Pit-stops On The Road To Happiness

Earlier this week, I rolled around my couch and stared at the ceiling for the better part of an afternoon. I was wasting time having a moment of self-reflection which then turned into an exercise in “shoulda-coulda-woulda.” My overactive brain put sleep, the desired goal, just beyond my fingertips.

At some moment, within the third or fourth hour, I experienced a brief period of calm. Then, I was perplexed. I figured out what was wrong with me but I was confused about the conclusion to which I arrived. It felt even weirder when I said the words out loud.

“I’m not happy.”

Happiness, as it stands, seems to be the ever elusive emotion most people are chasing. I’ve known friends to chase happiness, try to “choose” happiness, or rearrange their entire realities in the pursuit of happiness. The meaning of the word is morphed by the person who seeks it, but most people I know are trying to find their way to it.

I…don’t really know what it means to be happy.

I know about happiness in the abstract sense. Or at least, I’ve took on societal cues on what it means. When I envision it I think of warm feelings and sunshine. Lots of smiles and clear skies. Participating in activities that evoke feelings of bliss as everything feels “right.”

It’s not that I’ve never been happy, only that my time in its companionship has been notably short-lived. At this very moment, I can’t think of too many sessions of “sustained” happiness. My life has mostly been one long struggle after another.

What’s extremely distressing is outside of one or two major things I don’t have right now, I’m not living a terrible life. I mean, for the most part, everything is fine. It obviously could be a bit better but it can also be a lot worse. And that’s the problem.

I’ve been under the impression that once I connect these final pieces everything wrong with me will magically become right. It makes me wonder if I’m setting myself up for disappointment.

There are friends of mine who started off with ambitious goals and managed to climb the hump to get where they are. Fancy titles, their own apartments, furniture, cars, vacations, bills, and everything else we think we want for ourselves. The fulfillment they believed would be waiting for them on the other side of that struggle, however, has yet to show up.

I wonder if I’m doomed to the same fate.

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