Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Happy is as happy does

People are like marshmallows. They get hard on the outside when they're under fire, but inside they're just soft and squishy.

Okay so people aren't really like marshmallows, but I like analogies and I wanted to make that one worked.
It has nothing to do with anything. This blog post is going to wander, so I wanted you to have visions of marshmallows dancing in your head in case you get bored.

It's hard to take a stand on what you want for your life when you don't know what you want. It's hard to make decisions when you honestly don't know what would be best for you. And when your options are so scarce or non-existent, it becomes more about taking whatever you can get over meeting your needs. But if you don't know what you need, then…this discussion is already over.

My best friend recently asked me if I missed college (even though she already knew the answer).
No, I do not.
It's surprising to me that even though there's so much uncertainty in my life, and I can get so anxious about all the instability and not knowing and HOLY CRAP WHAT AM I GOING TO DO FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE, I'm not unhappy.
And it's because I'm not in school anymore.
Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like to go to a different school or to have not been miserable at mine, but everything brought me to where I am now, not to sound overly philosophical. And I probably wouldn't have two ridiculously amazing best friends if my college life had gone any differently.

I don't like the word "happy." It's all semantics, sure, but happy feels shallow and selfish. I'm "happy" I just bought a new pair of jeans that are really soft, even though they were expensive. Eating curry makes me happy. I'm happy when children are not annoying.

But being motivated or ambitious, getting a callback from a job, writing a kickass short story--that doesn't make me happy. It makes me joyful, excited, fulfilled. And to me, those words imply so many other feelings than a simple "happy" does. Happy means happy. Happy doesn’t mean anything. I'm totally off on a tangent here, I know, but hear me out.

Who cares if you're happy? People are so worried about being happy. I worry about it, too. But it's more that I make sure I'm not unfulfilled. And if I am, I make sure I’m doing something about it. If you were paying attention, I used the word unhappy earlier; It's hard not to. I feel like I check up on myself to make sure I'm not unhappy--but what I'm really doing is making sure I never feel as depressed and disheartened as I was. I don't think life is about being happy. I think it's about being put or putting yourself in challenging situations. And you find, fight, work and grow your way out of them. And you become a more fully realized person--and happy has nothing to do with it.

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it, actually. I just want to erase "happy" from my vocabulary. It's like how the Greek and Hebrew words for "love" or "peace" encompass so much more than what they mean when translated into English. I need a word like that to explain what I mean.
Semantics. Yes, I hear you. But words carry weight. It's why I write, after all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pretty heavy writing coming from a marshmallow!