“ Are you happy?” Now, I was asked this question by a friend, well not really a friend but I know him and he knows me and we talk sometimes, I think but we’re not friends nor are we acquaintances but that’s not the point. The point is that he found me sitting outside, very late in the night, and assumed that I was depressed. He further went on to express how worried he was about me, which was utter nonsense but when I stopped him in his tracks to explain that I wasn’t depressed and that I was just enjoying the silence of the night, with the hopes that he would leave me alone of course, he decided it would be better, you know, while he is there to ask me if I was happy.
“ What does it mean to be happy?” I instantly shot back. I asked this question because I was taken aback by how he casually asked me if I was happy- as if he didn’t understand the magnitude of his question. The manner of his question-asking method- made me curious to want to know if he really understood his own question and maybe help me understand what it really means to be happy. We stood in silence for a while and then he said “ I don’t know” and because he knew I write, he was hoping I had the answer. “I feel joy instead,” I said. First, he was shocked by my answer because it was inconceivable to him that there could be anything to feel besides heavy sadness and complete, undisturbed happiness, and then as you can imagine, he asked me what that meant. I couldn’t answer this question at the moment but it makes perfect sense to me and this is the only way I could ever describe it.
I don’t know what it means to be happy but I know I feel joy instead. And that means to me, to feel a sense of gratitude and completeness. It is the absolute certainty and peace in knowing that you need nothing outside of yourself, with a feeling of excitement for the future. It is steadiness at your own pace regardless of what is happening around you. It is the ability to look in the mirror and love what you see, pride in who you’ve become no matter what you’ve been through, and knowing that if the universe gave you an opportunity to do it all over again, there is nothing you would change or do differently.
I cannot describe happiness nor will I attempt to but I wonder if I will know when I experience it and if I have ever felt it before. I will not seek out happiness if I have to step out of myself to attain it. I am content and thoroughly enjoy the joy that I feel within myself every day. This joy is what I intend to hold on to for the rest of my life because I have gone through hell within myself to find it. My goal in this entire lifetime is to hold on to the peace that I feel within. And if happiness is something I cannot find within nor do I know when I am feeling it, then is it really worth it?