Can we ever truly be happy?

Dear Reader,

I know the title of this posts seems at first glance a little bit gloomy, I assure you that's not where this is going.

I want to start by disclaiming that, despite literal months of writing this, I have failed to get the tone right. In no way is this post meant to be a brag over how happy I am, nor an aloof assumption that I am at my happiest, or better at being happy than anyone else (if that's even possible). That being said, I hope you understand the discussion I'm attempting to feebly provoke and the emphasis on the nature of happiness itself.

I've been thinking a lot in the past few months about what happiness is. Why when it's absent does it seem so far off and why, when it's present, do we take it for granted? Why do we spend so much time and money on achieving it, and why, for many people is it the whole purpose of living? Why is our happiness dependent most often on other people?

Basically, I have a whole lot of questions.

I was inspired to write this article a few months ago because I am happy. Happier than I've been for a long time, at a time where all the odds are stacking up for me not to be happy.

I thought this post far too personal to ever publish, but here we are.

I am surfacing from a period of grieving, spend most of my days wracked with stress (lol uni) and miss my family from the physical and emotional distance a lot. Half the time I have an overwhelming sense of impending doom that everything is about to collapse and there's nothing I can do about it. I am on the edge. I am on the edge but I am happy.

I am happy, admittedly, largely since opposite me is sat a boy, or rather a man I suppose. By some incomprehensible miracle, he happens to really like me. He is quite wonderful and makes me want to hum a lot.

I am also happy because, despite everything, I feel like in this last year I have become settled. By that I mean, I know who I am, I know what I want and I love myself. There are times when all this isn't true of course, the way we feel about ourselves changes minute by minute, but all in all, I feel like even though stress and anxiety are conquering me a lot more than they used to, in myself and my position with my friends and what I'm doing I somehow am happy.

It seems baffling that this is the case - I always found happiness in times of relaxation and organisation, which is not necessarily how I would describe my life at the moment.

Everything and yet nothing is clicking in my life, and that makes me happy.

Happiness is a changing and personal thing. My happiness or what makes me happy is completely separate from yours. My happiness today will be different from my happiness tomorrow, no two states of happiness are the same.

I think also I have realised is my happiness is MINE. Yes, other people can contribute to it or affect it. mental illness can completely corrupt it. What I mean is, my happiness is my responsibility. If I am not happy, something has to change. Pursuing happiness is a life long challenge or journey, and it is inherently personal. All of us do it, even though it is totally selfish and unfair, but we rely on family, friends and significant others to MAKE us happy. "You make me so happy". It should be "you add to my happiness" or something to the same effect. Happiness is something so entrenched in yourself that it, in its essence is externally untouchable. It is your responsibility to not only put your happiness first but to find ways to make you happy if happiness is what you want.

You should never put the responsibility of your happiness on somebody else. It is unfair and in the long run, it is never sustainable. People come and go from your life, you are the only constant, so it is within you that you have to keep the core of your happiness.

These last few months have had some of the lowest points in my life. I think I finally felt, for the first time, real and utter despair.

I have ached thoroughly with unhappiness.

And yet.

And that is happiness. It is in the cups of tea after a long day, it's in an old photo you forgot about, it's when one of your favourite songs comes on, laughing yourself silly with your closest friends, it's sitting in a library with a really nice boy and knowing if you reached out your hand right now, he would take it.

Hebe x

No comments