Are You Happy?

The Morning Rush had a recent Top Ten on how to answer the question, “Are you happy” and I just watched This is Where I Leave You, a movie centred on a family coming together due to a death. Both had me thinking about happiness and my current state. I guess the thing with aging is that at one point, you do have to address the very question. I wonder if kids even ask themselves that; they just are. They cry and get mad and laugh and just move on and do something else. They don’t wallow in the concept of feelings and hurt egos and pride and whatnots. They really know and live the good life, don’t they? And what about us adults? Wow, did I just call myself an adult? Well if adulthood means living to understand that life isn’t perfect and that it will always be crappy in many bends and that it’s all about working your way towards a decent retirement, then I certainly qualify in the category. Just read the news, man. Or observe the streets teeming with addicts, drunkards, homeless people, and panicked and depressed individuals. Won’t the sight give you a dose of what adulthood is? It will tell you how many of us have tried our hardest yet have fallen over to the weight of growing old and getting worn out but not exactly growing up. It will reveal how many of us are prisoners to the feelings that we allow to engulf us. Our sense of entitlement, our prides, our beliefs or non-beliefs, our various forms of brokenness and inability to cope. We would all probably answer “I’m happy but…” or “I will be happier if…” or “I can be happy by…” but all in all, what we really can’t communicate is this, that we do not know for sure what can keep us happy. We don’t really know what happiness is or if we do, how we can stay there. I mean, the very question will ring different things to different people. To some it’s having a baby, to others, remaining alone. To most it means money, who wouldn’t want that right? It’s just so many different things laid out in one simple question. What do we say? How do we actually respond? Can we even fathom what it even truly means for us? What will make us happy? What makes us happy? What made us happy? Why aren’t we like that anymore? Why do we need to feel happy to feel at peace and content and able to breathe better? This is word vomit, forgive me for the blunt truth that you already know. It’s just that this question hangs in my consciousness and I can’t seem to ever run away from it. It hounds me, like the very reason I get to exist is to find it, chase it and live it. Perhaps you feel or have felt the same way. You know, the elated feeling in your heart, pulse racing, head giddy, all that high?  Or that tranquil vibe in your soul that just stays there and you know you are just where and who you should be. Sometimes chocolates provide that for a while; lasagna too. But ever so often, I am reminded that things don’t and will never suffice. And I guess, other people never would, either. I mean, for someone else to complete us and make our worlds perfect? We can surround ourselves with people and still never be happy. We can enclose ourselves in and live like a hermit and still not be happy. Perhaps what I want to drive at is this, the circumstances we have and the people we are with and the things we own can never give us happiness the way we think we need to have them. Something’s always gonna go wrong, someone’s always gonna f*ck up, something’s always gonna get old and everything’s always gonna be dispensable. What might actually make us happy is just being that, choosing it, deciding it and staying there no matter the circumstance. Isn’t that what kids do? They go with the present and hang in there ’til something else comes along? Aren’t they content with whatever their parents or playmates or teachers give them? They envision the future and speak of their wishes, hopes and dreams and believe they’d someday wake up a country’s president, an astronaut, or someone of worth. They delight in all things, they look past fights and hurts and lack. They just marvel at life and skip and jump and gallop their way through ’til they’re home and safe with the ones they trust. And mind you, they trust everyone unless their parents instruct them not to. Imagine that faith in people, in things, in life. Kids have it figured out. I hope us adults get past figuring things out and finally being that, living happy. No matter the reason. No matter the cause. Just no matter.

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