The Art of Mirriam Neal

//we shall have a magnificent garden party, and you are not invited

A friend sent me a .gif of Jack Sparrow saying that line. I replied quickly with, ‘my life,’ and laughed. Then I thought about it. It’s not unusual for me to feel as if I am completely contented and happy, but also as if I’m the only one who feels that way. In some ways, I feel as if I’m having a constant garden party, and I forgot to invite anyone else. People have asked me before what I do to keep myself occupied. From the outside, my life must not look very exciting, for the most part. I spend a lot of time sitting by the window, typing, or curled up on my bed reading, or watching TV shows while I work on art commissions.

In You’ve Got Mail, Kathleen muses, “Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life – well, valuable, but small – and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven’t been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn’t it be the other way around? I don’t really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void.”

I think a lot of us feel that way. We find ourselves perfectly happy day-to-day, but when we take a step back to look at the big picture, we wonder – should this content us? Should we want something more? Is this good enough? I’m very happy with my life. I’m happy being the proverbial hobbit, glad for good books and cups of tea and the small company I keep. Many things make me happy. Dyeing my hair bright colors, experimenting with fashion, makeup, and hair, scribbling away at novels and pictures, the toy figures around my laptop, surprise chocolate bars from my mom, board games with my nephew, the breeze that blows in through my window.

But should this be enough?

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I think it is. Like Paul, learning to be content wherever I am is something I had to learn, but for the moment, I feel I’ve learned it. I may not physically meet or speak to many people every day, but I speak to many people anyway. For the moment, God hasn’t put me in a foreign country, He’s given me a laptop. For some of you, it’s a college campus or a charity outreach. For me, it’s writing, blogging, and social media.  It might not always be this way, but for now, I know I’m where I’m supposed to be, doing what I’m supposed to be doing as well as this awkward person can.

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