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As the coffee brews, I consider my situation.

I don’t have anything to complain about. I’m getting married in October to an amazing woman. My kids are happy, healthy, and most importantly, not assholes. My job is going well, I like what I do and the people I do it with. I’m able to pay my bills. I don’t want for much.

It’s confusing as hell.

It’s funny; I’m not prepared for contentment. I don’t know a lot of stories about it to show the way. At first, contentment feels great. After a while, you start waiting for the other shoe to drop. Like you’re missing something. Like the next terrible thing is just around the corner.

So far, it hasn’t come.  Thank goodness.

Guilt is another byproduct. I have friends in some rough situations right now. Some days, I feel guilty because I’m not down in the shit with them.

Recently I’ve started to see happiness here, too. How strange, that happiness can make you feel like an imposter, like someone undeserving.

The voices outside me tell me I shouldn’t feel happy because the world is in terrible shape, because I’m the villain of the story (white straight male of a certain economic background), that my happiness is built upon the the sorrow of others. The voices are loud. They are persistent.

How does one feel deserving? Accepting contentment might be the biggest challenge I’ve faced in a very long time.

Published in My Thoughts


  1. DFox DFox

    It shouldn’t be confusing. It’s true that you represent a ‘certain demographic ‘. But like so many others, you could have squandered the opportunities you’ve had.
    You haven’t.
    From my point of view, you’ve challenged yourself time and again over the past twenty five years, and there should be no shame in feeling a sense of contentment.
    Maybe the key to accepting it is not in reflecting on what you’ve done, but in deciding how to share the perspective you’ve gained?

    • ctmiller ctmiller

      Thanks, Dan. The external perspective helps.

      Sharing that perspective has been on my mind of late. Perhaps I’ll do some writing on the topic.

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