Happiness is not something you can plan for. It is not something you can schedule in your calendar…like, “Ok, today I will be happy!” It really is a state of mind. It is something that you hold deep down in your soul, where no one can find it and mess it up for you. It is not dependent on there being another specific person in your life or a specific activity…like, “Ok, the only days I can be happy are the days when I do abc or not do xyz.”
Happiness is also not dependent on the fact that you are in a certain place in your life or after a certain achievement is obtained. And it also is not something you can say that you will have for as long as something is happening in your life…like, “Ok, I will be happy so long as I am in this relationship or at this job or living in this place.” Happiness also does not work like that. Just like you can’t plan for it and say, “Ok once I finish abc, then I’ll be happy forever.” Because happiness is a fickle emotion. It doesn’t last forever.
How many of you remember the first days of having lived a certain experience, (a new job/relationship/place to live, whatever) when there was nothing you could have imagined that could have made your life any better than it was right at that moment. Then life comes along and, while nothing specific about your life has really changed, you find that your life is suddenly without meaning or value? You no longer feel fulfilled, you are suddenly not making enough money so your job is not enough, or you have taken the relationship for granted so you feel that it is no longer part of “who” you are and the same with where you live!
You look around you and say, “Hmmm, this isn’t what I wanted for myself.” Or…you suddenly start concentrating on the things that you had previously sacrificed in order to have the life you now have and they make you feel bad…instead of you appreciating what has replaced them. Along with the person you are now who you would have never become had you actually not sacrificed the things you have sacrificed! You lose faith in who you are, forget what it was that you survived without, hence giving you the identity that you have today.
I do hate to use this expression because I almost feel as though it is politically incorrect…but I do now refer to people complaining about their 1st world problems…in the same breadth that I used to say that people are always complaining about “white girl problems.” (Which may actually be considered to be more politically incorrect than the other!) But it really is true!
I see people, all the time and wherever I am, spending so much time and effort being so negative…Ex. The animosity I see coming from one of my roommates as he berates the rest of us for such irrelevant things that anyone else would just see as us being human…or the complaints coming from my co-workers about the timing of a celebration planned by my company in an effort to celebrate all that we do for them…because it doesn’t fit in her schedule…instead of being grateful that they are even making the effort to recognize us! Friends of mine who I have suddenly found to be entitled enough to believe that they should be rewarded for all they believe they have given to the world by receiving the dream job and salary…just because! NOT because they earned it and made their bones first, but rather just because they think they “deserve” it! WTF???
I don’t have room in my life for people like this…I’m sorry. Because we share a blood line, a neighborhood, a past job or experience, does not mean that I owe you a phone call…does not mean that I should ever go out of my way to see you or even drop you a note. I am a minimalist now, and that certainly translates to the number of people I have in my life. Never were the days when I sat down to count the number of friends in my life…or the days when I said, “Well, if I am not friends with that barracuda, then I won’t have anyone to hang out with.” I have been guilty of saying, “Better alone than with that backstabbing bitch.” OR “Better a convent, than me ever seeing that man again,” just because he has money/a car/dream job/or anything that any other woman would drop her pants for!
Those materials items are so superficial and unimportant in my life. For me, it is all about chemistry. It is my ability to make a joke about anything in my/your life to make us both laugh our asses off about something that is really not important…but also my empathy to shut up and just listen when you just need to talk and pour out a day to me…accomplishing you being able to unload that weight to my shoulders which I have no problem sharing with you. Why? Because you and I have forged that bond that overpowers everything else. And me sharing this weight with you does NOT bring me down! Just the opposite, in fact! I feel so honored to be in a position where I can help you! It enlightens me to feel as though by taking that weight off your shoulders, I have caused you to have a better, clearer state of mind.
It’s not to say that the weight disappears, or no longer exists, it is still there…but with both of us carrying it, maybe it no longer feels as impossible to carry. I get that there will be days when there is so much sadness and despair blinding you…as a result of your life, the lives of others around you, people who you have shared such experiences with…that you can not imagine being able to get out of bed…be able to see through the cobwebs of this sadness. I get that! But here is an idea…should you be able to cut that in half, would it be easier to see to the next day? By having shared that weight with someone else, isn’t it ok to think, “Ok, today, I am only going to think of myself and take care of me…because no matter what I do, the world will be what it is…it is only my reaction to it that messes me up. So today, I am going to sneak out from under that weight that has been blinding me to a brighter future…walk around it and just put it on the back burner for a day…just to see what might happen without it.”
So when I ask you, “Are you hearing me?” what I am saying is, just try it for a day…a week…a month…just concentrate on the things that make you happy…stop living the illusion of what your life was yesterday…stop thinking that anyone or anything is going to make you happy…or a return of any sacrifice is what is needed to turn your life around…and just look at the big picture. And if that big picture does not include anything that could possibly bring you the feeling of satisfaction and happiness you want…then WALK AWAY from it and start a new picture.