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Happiness?

March 15, 2008

Some time ago I think I lost what it feels like to be happy. I mean, there are times when I’m genuinely pleased with myself and the people I’m around, but it’s always fleeting. I keep feeling like I pick up sand and it slowly slips from my grasp. I don’t mean this in a, “Nobody loves me,” emo kind of way. But I can’t remember the last time I was genuinely happy. I don’t think of myself as a bitter man, but I do have my cynical streak that is slowly giving way and flooding my psyche. But as for days where I can wake up in the mirror and say, “Gee, I’m glad I am who I am,” I don’t have those kind of days. And if I do feel good it’s still only temporary. I thought for a bit about the people and things that make me happy and I’ve come to the conclusion that not a lot of what I do makes me happy.

I look at my behaviors and ask myself, “Has this made me happy? Has this made a difference in my life?” The short answer is no. Graphic design makes me happy because it’s creative and I can channel parts of myself I never knew I had and occasionally come up with a design that people genuinely like. I like doing that and it makes me happy. I like hanging out with my friends (when I do); it makes me feel alive. I like those warm-cool nights in the spring where I can roll my windows down and just drive. I like a sunny spring day which isn’t too warm or too cold. Just listening to nature and feeling it all around me. I used to have those kind of days back in elementary school where I could just pause my life and sit and listen. I was happy. I didn’t know what I knew now and I was happier for it.

I often wonder how I got here from where I was and it makes me wistful for that time back. Things were a lot easier for me and I could say I was happy because I hadn’t had years of rejection and solitude staring me in the face.  Now it seems like those things are constant and the happiness becomes less and less. You could say I am depressed, but I don’t think so. I still can feel joy and I can be happy. So, I don’t think it’s that. Maybe it’s just a life (so far) full of regrets and missed opportunities. I mean–here I am sitting home on a Saturday night complaining about these things. I feel like I’m searching for answers to my problems and they keep bringing up more questions for me and I just can’t take it. I want solutions. And I absolutely hate uncertainty. Granted, life is always going to be uncertain, but I think a modicum of answers would be appreciated.

I guess nothing that is good should be easy to obtain–that it takes hard work and a lot of failure. But for once I wish things could be simple again. I know that’s a silly notion and I know that’s not possible. Still, for me there would be no anxiety and no rejection, no fear of failure. No fear of being alone. There would just be me being able to get on with my life without worry and I could be happy on a constant basis. Which is all I ever really want.

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