Today, I was happy. It's been a long time since I was happy. Sure, a police officer exposed himself to me, and that didn't necessarily add to my happiness, but I overcame that, found the humor in it and integrated it into my happy day. I was cheerful and playful with my co-workers. Even those who have done me some grave injustices lately.
It was such an unusual occurrence for me to be happy that I actually spoke it out loud. I believe I said, "I think someone put something in my Cheerios."
When I stopped to think about why I might actually be happy, since it appeared that nothing in fact had changed much since yesterday when I was pleasant but not happy, I could see only one difference. I have begun to integrate the idea that I am leaving school into my psyche. The end is here. I'm not leaving with a degree, but I am leaving. And the lack of a degree is discouraging, but I am less discouraged by that than I might have thought. The reason I think I am not discouraged is I know I haven't made significant progress toward my goal in the past year. Despite having some funding, I have had to beg, borrow, and play "let's make a deal" to get the supplies I need to further my phylogeny. The GC still isn't working and there seems to be no plan in place to get it working. The undergraduate charged with growing my plants has succeeded in growing only a single species. I am getting ridiculous emails from pissed off peers that are so clearly outrageous that I can't believe anyone takes them seriously. And those same students have begun to make it clear that they don't appreciate my wealth of experience borne of either age or tenure at this institution.
I am happy to leave this all behind. I suspected I wasn't happy over the past year, but I didn't have any idea what a toll it had taken on my attitude until....well....until it was gone.
I want that job so much that I dare to say it out loud. I want it. I think I will be good at it. I sure hope I'm given the chance to succeed at something. I need that opportunity.
It would make me even happier.