Someone I know recently has been asked to do a T.E.D. talk about happiness, and their life as of now.
And it got me thinking… What is happiness?
I don’t think I’ve been truly happy for a long time. But the thing is, what is being truly happy? And what is getting in the way?
I personally think it has many definitions. And I’ve been zoning in and out of those elements… Perhaps if I could find a balance between all of them, it would be good.
Is it being carefree? Is it doing the things you love? Is it not worrying what other people think about you and embracing who you are? I have to believe it is.
Stress builds. Hecticness speeds up. The ominous Cloud of Judgment descends over us, and we’re constantly worried about what people think. We get lost chasing what we think is important and we get stuck in the boxes society tries to shove us in. And happiness leaves us.
But you know what? I want to find it. I would like to find it again and not let go of it. Life is too short to be unhappy.
Just a day ago I spend practically all of my time after I got home from school with my computer, tired after a long day, searching for a way to de-stress. I turned to blogging, reading other blogs, and attempting to fix my own (I got sad temporarily because I realized I don’t know how to code at all and really wanna make my own templates..but hey! Another thing to put on my “to-learn” list) and you know what? I was completely absorbed, entranced in trying to figure things out and lace things together… And I enjoyed it. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
A couple days earlier, I got home and started my homework only to interrupt it with a music break–I simply had my music on shuffle, singing loudly and obnoxiously to every song that came on–from show-tunes to Gaga to the Beatles to John Mayer… after a while I returned to my studies. But it felt great. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
A week or so ago my mom asked me to make a birthday card for a relative, seeing as she knows they love handmade cards. So I dug out my art supplies, blew the dust off my sketchpad and went to work. I spent an hour or so, bent over my work with music floating in the air around me. It was heaven. My hands were free to create whatever magic they desired on the paper, something they hadn’t been able to do in a long time. When I was finished, I had a wonderful sense of accomplishment on my shoulders. It felt amazing. And I enjoyed it.
This past week I was not able to see J much at all, outside brief moments in school. My schedule was packed, as was his. He ended up coming to where I worked for a few hours on the weekend. We had only been talking for about 5 minutes, but it was honestly some of the best 5 minutes I’ve had in a long time. We were just so happy to finally see each other, and I felt at peace. I enjoyed every second of it.
Sometimes, we are held back from doing what we love, be it by barriers of time or places or people or stress.. And sometimes we are just told “NO”, and to stay focused and be serious and get the job done, only to take a brief rest and get back in the same vicious cycle. Happiness, I think, is being able to overcome that. You know, somewhere deep down, what, what and who makes you happy, and you should by all means be able to go out and grab that, no matter the odds or walls put up against you.
So you know what? Sometimes, the stress isn’t worth it. Some say that the meaning of life, or reason to living is to happily lead a life of significance. How can you do that when the happiness is missing?
So I challenge you to think about it– Where is your happy place? How do you define happiness?
And I challenge you to do.
Take a break. Cuddle with a sketchpad. Turn up the music. Take a long bath. Read an engrossing novel. Sit outside and watch the sun set. Fall asleep in the arms of someone you love. Bake cookies. Eat chocolate (you won’t get too fat, I promise (; ) Have a funny face contest with someone and throw makeup, judgement and care of appearance out the window. Join a yoga class. Learn to program. Build a Lego tower. Go for a run. And just do you. Even if it’s only for 10 minutes…. I’m learning more now than ever that if you spend too much time disconnected from yourself… you’ll have trouble connecting with others. So take the time.
You’ve got all the time in the world to be happy.