So with a title like that, this is either about Barack Obama, or it’s a compendium of all those self-help books from the 1970s, right? Well… no. Or maybe yes, but in a way that is filtered through the warped mind and understandings of someone who was brought up amidst the rantings of child psychologists, people trying to “find themselves” and “better themselves”, and then the media onslaught kicked into overdrive in the 1990s with the introduction of Internet For The Poor Huddled Masses. I’d never been a happy person. No, that’s wrong. Let me rephrase it. I’d always found it excruciatingly difficult to be a happy person. Some people just flow through life. I writhed and scraped and twisted and clutched.

Ironically now, I find myself the happy one, or at least the hopeful one, bookended by two very important people in my life – my best friend, and my dad – who are burdened by their own sense of truth and weighted down by what they see to be immovable realities in their lives. I feel the heaviness in their vocal tones and inflections, as I bounce exuberantly towards them in our conversations and am walloped in the head with a brick wall. The i-Ching, of which I am sometimes a reluctant student, teaches that in all our life situations and relationships, there are times to advance and times to retreat. Not to give up, mind you, but more a thoughtful and knowing “waiting it out”.

A forward motion, without ambition or striving.

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