How To Figure Out if You’re Happy
Start in bed. How are you sleeping? Are you sleeping well? Do you leave the TV on until you fall asleep? Do you wake up in the middle of the night so you can turn it off? Or are you, like, drinking yourself to sleep every night? Or smoking weed every night so you can get to sleep? Because these things aren’t happiness.
Wake up. Do you feel bad already? Do you think that today is going to be the same as every day? That all you’re going to do is get out of bed, piss, get dressed, go to work, converse with your extremely dull and having-nothing-to-offer coworkers, come home, put on your sweatpants, and refresh websites repeatedly until you fall asleep? This is an unhappy situation. I promise that you will look back on this time as an unhappy time.
How much TV are you watching? How many hours is it? I hope you don’t watch very much. Watching a lot of TV is not happiness. Watching TV every night after work until you fall asleep is definitely not happiness.
Do you believe that a terrorist attack is imminent? How nervous do you feel on the subway? Flying? Are you afraid of North Korea? Ask yourself: Am I really afraid of North Korea? This is important information to know. Because generalized, doomsday fear of an entire country is pretty stressful and unmanagable and… neverending. Because, like, how could you realistically manage that fear? I guess you could go to war.
How much quiet time do you have? Because quiet time is happy time. How much time do you dedicate to performing a singular, non-multitasked task? What do you do during your free time? Do you have free time?
What about your friends? Are they all your coworkers? Can you actually talk to any of them, or is it something else? Is it like – they are in front of you and you are in front of them and you’re just sort of awkwardly aware that the two of you are in front of each other? That sort of thing? The kind of thing where you’re not engaged? Perhaps you should reconsider things.
And sex. Romance. Who are you seeing? Are they good? Are you in a relationship you feel is unsustainable? Are you simply “putting up” with your significant other? Or are you just fucking a new person every couple of weeks?
What does it even mean to be happy? Do you even have a definition for it? Do you have any idea what happiness is? Is it temporary? An emotion along a string of emotions experienced throughout your day? Is it that you are “at peace” with the world, have “found your way,” and that, despite any difficulties that may arise, you continue to feel peachy and neverendingly satisfied, because for you “life is good,” “hakuna matata,” etc? Or is it general acceptance and compassion? The stoic experience of a range of emotions on a regular basis in acceptance of the fact that reality is not “smiling upon you” because, in terms of emotional capacity, the universe is completely senseless and does not care at all what happens to anything – humans, plants, machines, the sky, the planet, the sun – even itself?
The universe. Do you feel it owes you something? Do you believe that everything will “work out” in the end? How black/white is your worldview? How much information do you block out? What kinds of things do you avoid thinking about? What are you hiding?
Do you think you’ll be happy eventually, so that it’s OK that you’re unhappy at this juncture? Do you think that you’re “putting your life on hold” so that it will be better, later? Do you think there is a “one day” (i.e. “One day I’ll do it, when I feel more ready”). I think that the universe is not privy to your plans.
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On yet another late-night of schoolwork, my friend mused whimsically: “What if your job was to go on vacation all the time? Like if someone just paid you to do vacations for them?”
The online commentariat trades primarily in snark, discourse’s least valuable commodity. Ostensibly, they like to feel like they’re contributing to “the conversation,” but really, they just want to feel good about themselves by putting others down.
It is hard to move to a new city and find an attachment to someone, to something. It is even harder to find that attachment when that someone, that something is hundreds of miles away.
I’ve been in love with the Food Network for a long time. After college, my favorite thing to do after work was to watch Emeril cook something amazing while I sat in front of the TV eating something decidedly unamazing.