I’m sprawled out on the couch right now and I’m a little tipsy off of some sauvignon blanc I liberally added to my body while cooking dinner and I’m listening to Taylor Swift’s 1989 on repeat until my ears bleed and I’m not happy. Fuck being happy. I’m sick of trying to be happy. You know what I want to be and what I am right now? Alive.
I’m sick of the maddening sprint toward happiness. We’re driving ourselves crazy, ragged, stressed, for some high, some glimmer of a shininess, of a happiness. Why? Who said we need to be happy? Who said we deserve it? Who cares? What’s the whole point of it?
We’re unhappy because we’re not happy. We’re miserable because we’re not happy. We’re chasing happy, we’re choosing happy, we’re thinking positive! thoughts! Always positive! Always happy! Chase, choose, chase, choose.
Aren’t you exhausted? Yes, the answer is yes, you are. Because I know I am. The tireless, fruitless pursuit to some happy place needs to stop. We’re forgetting how to be alive, how to be in pain, how to suffer. We’re glossing over. We’re saying we’re fine when we’re not fine. We’re lying to ourselves and to everyone else. We’re eschewing the truth about who we are and how we feel because we want to appear happy, we want to be happy, we want our Twitter and Facebook and Instagram followers to think, damn, they have it all, they’re happy.
We’re filled with paranoia and shame and we’re pretending to be people we’re not and we’re looking at the greener grass and thinking other people have it better than we have it and we’re never, ever giving ourselves a moment to just breathe and be in our lives and just understand that life isn’t happiness and life isn’t anything except a devastating and exhilarating collection of moments. We can’t live wrong. We can’t even live right. We can only live. There are no degrees of living. But, you can cease to allow the humanity of it all, to pretend that the constant, relentless search for happiness is the Whole Point. It’s not even part of the point. It’s a tiny fraction of the point.
The rollercoaster, the up and down, the growth parts, the healing parts, the boring parts, it’s all the parts. It’s a million little pieces that add up to a lifetime. It’s a million little emotions that make up the moments that make up your life. Stop trying to define your life by the happiness you have or don’t have. Let it go. Truly let it go. And let yourself be here, right now, in this moment. Let the pain be pain. Let the sadness be sadness. Let the joy be the joy. Stop trying to make anything besides happiness mean you’re doing something wrong. You’re alive! It’s hard! It sucks! It’s beautiful and it sucks and it’s a million things, like I said, all those million things are what makes up your life. Let them be a million little pieces. Let your life be a million moments, not a perfectly curated collection of happy moments.
Because, happiness is a part, an emotion, a small fraction of what makes up a life. Yet, in our pursuit of it, we perceive our lack of it. And, in that lack, we throw ourselves down and criticize and fall into the hole and we make it harder to be alive. Life is hard enough, let’s not add on that shame and that hardness and that feeling like we’re doing it wrong or we’re missing something. We’re not! We’re alive and it’s everything there is. It’s all the moments we’re collecting, these brief and beautiful and passing and everything moments. Let’s dive in to those. Let’s be alive today.