Week 2: Joy

Yes, that’s my name.  People always tell me, “Oh, your name suits you so well!”  I just smile and nod.

I had never thought of it before, but a couple of weeks ago, I was messing around with online personality tests to see if I could trick them into saying contradictory things about me, and one of the questions said something to the effect of, “You find some enjoyment in probing the depths of sadness.”  It makes me sound like an emo thirteen year old, but in a way, I do.  It’s odd.  Outwardly, I’m not at all an emotional person (I haven’t cried in three and a half years, a fact of which I’m quite proud…for better or for worse), which makes it seem even more strange.  But that’s the way it is.

But moving on, I’ve been thinking about what brings me joy, trying to be thankful.  A lot of things right now don’t bring me joy.  It’s not pervasive depression–and I am thankful for that–but more of a cynicism about my surroundings.  Anyways, I was listening to a sermon online, and one of the things the pastor talked about was truly delighting in God (it was the same sermon in which he spoke about how we ought to love God).  Thus, my list:

  • God.  And I mean this for real, not just because it’s the politically correct thing to say.  I’m trying to make Him the center of my life: and I need to.  In these surroundings, filled with cynicism and skepticism, which are my natural states, I have to turn to something(One) greater.
  • The Church.  This is a big change from a year ago.  Sure, I still disagree with what a lot of churches say/do.  But I found a church back home that radically restored my faith in the institution as it is meant to be.
  • My friends.  I don’t have a lot of them, but the ones I have are amazing people.
  • Running.  I am so grateful for Mr. M., my coach in high school who got me into running in the first place.  I was originally going to play basketball in high school; I’m so glad I went with cross country and track.  I met incredible people along the way, but I could have done that in basketball, too.  More important, I can bring running with me wherever I go, whenever.  Even though I’m not in prime racing condition right now, there is still so much joy.
  • The sunshine.
  • Home.  Good food.  Fire in the woodstove.  Peace and quiet.  My favorite running routes.
  • My job.  It can be tiring, but I am so blessed to have been offered a job in an incredible laboratory on the medical school.  The people I work with are geniuses, but not the annoying type of geniuses.  They’re not at all arrogant and honestly, the lab is like one big family (full of PhDs…).
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