I’m not Happy.
It’s not an all together unique stance to take, whether this point in time or any other in the past or future. The elusive snake of happiness proves just as slippery and two-steps-ahead-of-you for any given person at any given time.
Thus, its not an entirely new realization for me.
Its easy to blame outside forces for being in such a state. Chained to a 9-5 desk. Trapped by societal expectations, by parental expectations. Constrained in what you can and can’t say despite our so-called freedom of speech. You don’t have enough money. You don’t have the latest gadget to keep up with your friends. You don’t have enough time.
The list can go on. Like I said, its easy to conjure excuses from air.
But… take away those chains. Those cages, those constraints.
Will you be happy?
As a creative, my mind is constantly whirring. Cycling through ideas. Weighing options (realistic or fictitious). Tracking opinions and arguments. Sorting out the false from the truth. Defining false and truth. Reworking entire worlds in my head.
I want to be happy. I want to know what it actually feels like.
Some say its a choice to be happy. But I think those voices confuse happiness with optimism. Its true that optimism can lead to a quasi-happier existence, dropping paranoia and neuroticism can have positive consequences.
But is that true happiness?
And wouldn’t it be better to participate in the full spectrum of emotions? To collect data from all opinions, all walks of life, even the negative ones? If you are to exist in this world, why wouldn’t you join the conversation of the human condition?
By “staying positive,” I think a soul can become trapped just as easily as a soul chained to a desk. You lose emotional flexibility, mental capacity for the weird, strange, sad, frustrating things of life.
So – happiness, in my opinion, does not equate to positive thoughts.
Happiness would need to encompass the ability to consume information, consume emotions, and the ability to draw conclusions from those findings and articulate them well.
But… its more than that. Just because you can define happiness or see it, doesn’t mean it is in your grasp.
What is the thing that elevates our current state to one of happiness?
Can happiness even be defined?
These are constant cycles of questions in my mind. And I feel like I’m drawing closer to a conclusion some days, while others it seems that happiness is just a ruse.
The point of this, to me, is that the simple solution of “Just Think Positively” is too simple. And in its simplicity, a trap.
If you want to be happy, you need to know what the definition of happiness is. And for each person, that will be different. We all have different ideas of what heaven and hell are, what makes us sad, what grinds our gears. Happiness isn’t a one size fits all emotion.
I’m still working on my definition. What I know so far is that the source of happiness is not created or deterred by outside forces. Happiness is somehow linked to my decisions, my choices, my understanding of the world. It’s also linked to my ability as a writer and communicator.
It seems to be connected to purpose, to that flow state you reach when a project consumes not only your thoughts, but also your awareness of the outside world. Time leaves you when you are in flow state. Hunger and thirst no longer nag at your senses. Comfort ceases to matter.
Still working on how to achieve that flow state more often. Still trying to create the mental and physical space that is secluded enough to fully let myself fall into flow. Balancing that with so many outside distractions is difficult. For sure.
But those are excuses.
If happiness is connected to the creative flow state, then that needs to be my priority.
I am not Happy.
But I’m working on it.
What are your priorities? Are they quests for comfort? Familial duties? Religious devotions?
What is your definition of happiness and how are you striving for it in your daily life?
Until next time,