I absolutely love it when a conversation sets my mind ablaze, sets the cogs in my brain churning the right way, one that doesn’t have me overthinking or second guessing. It need not be an entire conversation too! A snippet that really hits hard will do just fine. Like this conversation I had with a certain someone, who, I’ve come to realise, has a sunny disposition served with ready wit at the side. When I remarked that “you’re always like this, right? This happy, chirpy, witty thing…” I was met with a “Do you think I’m happy?” counterpoint. This had me rephrase my words of praise as I was told that “a lot of how I am actually depends on who I’m interacting with” *Praise for praise, we should hashtag this!* 😛
A few hours later, just as I was about to call it a night, these very words that set me thinking. What exactly is happiness? Is it a constant state of being? One where you feel like you’re floating on clouds and other such inane clichés? In response, was a sense of vagueness. Over the last year or so, I’ve come to realise that it’s impossible to feel one emotion all the time. The feeling of happiness is something rather fleeting, momentary. For me, it’s watching rotund kittens wrestle on the sidewalk, the thought of having cotton candy as I make my way to “me-time-beach-time” or like last night, a batch of perfectly baked chocolate cookies and many more. If I had to put it to words, each of these moments had me feeling like I was lit up inside, a flare going off somewhere inside me, a feeling I’ve come to call “like butter melting on warm toast”.
Expecting to be happy always would border too much on being unrealistic! It would only mean harbouring grand illusions, those that will ultimately lead to suffering and a feeling of unrest. Aiming to ‘not be unhappy’ is far more achievable, especially with an attitude that blends together a bit of optimism, some slap-happiness, and a healthy dash of curiosity over things to come. One of the biggest flaws that we, as people in general, have is confusing peace and contentment with happiness. The former emerge from a state of overcoming challenges, trials, tribulations and what have you, while the latter, to me, is like an elusive charm – you cherish it while it’s there, make a memory and smile about it.
Like Charlie Brown from one of my favourite Peanuts quote, I agree, I only seek to not be unhappy.