What does it feel like to be happy?

I’ve never been truly happy before. What does that mean, what does that feel like, exactly?”

My father, my dad, dear daddy Jung, asked me this question under the glimmering stars of Joshua Tree this summer.

This was the wrap-up, a few hours after my honest conversation.

As I told my father about the fact that I am now my own person now, he asked me if I was happy.

Tears flow down my eyes. Tears of joy. Tears of honesty. Tears of pain. Tears of excitement.

I can proudly and certainly tell you that I have been the happiest I’ve been in my entire life. I am so happy. On a regular basis, I wake up happy and I go to bed happy.

A long pause.

Really? But how do you KNOW? How do you know you’re really happy?

Daggers to my heart. This is when I knew that my father never felt true happiness.

Why? Why NOT? My father has so many reasons, opportunities, and memories to be happy about.

The truth is, he doesn’t see them. He doesn’t accept them.

But he did tell me that he learns from me. How to be happy, from my way of being.

Honesty. Lightness. Laughter.

Dad & I at Joshua Tree

He asked me to keep smiling.

So I smile. Everyday.

Dear Dad, I hope you find your happiness, little by little, one climb after the other out of your darkness.

Love always,

-your happy daughter

Like what you read? Give Jeehye Jung a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.