I’ve never felt entitled to a happy life.
Happiness doesn’t come on strong. It’s not cocktails and shots at the local bar. That’s Fear. Fear will do that. Fear will hit you over the head and make you dizzy and change you in an instant. Fear is Fear at First Sight.
Happiness is subtle. Happiness is the slow and steady Sunday kind of love that brings you coffee and makes you pancakes from a recipe his grandmother used when he was a kid. Happiness is the awkward conversation and the stumbling words and the fumbling hands. Happiness is delayed gratification. Happiness is good, not easy.
It’s hard, though, not to be skeptical of Happiness, especially if you’ve watched it crash and burn. Sooner or later, Happiness always leaves. It never stays. It’s always too good to be true. Happiness lulls you into false security and rips the rug out from under your feet when you’re not looking.
Fear, on the other hand, never lies. Fear is straightforward, bold and bitter like the black coffee you’ve trained yourself to drink. Fear never pretends to be something he isn’t. Fear knows how to get your blood pumping.
I understand Fear. I’ve dated Fear all my life.
It’s Happiness I can’t quite figure out. Happiness is the riddle my heart won’t stop trying to solve.
I’ve spent my life chasing it, but when it comes, I am terrified. Happiness is a gift horse that I can’t stop looking in the mouth.
No one tells you that, do they?
They don’t tell you that the easy things, the right things, the content things, always make you feel more scared than the hard stuff. That Fear is terrifying but known, and Happiness feels foreign and uncomfortable, like a shoe that just won’t fit right. They don’t tell you how sad it can make you feel. How lonely it is to look at Happiness and wonder whether your heart is big enough to hold it. How crushing it can feel to be pinned under the weight of goodness.
Because to choose Happiness means to believe in happy endings, and we’ve been around long enough to know that life doesn’t always work that way. Choosing Happiness means laying down our armor. It means trusting. It means taking all the risks on all of the days. It means looking at the happy, boring life and saying yes. Yes, I deserve this. Yes, I can let myself feel this. Yes, I will choose this, even if it doesn’t work out the way I thought it would.
It’s hard to love something you’re so incredibly afraid of. It’s hard to surrender to the one who actually knows how to break your heart.
But those are the rules of Happiness. That’s the price you pay for a joy that you can truly feel in your bones.
I’m trying to learn to say yes.
I have to learn how to slow dance with Happiness in the kitchen. How to curl up with it at night. How to begin to expect it day in and day out. If I want Happiness to stay, I have to be brave enough to let it see me. If I want Happiness to stick around, I have to be open enough to grab it with both hands.
What I’m trying to say is: I have to learn to love things that might leave..