How did I get here? How did I get here from there? Is it the exercise? The meds? The easy city life?

"I can't handle negative people," I say to Eileen over our lunch. I hear myself and know it is me, but wonder how this new me arrived. I know she is thinking the same thing; maybe not, though. Maybe she saw the new me emerge. Maybe she watched me climb from the slime of negativity that I used to be covered with. I know it wasn't like flipping a switch. I know this. I wish I could rewind my life and find the exact moment when I went from a truly negative, unhappy, mean person to this new me. I want to see it happen. I want to watch the change. I want to learn how it happens so that I can write a book or become some sort of self-help crazy, like Richard Simmons or Dr. Phil. I want to travel the country with the tape and the recipe for complete life change.

A co-worker sits down in my office and huffs and puffs and complains. I don't turn my head. What can I say to him? I deal with problems. Jason avoids solutions. I usually say, "yeah, that sucks." But I don't feel it, I can't say it today. I tell him I'm sorry. I smile. I let him vent. But inside I wish I could tell him to chill out. Nothing can be this bad. Terrible things happen to people everyday and Jason's today is nowhere near terrible. If I had that tape, I'd make him watch it. Twice.

I used to hate people like the new me. Now, Scoresby asks me how I am and I say, pretty or lovely or wonderful or any number of positive things. He laughs when I do this, and I wonder if he still sees the old me sometimes. Maybe he gets a glimpse of her when I am sleeping. We talk about this in the cold rain and he is shocked that I would worry about it. "I don't ever worry about you being that unhappy again, silly." I smile a little and hope he is right.