Here’s The Thing About Happiness…

There are many things I’ve come to appreciate about living outside of DC. Tonight, I drove to the Alexandria Waterfront. I actually prefer it over the more popular Georgetown waterfront. It was late at night. Foggy. Cold but not frigid. It was a perfect atmosphere to be alone with my thoughts.

Scrolling through my iPod, I chuckled at the song that jumped out at me.

Kanye West is in his own little world. However, should we really be surprised by anything he says or does at this point? His manufactured self-confidence is something that isn’t unique or uncommon, though. Music just happens to be how those insecurities are masked. Anyway, the last time I felt moved by Kanye was Watch The Throne. The album still has a great replay value (at least in my opinion)

See, I just want him to have an easy life, not like Yeezy life
Just want him to be someone people like
Don’t want him to be hated, all the time judged
Don’t be like your daddy that would never budge

I played New Day a few times over before recognizing how fitting it is on multiple levels. For one, it’s a love letter to unborn sons. Woven into that is the most basic desire to raise happy children.

Happy, healthy children are the result of foundations that are sound and complete.

In many artists' repertoirs, there’s an underlying commonality of wrestling with old demons because of an absent parent — typically a father. Having two parents doesn’t ensure happiness no more than having a lot of money does. But not having two parents will make understanding happiness and keeping it close to your chest that much more difficult.

We all have baggage and old wounds. However, it’s the acknowledgement of such things that make room for the possibility of turning out to be a happy and content individual. Delusions most certainly will give birth to deceit and dysfunction.

This is a conversation that I’ve had multiple times in therapy. I struggled with happiness as a concept. I had a narrow way of viewing it, how to get it, and how it can be used as currency in navigating relationships.

I see often that being happy is about either stuff or chasing a high. People are building entire brands and companies on the way to the promised land. Kel Campbell wrote an amazing piece about how he doesn’t buy into the hype of these professional pitch-men selling the allure. I don’t either anymore. There is no such thing as a dream life or the right life. There is no listicle to follow that’ll end in fulfillment.

The best thing I learned about happiness is that it’s okay to not be happy all the time.

Happiness occurs on a scale. Some days are going to better than others. So what is happiness really?

When it all comes down to is that happiness is about acceptance — of the good and the bad.

Happiness is about enjoying your own company.

Happiness is about not taking everything personal.

Happiness is about protecting your peace of mind.

Happiness is about thriving in your lane.

Happiness is about knowing your value even on those days when you feel invisible.

Happiness is about discerning toxic people and relationships and dismissing them with no explanation.

Happiness is about making connections that feed your soul.

Happiness is about knowing when to let go.

Happiness is believing that what you lost you’ll get back when the time is right.

I’m working tirelessly on me so that my son can learn from my sins, not be burdened by them. I pray my children will shape their version of happiness through curious eyes and a fearless heart.