Happiness. Is it real? Does it really exist? What does it look like? What does it consist? What are the rules, parameters, stipulations? How can something undefined, unsolidified exist? How can something so distinctly relative and individually interpreted be definable in any common sense or in a general definition?
According to Webster’s Dictionary, happiness is the state of being happy; an experience that makes you happy. But, what is happy? Again, Merriam-Webster declares that happy is an adjective that means feeling pleasure and enjoyment because of your life, situation, etc.; showing or causing feelings of pleasure and enjoyment; pleased or glad about a particular situation, event, etc.
Well, then everyone in the world has had such moments, even the most depraved, repressed, depressed, enslaved person has at one time or another experienced such moments. But, does that make them happy?
A writer friend of mine, Tom Piccirilli, well, more or less a writer acquaintance of mine, passed away a few days ago. I had the pleasure of interviewing him last year for West Georgia Living Magazine. I think fondly on our interview, on his appreciative words about my article, on his gifts as a wonderful writer. His wife posted about his passing today on his Facebook account. My heart broke that he had finally lost his battle with cancer, but it wasn’t sadness I felt when reading his wife’s words, it was something deeper than that, something precious. I was being shown what happiness was in the midst of grief. His wife spoke of the happy years they had together. Sure they had plenty of bad times and bad moments, he battled cancer – it was tough, but they spent those times together, loving each other, supporting one another, and that is what made them happy. Bad moments couldn’t destroy their overall happiness; they didn’t matter.
I remember loving James during the most stressful time of my life, and when he died and the darkness settled in on me, that’s when I knew I had been happy right in the middle of the struggles. I have many, many happy moments with my kids: I remember playing outside in the rain with them, splashing in the mud, lying in bed telling them stories, slip-n-sliding in kitchen floor (it was my way of mopping), smack-talking during a board or card game, having Guitar Hero competitions, letting them show me how to pop waves on the jet ski, playing the clean-up-race-game, dressing up in costumes for a mid-night book release party, and so on and so forth. My kids loved me and I loved them… and I was really happy.
Things change. People grow up, lives get disrupted, and some leave this world and leave us behind. My world has changed so much in the last few years and I’ve shed quite a few tears because of it, but you know what… I’m still happy, I still know happiness, it’s just in different things and comes in different ways. It’s never in what I think it should or would be. I’m kinda lost trying to figure out who I am and where I belong. Happiness, for me, is now found in a random text, while killing aliens, in an occasional touch, in a sweet kiss, or in a simple embrace. Some days I’m so sad I can’t breathe, but even in that I find happiness.
I can’t go back and grab happiness from anything in my past. Those things don’t work for my present. I can’t sit and wait for happiness to happen, because it’s not something you can make happen, and tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. It’s a present state of being, regardless of feelings, because of what is happening here and now. I’m learning happiness comes from loving and being loved… and I love very much, and am loved very much. Is it ideal, how I think I should be, or consists of what I should do, or wrapped in a way I think it should come? Does it matter? No. I can’t fit my life into the shape, the mold, or the ideal of anything other than what it is. It’s crazy. It’s odd. It’s different. It’s unconventional. It’s weird. It clashes with every group of society and I’m really sick and tired of trying to make it fit somewhere. I don’t fit in, and those strange creatures who don’t often understand why they love me, love me for all that I am. They can’t seem to get rid of me, but they can’t define me either. Doesn’t matter… as long as they love me, I’m happy.
Should I leave this world tomorrow… know that I lived today and I was happy.
Till next time,