You know how sometimes you find yourself in your “happy place” – this amazing zone where everything feels perfect, where life moves along seamlessly for just a little while, and you don’t dare question or think about it too much for fear of bringing it to an untimely end?
I was in just such a zone while working this afternoon. I’d turned up the music and was bopping energetically at my desk, singing along loudly and enthusiastically (if rather tunelessly), sailing through my day’s tasks with unbridled productivity and unexplainable joy.
I felt happy, buoyant, and full of love for my life.
Then, while waiting for a file to load on my work computer, I made the mistake of turning to my own PC and glancing at the latest message posted in one of the groups I follow.
That moment… that perfect, euphoric moment… was over just as abruptly and harshly as if someone had bumped the stereo and sent the needle skidding screechingly across the record.
Yes, I realize that I am loudly declaring my age by using such a dated metaphor, but if you’ve ever heard that discordant sound you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
And that’s how it felt.
The message, a follow-up to something I’d posted earlier in the day, was rude, insulting, and would have been extremely hurtful if I’d actually known the person in question (but I refuse on principle to allow random internet strangers to hurt me). It was obvious that what the originator of the post had said, as well as my own comment, had touched a nerve… or perhaps it was a question of this person getting up on the wrong side of the bed… but the response was harsh and jarring and completely mood-killing, and also particularly unexpected as it was posted in what I think of as a very non-threatening, innocuous environment.
To give myself credit, I did remain calm (though I was feeling rather defensive) and said nothing that I would later regret (though I was sorely tempted). I did my level best to ignore the ignorance and jump back into the wonderfulness of my real life happy place – but, though I didn’t let what this person said actually get me down, the magic of those joyful moments was gone.
Why, why do people have to steal our sunshine?
More importantly, I suppose, is why do we let them?