The first thing that pops into my head when I think of bliss is ignorance. Ignorance is bliss as they say. Because of this almost hated phrase, the first connotation of the word bliss is often negative. It is viewed as a state of naiveté only achieved by the young and innocent. A perfect happiness in unknowing. It suggests unawareness to the hardships of life. My mental image of bliss is of a small child with a grin that covers their whole face and their eyes squeezed shut with excitement, anticipation, and joy.
My second thought when I think of bliss is chocolate. Be it hot chocolate on a frigid day or chocolate ice-cream on a sweltering one chocolate can solve almost all of life’s ills. It encapsulates the word bliss in every melt-in-your-mouth bite. The smile that comes to my face when I eat chocolate is my grown up version of the excited child’s closed-eye grin.
In 2010, there were many words that made a huge impact on my life. Most were good, some were sad, and all were exciting.
- 6 January 2010 – B, my then boyfriend and now husband, told me he loved me for the first time. Our love for each other has shaped not only my year, but my life.
- I flew more in 2010 than I have in the rest of my life combined. From Alabama, North Dakota, Michigan, and Massachusetts to Germany and Belgium. I also have taken a couple of road trips.
- 23 July 2010 – I loaded a trailer with all my worldly possessions and said goodbye to my family, who I’d never lived more than 3 hours from, and my friends, who had been my lifeline, to drive 1500 miles to Minot, ND to join my boyfriend up there.
- 22 September 2010 – I boarded a plane in Boston and flew to Ramstein, Germany my home for the next three years.
- I left my childhood home behind me in my rearview mirror to make a home in Minot.
- I left my temporary home in Minot for a hotel in Germany.
- I left a hotel in Germany to create a new home with my husband in Ramstein.
- 7 August 2010 – Two weeks after I had moved in with my boyfriend, we were talking about how well the move had gone and he proposed.
- 11 August 2010 – My fiancé received orders to relocate to Germany in the middle of NSI and working 105 hours in a week.
- 17 August 2010 – My wedding date. It was just us with three witnesses after work on a Tuesday.
Each of these words defined a part of my 2010. Love probably has the biggest portion of my memories. I traveled to and with my love. I moved twice in 2010 for my love. The goodbyes were the hardest part. I miss my friends and family so much that it physically hurts at time. Getting engaged and then married in ten days summed up the whirlwind nature of my relationship with B. We celebrated three months of marriage two weeks before we celebrated one year of knowing each other.Yet I chose bliss. Much of my ignorance has been shattered this year. I now know the grief of moving away from family. I’ve learned the hardships of moving to another country. I’m still working on conquering the fear of driving on ice. I’ve dealt with the pain of fading friendships because of time and distance. I’ve seen more of the world then I had dreamed I could.
Even without my ignorance, even as my innocence and naiveté faded away, the bliss that has defined my life for a year is still with me. I am happy even when it goes against all explanations. In B, I have found my rock and companion here on Earth. He grounds me and allows me to soar. He brought this bliss into my life, and now that I have it, I’m never letting go.
I would be delighted to be blissfully happy for the rest of my life. I know that there are ups and downs in life – good times and bad – yet; I want to choose for 2011 and beyond, to be ignorant of those hardships. I am choosing bliss. I am choosing childlike delight in life. I am choosing love and joy to be my defining characteristics. I will face the future and the unknown with my head held high, his hand clasped tight in mine, and bliss in my heart.