Why didn’t I learn to treat everything like it was the last time. My greatest regret was how much I believed in the future.
― Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
What is happiness?
Is it when you get your first raise? Well, probably. Is happiness moving into your first apartment? I’d say so. How about getting a scholar ship or an A+? What about having a big fancy house and nice car? All those things would definitely make one happy, wouldn’t you agree? I consider that those things could and most definitely do make people happy, but that’s a little bland isn’t it?
The small things in between all the big events of life seem to go unnoticed for the most part, that is…until we lack them. Which is a shame because they are what make life interesting and give it meaning. Lately I’ve began to notice that small things really mean so much more than the obvious things. Like my cat trying to wake me up in the morning and eventually dozing off next to me; feeling absolutely at bliss laying next to the person I love, or dancing around a room to a song that puts a smile on my face just because I feel like it, or looking up and seeing an uncountable amount of sparkling stars while camping. That brings more light into my life than the big generic expectations of what makes people happy. Everyone’s got something that makes them smile like a little kid, something that truly just makes them glow from the inside out. For me, the list isn’t too long but it’s decent. Sometimes my moment of happiness is unexpected, like a little flicker passes through me and I simply smile because I remembered the look on my grandfather’s face when he saw me after not seeing me for years, or when my parents and I have a laughing fit at something silly. For me, those moments are forever ingrained in my mind. The happiest moments of my life are of course to do with achievements on one level; but on another level, a much more meaningful one, my happiest moments are minute, tiny, wee fragments of time where I feel totally & completely elated in the most soul satisfying way. I wish for more of those moments in my life…and everyone else’s.
I don’t like to preach to people about what is wrong and what is right. I am not one to poke at people’s beliefs and challenge their values. However, I do think we, as a collective whole, have rooted ourselves so deeply in our technology and in ourselves that we are stuck. Only a small number of individuals are able to fully enjoy those little things that otherwise go unnoticed because, we are too stuck in our own thoughts or our cellphones or Facebook. What ever happened to conversation? We talk to people via text all the time, even in the presence of our friends or family; or Facebook message others while sitting next to someone else. We never turn off the phone and have a day with our significant other just because, just to know them a little better or to talk to them about things that normally never get said. Don’t get me wrong technology is wonderful and I couldn’t do without it for the most part (you know, university stuff, research, email, general entertainment, downloading movies)…but in all honesty, there are (many) days I just want to leave my phone turned off, laptop off and go be a human. Go enjoy someones company in person instead of texting, or go for a walk along the sea-wall and watch life around me, or even something as simple as sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows. I wonder if we are capable of not having our phones latched to us like an extra limb. Or, perhaps it’s just me. However, this is where we are at and where we will stay or even progress; c’est la vie.
In any case, my rantings of a mad woman are done now. If you don’t agree, so be it. I think a lot, and sometimes I think about thinking (I know right?) and where has that landed me? No where really. I have never once thought myself into happiness, yet have managed to think myself out of it numerous times haha. Anyway, the moral of this post is: enjoy your life, your way. Smile like a fool when you want to, laugh at stupid things that tickle your fancy, and don’t be afraid to let the light in.