Tuesday, April 7

The Denim Lady

There's a lady I see frequently in the town I work. Never really on the same day of the week never really at the same time of day but she's hard to forget because she always wears the exact same thing. A denim one piece dress with a thin yellow sweater tied around her neck. Thick rimmed glasses, straight black hair. I think I've seen her off and on the entire time I've been here. She's clearly mentally unbalanced. Not just the outfit, but the things she does with her hands while she mutters things only she understands. Her clothes are always clean and her appearance is neat so it's clear she's not homeless. But the oblivious way she fast walks around the neighborhood makes it clear something is off.

I used to think she lived in my area but the other night I saw her on a train bound for Shinjuku. She was already on the train when I got on and got off further down the line so I think she just likes to walk around the areas near this particular train line. Why, I can't begin to imagine but I had a chance to watch her for longer than usual. The thing I noticed was her unabashed happiness. I could be cynical and say that it takes an insane person to be happy nowadays but I can't bring myself to be that dour. No, in fact she has reached a place of happiness through simplicity. I assume she has someone to care for her as I doubt she is capable of holding down a real job and I see her at such random hours that it precludes any type of employment. All I know about her is that she really enjoys walking around the areas along the train line. Maybe she goes somewhere else everyday, leaving the choice up to her whims of the moment, maybe she visits them all in precise order back and forth and I only spot her at certain moments of her schedual. I don't know but I do know she is happy.

I used to live by the code "Be Happy, Nothing else matters". Somewhere along the line I've lost sight of that. I'm not saying we should settle if we find a little happiness but I think life is wrapped up in persuing things we think should make us happy but in reality don't. We are in more control of our conciousness than we think, if something causes pain, discard it.

Of course this is a tricky idea as most things in life are not so cut and dry. We need money to do the things that make us happy but hate our jobs. (At least, I hate mine for the most part) Human relationships are filled with ups and downs but I think it's pretty easy to seperate those people that will improve our lives from those that will only drag it down, at least in the short term. The question we should all ask is "Will I, on balance, be happier if I do this?" It sounds overly simple but is a hard question if you take a deep look and answer honestly.

The one thing The Denim Lady taught me though is it's not hard to be happy. It can be as simple as walking around some train stations.

I think I'll start jogging again now that the weather is nice.