What is true happiness?

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Happiness is a funny old subject. Talk about how happy you are, and you're considered bragging; talk about how unhappy you are and you're a manic depressive who should keep their thoughts to themselves and stop bringing everybody down.
It is in our nature to continually search for true happiness. Bumping into people we know in supermarkets or on the street, small talk is made and we are asked "how are you? How's the job?" or "how is the weight loss going?" as if the happiness of our being revolves around our work or the size of our bodies.
I've mentioned before that my parents have very strong work ethics, and I was brought up to believe that you got a good job, earned good money, and only treated yourself to the little things you could afford. Although it was instilled in me to chase my dreams and that anything was possible, dreams came second to making sure you had a good and stable job. You didn't take risks as far as money and work were concerned.
For years I followed this track, trying to achieve happiness by chasing my 'dreams' in my spare time- writing music and performing in pubs in the evenings, going to creative writing courses at weekends, writing essays in my lunch break at work in the dreams of one day being an English teacher to make me more 'happy'. Of course none of these brought me true happiness, but what even is true happiness? And does anyone ever achieve it?
I felt that I was destined never to be happy. I had a good job, I earned good money, so why didn't I feel good?

I'm still young, but through the years I've learned a lot about happiness. As a teenager I did not have a happy time. I certainly seemed happy, and looked okay to those around me, but, for one reason or another, I felt empty and lost. Being the stubborn and very closed person I was back then I struggled with these feelings alone until I couldn't take it any more. After that horrible period of my life and watching those around me break themselves trying to get through to me and find out what was wrong, I vowed to myself that I would never let anything come in the way of my own happiness. For me, nothing is worth working yourself into the ground day in day out just for money or career prospects. Of course, it's nice to have money, but when do we get to do the things that really matter in life? Reading a book in the warm sun, spending time with our children witnessing their first steps, building sandcastles at the beach, holding a loved one's hand, singing loud and out of tune, listening to the sea, smelling sweet flowers, getting messy making cakes, riding bikes feeling the wind in our hair, making memories we'll treasure forever. These are the things that should make us truly happy, yet we don't have time to enjoy them. It makes no sense to me that we're stuck in a cycle of working for 40 years to pay for the mortgage on the house that you can't spend any time in because you have to be at work to pay for it and so on and so forth.

Because of this lack of time and deep rooted yearning for something more, so many views of happiness around us are measured on the superficial things- ironically, blogging being one of them. So many same-y blogs out there, writing about the same products, with same-y photos inviting us in to read about the best, rose tinted parts of their lives. It's not often you find an honest blog writing about how much debt they are in, or how they hate their job or that they're not happy in their relationship. We are all real people with real problems, but we take comfort in and assign happiness to the things that matter the least- how much money someone makes, how many yankee candles they have, which back street but oh so hipster cafe they ate a cupcake in over the weekend.
I believe that a lot of people who seem the happiest are actually the saddest- of course, a lot of them genuinely are happy as larry, which is great. But deep down, behind the Instagram smiles and gifted products, we're all just real people with real problems struggling with our own happiness. But then again, what is true happiness?

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1 comment:

  1. This is a beautiful post, it's so honest and real, qualities which are not all that easy to find anymore. It's thought-provoking and makes you question where you are at in your life, where you want to be. So thank you, it is wonderfully written xx