I often hear people talking about "the best day of their lives." It's always something like a wedding or the birth of a child. Sometimes it's a daring feat like jumping out of an air plane, or reaching their weight loss goals. I nod my head, and I'm usually genuinely happy for the person. But, I always feel a little like there's something wrong with me. I cannot pin point a "best" day of my life. There are brief moments of sheer happiness, delight or pleasure. There is an overwhelming abundance of devastation and sadness, but there is no "best" day.
Albeit, I've done literally none of the things mentioned above. I've never been married and I am not sure I'll ever be married. And, really, that's cool. If it happens, then it happens. If it doesn't, then I'll be totally OK. I am not a wedding person. I am the person who dreads the idea of a wedding. It sounds so hard. It seems like so much work. And, I can buy a whole lot of ice cream with the money it would cost for a wedding.
I do not have children. I've never wanted to. I am not the "mom" type. I am a good aunt. I always say, "Yes," and I always bring sugar. But, that is where my journey with kids ends. I've never jumped out of a plane. I would, I just haven't. And, I like food too much to ever actually meet my weight loss goals.
My theory is that I will never have a "best" day of my life. Maybe it is the cynic in me, but even the good things in life are tempered with things like debt and responsibility. When I got my first college degree, I skipped graduation. It sounded like it would be long and boring. So, I had hibachi with my family. It was the first time my mother and father agreed to be in the same place for an extended period of time. I got to visit with some of my favorite aunts, uncles and cousins. It was also one of the last really awesome memories of my grandparents. That dinner was much more satisfying than any graduation could have ever been. I did not have a party. I just went on with life. The degree was an accomplishment, but it wasn't the best day of my life.
I've had a pretty linear and rather concrete plan for my life. So, when I got the job I'd always wanted, that was a big deal. I'd not only be able to eat a whole lot less ramen, but I'd actually get to reach out to educate people. It was a profession I'd always admired, and becoming a teacher was really very satisfying. But, it wasn't the best day of my life. Teaching, while awesome, comes with a whole heap of responsibilities. It's also much more political than I'd ever imagined.
As part of my job, I was also afforded the opportunity to go to London. This was something I probably would not be able to do on my own. I don't have the expendable income to jet off across the globe on a whim. I absolutely loved London. I did not want to come home. The whole time I was there, I was in awe of being in a place much older and rich with history than I'd ever been. I loved the pace of life in the city. I even enjoyed navigating the tube each day. Who loves subway travel?
These are all really awesome things, but none of them have been the "best." Maybe it is that my standards are too high. Maybe it is that I am a little too immersed in fantasy, expecting Peter Pan to show up or something. If he does, then I'll write a new article about the "best" day of my life. Because, what could top that? A dragon, maybe. I have a curious nature. I am always looking for something new and interesting. I like challenges. So, I think I'll always be chasing this ethereal idea. It might always be out of reach. But, I will treasure the pockets of good things that cross my path. I do not mean to undermine any of those. They're the reason to keep on living. This world is tough to live in.
If I ever do have a "best" day ever, then I will appreciate it for what it is. But, most of me hopes that I never do get one. Everything else would probably pale in comparison. And, I don't want to live an acid washed life when I could live in a blue jean world.