I know they say never to apologize for not posting. But I’m going to break that rule, because there are a couple of people who read my blog regularly — or used to! — and they have mentioned the lack of new material. So to you three people (you know who you are), I’m sorry.

My apology is also somewhat relevant to the post itself. See, I haven’t been writing because for the past month or so, I’ve been processing in private. And yes, there is still such a thing in this world of constant internet access, status updates, blogs, and Tweets. There are still some things that just can’t be put into words, some matters so personal that the world does not have the right to view them on display.

Somehow, in the midst of all this processing, I have stumbled upon happiness. I didn’t realize that I had achieved this exalted state until I went to my high school reunion a couple weeks ago. I felt miserably uncomfortable there, and seeing the popular girls in the bathroom made me feel like I was sixteen all over again. And yet afterward I heard from several people who all commented on how happy I looked. This struck me as extremely odd — this is one of the hardest times of my life. Why would relative strangers describe me as happy? I’m really not a good enough liar to fake it, so the only other explanation must be the simple, shocking truth: could it be that I am actually happy?

I thought about it, and I realized… yes, I am happy. What a strange thing to discover. And I don’t mean happiness in the way I did when I was younger, and I don’t mean happiness the way that Hollywood and many of my friends conceive of the beast. I mean true contentedness, a willingness to accept that life is neither perfect nor terrible, but it is a little bit of both.

The irony of it, of course, is that my life needed to be truly terrible for an extended period of time for me to realize this kind of happiness. At this point, anything that doesn’t crush me is a good thing, and can be overcome with time.

With this recognition has come peace, and yes, happiness. For the first time in as long as I can remember, perhaps since my childhood, I am on a more or less even keel. My days are pretty much the same from one to the next, and they are filled entirely with the people I love and the things I love to do. Every day is full of deep tragedy and deep joy, and in between, I find balance.

My life is simple, small, and utterly beautiful. And yes, I am — curiously enough — happy.