viewed as a full-fledged adult. Not just an adult, but a somewhat wise, responsible adult- worthy of teaching children and having a mortgage. I accept this new role apprehensively and continue on with my ridiculous search for happiness and the meaning of life; knowing I am not alone in this seemingly never ending quest.
The A-Ha Moment
So it came as a surprise that the most profound discovery on my quest thus far would come how or when it did.
It’s late summer here in Houston.
I am sitting on our back patio, in my flannel pjs, drinking a cup of hot tea, waiting for my computer to update.
The cat and I are listening to the summer days soundtrack- a mix of rhythmic cicadas and songbirds calling to one another, with a crow of an illegal rooster chiming in every once in awhile. Although I find it soothing, it’s pretty clear my cat finds this joyous song to be taunting.
Meanwhile, the dogs pay no attention to this summer ballad, and, instead, focus all their attention on hunting down one of the many dancing lizards that are peacocking for a mate.
In this moment I almost forget that Hurricane Harvey has just pummeled my city and wreaked havoc across the Gulf Coast.
My husband and I live on a bit of a hill, and were luckily spared much of Harvey’s wrath. Although there is much to be done, we choose to not get too overwhelmed this early on. We do the best we can to help our community, while also making time for ourselves to wring out a bit. We’re making the most of this extended summer, before school starts back up, because, in a way, this little bit of time is like the calm before the oncoming storm that awaits us this school year.
It is my husband’s first year teaching, and I am inevitably reminded of my first year teaching, when Hurricane Ike devastated my hometown of Galveston.
When you whip up a passed-down family recipe, the aromas and tastes conjure up happy memories with loved ones.