I do a lot of weird things.
I talk to myself.
I sing in the shower in public places.
Occasionally, I almost leave the house having forgotten to put on pants.
I read the same books and listen to the same radio shows over and over. (I can quote Harry Potter, Eat Pray Love, and Loveline with a ridiculous amount of accuracy.)
I find things like Doge Weather absolutely and unendingly hilarious.
I make jokes that no one else finds funny (sometimes twice, just to make sure it’s not funny).
Sometimes I pretend I’m a model on a runway when I’m just walking around town.
I do victory dances at the top of tough hiking trails.
And after so many years of relentless self-control and repression, swearing, especially saying the F-word, fills me with a strange and wonderful joy.
In fact, last September, when I was taking a month off from work and hiking almost every day, I hiked a new and particularly steep trail at the end of the valley. About two hours in, I turned a corner and my breath caught in my chest at the stunning panorama of peaks laid out before me.
This is what those two steep hours were for. I felt like I’d won the lottery.
And, with not a soul in sight, I threw my fist into the air and shouted Fuck Yeah! at the top of my lungs.
It felt amazing.
Of course, as soon as I turned the next corner, I found a large, bewildered group of elderly tourists staring quietly at me.
At which point all I could do was laugh to myself and wish them a good morning in German as Luna and I continued along the trail behind them.
My ex-roommate recently told me that the things I find funny don’t make sense. Another friend told me my sense of humor was inappropriate. Other people just look blankly more often than you’d think.
But, you know what? I don’t care.
I don’t care at all.
Not one iota.
Because if there’s anything you learn when you spend years of your life deep in depression, it’s to take joy wherever you find it and not judge yourself for what makes you happy.
Which means, feel free to like what you like, love what you love, take joy where you take joy, and not worry about who is judging you for your wacky, joyful life.
If you love Justin Bieber, love Justin Bieber.
If you want to sing Aqua in your shower, sing Aqua in your shower.
If saying fuck makes you giggle, feel free to say fuck.
Certainly, be aware of who you’re around (don’t give your conservative grandmother a heart attack), but also don’t shame yourself for finding joy in something other people just don’t get. After all, it’s your joy, not theirs.
In other words, embrace your joy. Revel in it. Dance around with it. Throw your fist in the air and shout it from the fucking mountaintop.