What Is Happiness Anyway?
Hello there Everyone!
Here I am, ready to tackle another jam-packed topic. This post is going to be largely a ramble, but the best way I can stop thinking about all these thoughts, is to put it on paper.
Fore warning this is probably going to be one to bookmark and read in segments, or during a long morning commute.
I've started to realize that this blog is becoming more of a chronicle of my wandering thoughts- a public diary- than anything else. Thank you for baring with me while I finalize the direction and niche of my online platform. Until then I'm just gonna go with the flow (and I guess you're going downstream with me :)
Over the course of this past month, I've rewritten this 3 times, with my 4th attempt being right here, right now.
I suppose that just speaks to the complexity of the topic I'm about to discuss, and it really is that complex.
Instead of abandoning the entire idea all together I've decided to something a little different and turn this topic into a bit of a click-through series (you'll see what I mean in just a sec).
It all started last semester whilst I was studying for my last final exam. That final week was frustrating. I was irritated, exhausted, and slightly miserable to say the least. In other words, just being your typical student. Instead of focusing on studying my brain was consumed just about anything else. I kept asking myself:
"how is this information contributing to fulfilling your goals in life".
Then I thought, wait a second, what are my goals in life?
Lately, the topic weighing heavy on my mind has been my thoughts about the future (cue anxiety). My psyche can't escape this whirlwind of a thought. Moving into my fourth year of University the unavoidable career/ life plan question keeps popping up. While the question has always existed, but now, the difference being, I'm expected to have a definite answer
*Cue more anxiety*
It's not just thinking about the future that leaves me uneasy. It's thinking about does that future involve me being happy? Naturally, the next question that strikes the mind is:
What is happiness?
Is that the goal in life...to ACHIEVE HAPPINESS?
...and if there's one thing that's been keeping me up at night it's those previous questions.
I think this is the time where we keep getting things thrown at us, forcing us to deliberate all the existential questions in life. Ugh and we probably spend too long and too much time pondering our purpose.
***If you think you're having a millennial life crisis-you are not...Well, at least you're not alone in it. I'm here with you, alongside plenty more twenty-something-year-olds**
Beyoncé, said it once 'my aspiration in life, is to be happy'. I agree! except in the song, (Pretty Hurts) Same here girl, but Queen B failed me in outlining a version of happiness like in a way that I could agree with...
Is the pursuit of happiness really the goal? Is it something we should be striving towards, or is it going to be a byproduct of our actions? Is it luck? Chance? Or some things we should even be worried about?!
Here I am. Doing it again. Asking a bunch of existential questions that I can't answer. Clearly because I don't have the answers yet. If there's anyone else out there that shares even a sliver of these thoughts, I want you to be comforted by the fact that your not the only one confused.
So, here I am trying to figure it out for myself.
Like I said earlier I've constructed a mini-series that you can go through at your own pace.
I've titled it all:
What is Happiness Anyways?
How's this going to work?
Traditionally the easiest way that I've found to deal with this subject of 'happiness' is describing what it isn't, but this time I wanted to challenge myself to think about the concept thoroughly and outline some of my beliefs around the complicated emotion.
In order to dedicate enough space to each subject, I've made mini posts where I go into better detail about each topic.
Within this realm of happiness I’ll be touching on, Career and Money; Knowledge and Education and then finally; Relationship and Love.
Take your time and click away to start streamlining yourself through each topic. There's no need to do it all at once. In fact, I encourage you to take your time and break it up.
If you've gone through all three posts by this point, you're probably wondering...
Okay Samantha, How do we make sense of it all?!
Honestly, if you've made it this far, I thank you for getting through the mental gymnastics, of thoughts and questions. If you decided that three more posts were not for you, I’ll still leave you with two of my takeaways.
1. The first conclusion I've drawn is that I think as long as we're aware that the happiness we're chasing is of our own, rather someone else's definition it seems to be a good place to start.
We must to unsubscribe to what everyone else perceives as happiness and just figure out what our individual definition is. Even though I believe knowledge and love are key features, that’s my definition- the entire topic is clearly it's subjective.
We're still Learning
It's a lifetime event.
I mentioned in my last post that we’re ALL trying to negotiate this thing called growing up, and how to be happy while doing it.
One thing that Vancouver weather has taught me, is that things change fast. No matter what the forecast says, nature has a mind of its own. Yes, there’s a science behind our weather systems, but it's still somewhat all a prediction- nothing is guaranteed.
2. I’m highlighting this, to point out the fact that while we can work towards pursuing a happy life, I don't believe that it's something that should be envisioned as an "end goal".
That assumes that and we can be in a constant state of delight for our whole life, and we know that that's not true. I'll go as far to say that it's not healthy to think that's even attainable.
Why? because how can you truly appreciate the good days if you've never had any bad ones?
Cliches become cliche for a reason, my friends.
These common saying are the facts of life. I always spit them out in hopes that at least one person can catch on to them and gets some assurance.
So I guess that answers the question In the title, no. It's not an end goal, and well that means I guess Queen Bey was wrong haha.
Personally, I believe happiness it's something we should yearn for in through our works, through searching for truth, and mostly through loving ourselves and one another.
I think it's about trying to attain an overall state where we can be content and happy more often than not.
-more often than not, yet not always-
So where does that leave me?
Hopefully one day, years from now I'll be able to look back laugh at these chaotic thoughts with ease. Maybe it will serve me as a reminder of my original thoughts on happiness as a fresh twenty-year-old.
I have a guiding sense that hopefully sooner rather than later "everything will all work out" But more often than not I still go to bed trying to negotiate the meaning of passion, purpose and pleasure....and how to exude love in it all on my quest to happiness. I'll just start with that is has to do with loving yourself and then loving others.
Like I mentioned earlier, I've meditated on this topic for what feels like ages. Writing, erasing, typing, backspacing and I was so happy when I thought finally finished this post.
But, of course, something else happened... last week. After a random suggestion I listened to an album that goes by the title of Forest Hill Drives. Sure, I've heard songs from the album numerous times but an in-depth listen to the live version rather than the studio album made a world of a difference.
It was crucial.
This raw uncut album had me paying attention to Jermaine as a poet, rather than a performer. For the first time, rather than just hearing a few good bars to a nice beat, I was actually listening attentively to each lyric.
You know that feeling when something finally clicks and makes sense? As I listened to the intro bells just started to ring, and they definitely kept increasing in volume. (Double entendre and cross-reference intended).
I was shook, haha. It was all too much of a coincidence. Almost every song in that album had me making connections to this post. The gem that swept me away in relation to this topic is Love Yourz. The substance in his description prior to the song, and the actual song itself does a better job at simply exampling all the sentiments I have about happiness, in a simpler, potentially more palatable form.
I've become addicted to the storytelling in his songs. It's not just this song either, you hear it in I, and FEAR, by Kendrick as well as Hall of Fame by the Script or Rise Up by Andra Day, Patience by RAYBLK...the list goes on and on.
Truthfully, I have incurred little ease from the beginning of this post 😅 but hey-
One thing I try and always remember is to be comforted by the fact that
there's final say,
and that the joy and love from this guiding hand is stronger than anything else, so I can be happy with that,
but that's just me,