No one prepared me for happiness. And I know that doesn’t make much sense. Why would anyone need preparing for happiness?
Well, to understand what I’m trying to say, let me give a brief preface.
Everything I’ve ever known taught me something about Sadness, about pain and sorrow. I’m almost constantly bombarded with lessons:
it doesn’t last forever,
you will survive the worst of the worst,
pain eventually fades,
you’ll move past the things that haunt you right now.
I could explain the way sadness feels, down to the smallest of details. The different ways it manifests itself, taking up different forms, showing its ugly face even to the most unsuspecting of people. It’s easy to spot, easy to see, easy to understand. The vocabulary I have to describe the feeling, is so full, so diverse. I could categorize the different types of sadness that exists, list them from the least painful to the most excruciating, and you would be able to understand exactly what I’m trying to say.
Because people prepare you for sadness. Everything I’ve ever read, watched, listened to, has prepared me for it.
It’s everywhere, whether we like to acknowledge it or not. So I’ve been well prepared to feel it, to push myself through it, to come out the other side and be ok.
happiness hits you like a truck. It’s a swift kick to the gut that catches you by surprise. Because no one ever prepares you for how much you’ll love happiness, how much you’ll want it to last, and how worried you’ll be wondering when it will end. It’s almost overwhelming just how amazing happiness can feel, and feeling that way is always so dangerous.
Happiness makes you want things, it makes you want to work harder, dream bigger, be better, to strive for more, just so you can experience more of it. And as corny as this is going to sound, we’re like drug addicts when it comes to happiness.
It’s something that comes second nature to us, I mean that’s how its always been sold to me anyway. We’re supposed to be happy, we’re supposed to live so that we can be happy, we’re supposed to make it a constant in our lives, but who’s ever really happy? And who’s ever really happy for their entire lives?
I probably sound like a cynic. I know you’re probably thinking,
this negative bitch sounds so stupid
but bare with me.
I have it understood that you can’t lose something if you don’t have anything to lose. And we’re all so prepared to lose sadness, we’re reminded time and time again that it doesn’t last, that the pain fades, so it’s loss means so little to us. We’re glad when we lose sadness.
But no one prepares you to lose happiness, we’ve all only been told to gain it. And I just can’t help but think that maybe if we were all just better prepared to lose it, we wouldn’t be so hurt without it. And this isn’t to say that we shouldn’t push harder, dream bigger, work harder, and do more because I’ll always support the idea of someone becoming a better version of themselves.
It would be easier to remind ourselves that while we are happy in the moment, it won’t last, that it’ll come and go.
And as cynical and depressing as it is to think this way, I just believe that reminding ourselves, to not get too lost in the feeling, will help when we aren’t happy.
I think I would have been a lot better off if I had just been shown happiness in the way I was always shown sadness to be because nothing hurt me more than when I realized that “happily ever after” just wasn’t a thing that exists. And I know that may sound naive and immature of me, and it probably shocks you that I could ever be THAT clueless, but I was. The anxiety and stress I felt, trying to secure myself a piece of happiness that would last me a lifetime was exhausting. Everything for me was a constant battle of trying to find something that I could be certain of that would remain with me, keep me happy forever, so that I would be set in life.
I always thought that there was something wrong with me, that something was lacking in my life because I wasn’t happy all the time. I thought, if my life is so good, shouldn’t I be happy all the time?, and I would beat myself up, cause myself endless amounts of anxiety, trying to find the thing that would give me my “forever happy”. And when I wasn’t sure what that thing should be, I would dig myself further and further into that hole, because if I wasn’t happy and I didn’t know how to make myself happy, what was left for me to do?
But I refuse to allow myself to think that way anymore. And it’s been a struggle realizing that that’s just not true, it’s not real. Happiness to the degree that I was chasing, doesn’t exist. It’s just not how life works.
I quickly realized that what I was doing, being aware of the lack of happiness in my life, and obsessing over the fact that I wasn’t happy, only put me in a deeper and deeper hole. I was too aware of my lack of “forever happy” and refused to let myself enjoy the small happinesses that I knew wouldn’t last long. So I’ve been working, on myself, to make that change, to allow myself to just enjoy the moment and be ok with it when that moment passes.
I know I won’t be happy 24/7 and I’m fine with it, because I let myself live differently. It’s not as serious of an issue when I realize that I’m not very happy with things, or myself, or where I’m at in this moment, because I know that it’s only temporary, that things change so quickly, so often. eeded
And now all I can do is remind myself, try to prepare myself, for happiness.