31 Day Writing Challenge Day 28: “A time when you were happy”
Last night, I hit a palpable dating slump. These dips happen on occasion, unexpectedly, as I’m going about my life just fine when I realize that there’s still something missing. And, not only do I realize it, but I also harp on it. Zero in on it. Scrutinize and question the gap. I don’t know what incited yesterday’s pit; it wasn’t anything memorable. But, it happened.
I screamed to the ceiling three consecutive times. I poured a glass of wine, texted my best friend that “I hate dating and I quit” and went on a bit of a Twitter rant about how I don’t have the stamina to date (which is part truth.) I felt like a piece of shit–a single piece of shit, that is.
I decided to sift through my small CD collection until I found Joss Stone’s 2007 album “Introducing Joss Stone.” I listened to it uninterrupted for the next hour, the music serving as both an intoxicant and mild confidence boost.
And, then, I was happy.
I read a quote yesterday that said, “It was like she could only enjoy things in anticipation or as memories.” I find myself guilty of this life modus operandi many times. It’s as though happiness always eludes us because we’re either anticipating it or reflecting on it. But, we rarely let ourselves sink into the pillow of a good moment. Then, it’s gone and we are bliss fiends waiting for the next best thing.
We mistaken happiness for these monumental life moments. We’re always waiting for the right person. The better job. Our big birthday. We’re always leaving our own happiness up to external circumstances, a dependence that is the shortest route to disappointment. Because, there are people who found the right person. There are people who got the better job. There are people who celebrated that big birthday. And, you know what? Some of those people are still unhappy souls with their own set of issues.
All of these small yet beautiful moments are sweeping right past our anticipatory eyes. Waiting for happiness doesn’t make us any happier. It actually makes us quite miserable.
I unplugged and put on Joss Stone last night because I was tired of feeling shitty after all of ten minutes so I was determined to crawl my way to a better mental space. To a certain extent, I can’t control my dating life or meeting the right person, so why expel my end-of-the-day energy into getting all worked up about it?
Happiness isn’t something that is bestowed upon you. It isn’t this sparkly dust that falls on your pretty little head. Happiness isn’t something that happens by default or as a result of specific experiences. Happiness is something you have to fight for every single damn day. Some days you’ll win that battle and some days you won’t, but you still have to fight it. Happiness is something you have to trick yourself into. It’s a feeling that you have to take complete ownership of, lest you spend your life as some debilitated damsel in distress waiting to be loved.