This Is How To Finally Be Happy

hannah.sommer
hannah.sommer

If there is a question in this world that I have always dreaded to ask myself, it’s this:

Am I happy?

I wish I could say that I ask myself that as rarely as every monumental day during the year, but the truth is I find myself thinking it—or even saying it out loud—every other week. A tiny part of my heart can’t help but feel like I’m missing something, and most of my brain agree with it. And since this sort of occasion is as extraordinary as the big bang, I’d have to take it as a pressing matter.

More often than not I curse myself from feeling such a horrid hollowness in my guts. I have so much to be thankful for, and to be honest; I could not find any crack in my life that I am discontented with. I can’t. So why do I have this constant feeling that it is not enough? Why do I feel like there are greater things for me that I somehow cannot see? In the recesses of my heart there is a missing puzzle piece, and the thought that I might never discover it frightens me to my bones.

I’ve always had a perfect image in my mind of how I want my life to look like someday:

Racing through the busy traffic looking as kickass as Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada, with a career as vibrant as Olivia Munn in The Newsroom, and an accomplishment as impressive as Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty. Okay, yes, I realize that it is a long shot but really, how do I bring myself to settle for anything less? I have the blueprint of that dream in my head, but what if they’re only lines and never concrete? What if I’ll always be pleased but never happy?

Every particle in my being is telling me that there is something I need to look for, a clue that leads to the treasure. But like Nicolas Cage, all I keep finding are clues leading to other clues.

We all have those feelings we just can’t brush off no matter how many distractions we provide ourselves, and for me, this is one of those feelings. This quest comes with a desire to find something new: a new place, new people, or perhaps, a fresh start. It feels like that missing piece is not here, it’s not with anyone I know right now, and, God forbid, maybe not in this lifetime. How do you find something when you’re not even sure what you’re looking for? My search for that piece to fill the void is desperate, up to the point where it is becoming more and more disheartening.

I was never the kind of person who waits around for something to happen, or for someone to come along. So why does it feel like I suddenly am? Sure, I’m on a continuing journey of finding that missing piece, but I’m always looking at all the distant places. Down the road, round the corner, you name it. It suddenly dawned on me that I’m waiting. I’m waiting. Waiting to find that missing piece, waiting to be finally complete, waiting to be happy. When I thought I was taking charge of my future, I let myself forget how dynamic and uncertain the future is. I let myself forget that we only go to new places, meet new people, and experience a well-deserved fresh start when we are ready for them. But most of all, I let myself forget that this void only makes me human, not incomplete.

Am I happy?

I have been denying myself the privilege to say yes to that question. This quest I’m on have not been in vain, for I know now that I’ve been looking in all the wrong places. I know now that I have been looking out and tip-toeing around for something certainly uncertain, something that I will only find when I learn to embrace this hollowness and still be happy. Happy, perhaps, is not down the road. It’s not around the corner. It’s not in someone else’s hands, nor it is in a distant place I’ve never visited. It’s every single day.

It’s every meal I have and every hand I shake, it’s every book I read and every smile I see. It’s within the void, not outside of it. Happiness, as I’ve come to realize, is right here. Happiness is right here, right now, or not at all.

So. Am I happy?

Yes I am. TC mark

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