I smile? Weird.

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Today in ‘I don’t even know who I am anymore’ news, I guess I smile a lot. Last week I was called personable, volunteered for a charitable cause during a holiday weekend, am currently referred to as a ‘nice young lady,’ and just now someone asked me, ‘Why do you smile so much, Jenn?’

I smile? Weird. News to me. Back in Atlanta every person over 40 tells me I needed to smile more.

Goddammit, it worked on me subconsciously, didn’t it? Jerks.

I made the requisite joke about obvious drug use contributing to my happiness, but then I shrugged and said, “I’m just happy, I guess.”

Turns out? I kind of am?

I always say happiness is a misnomer and just another dragon we chase, and it is. We always tell ourselves that if we have that certain thing, we will be happy. The truth is happy is a feeling, and contentment is a state of being. Like, right now I feel happy because I mainlined Chipotle at lunch, I had a great trip back to Atlanta where I consumed 4 metric tons of raw fish at my birthday dinner, and I get to have birthday dinner with my Chicago bestie tonight. I have good jobs, good people, and I am truly thankful for what I have in this moment. Life is by no means perfect. In fact, it’s pretty tough at times, but I feel lighter about it. I feel in control of everything, and the bad stuff is manageable. My overall state is contentment, but I am feeling happiness more frequently these days as a result. I’m not chasing anything or in an active state of suffering. That to me is contentment.

I also feel comfortable hating certain things and not feeling bad about it anymore. I hate the way Atlanta makes me feel. I will always hate the way Atlanta makes me feel. The second I step off the plane, I feel like I’m in a pressure cooker held together by a vice. The air stresses me out there. It’s literally warmer in Chicago than Atlanta right now, and I don’t feel like I am going to die. I am not sweating out of every pore praying for death. I’ve been running around all day since I stepped off the plane this morning, and I’m smiling.

A LOT, apparently.

Anyway, I did notice when I came to my ‘west’ office this morning that my dumb picture is on the wall with the lamest bio I have ever written about myself in my life. JENN LIKE SPORTS. JENN LIKE FOOD. JENN EAT FOOD WHILE JENN WATCH SPORTS. MARKETING! TECHNOLOGY!

I cringed so hard when I saw it. I made the HILARIOUS joke, “Why doesn’t it say legal assistant?” but nobody in Chicago gets that joke, so I sent it to the Atlanta group text and it killed. The follow up text from Gertrude stole the show though:

So by Technology does that mean you just call the PCs trash boxes all day?

Yes. Yes it does. Actually, ‘tech’ in my case means I spend half my day teaching people how to use their email and printer. Don’t get excited about my skillz, yo. I had to go across town to my ‘east’ office and install a conference room computer and I stared at it for a full ten minutes until the hamster in my skull finally started running and I went, “OH YOU HAVE TO ATTACH AN ETHERNET CABLE BECAUSE IT ISN’T WIFI STUPID.”

Tech, at your service.

I did get to set up my other office today, and was pleasantly surprised to find out it has a window! BUT…

Another Formica desk. Boy do we love a formica surface here. I literally kissed my desk in Atlanta on Monday morning, and relished the lumbar support of my chair for the last few days. MAMA MISSED YOU.

I might be smiling all the time, but I’m still truly a monster inside.

I’ll get them to come around here in Chicago. By this time next year, there will be iMacs, Pergo floors, and gorgeous furniture in every office. I figure it’ll take as long as it took Louis to get me to give up white t-shirts. So, a full calendar year with some veiled threats of violence.

Welp, I better get back in the coal mine just in case my tech expertise is needed and someone wants their HP desktop called garbage sludge with a look of sheer disdain.

Happy last day of my 30s to me! I’m getting a short rib tonight and then lunch with my Chicago squad tomorrow. Of course I’m smiling!

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Jennifer Gulbrandsen