I remember having a conversation with a close friend about “happiness” a few months ago, we had both found ourselves stuck in similar states of mind and asked ourselves a lot of questions. Some we couldn’t answer, some we stumbled our way through and certain things just clicked. These were some of my words (the initial conversation was had via WhatsApp so I should note that I have elaborated on certain points)
“I’m not sure I believe in it, I don’t believe in idealistic happiness. We spend much of our lives striving and searching for the ultimate and the ideal, thinking that they will make us happy but we’re always missing something and in this life, there is always something that could be better or that could be improved upon, there is always something that could potentially go wrong. In all this time spent searching, sometime we miss out on the joy that the present gifts us, just for being in it. Knowing that, tells me that happiness is a constant pursuit.
I believe that our existence is made up of co-existing oppositions and happiness is, finding and establishing a working balance between them. I have found that balance by channeling opposing energies into the things I love and the things that make me happy. I love writing, I write when I’m happy and when I’m frustrated. I love music, I listen to music at the best of times and at the worst of times. I love my friends and my family, sometimes my time spent with them helps me to counteract certain issues that I may be dealing with.
It is a matter of surrounding yourself with what you need. It’s like being a sponge you don’t want to be dry but you don’t want to be drenched and unable to contain yourself either. Unfortunately, you can’t always be consistently steady. At least, I struggle to be.
So when you feel like you’re lacking moisture, take the plunge. When you feel like you’re drowning, take the time to drain the excess. The process continues, until you find the balance that works for you. That the other thing, there is no one-size-fits-all formula, we’re all so different.
I feel like it gets easier when you understand and pay attention to how you function; how much of (x) you can handle at a time, what your triggers are and what you need to steer clear of etc. That way you rarely fall too far into the darkness and the balance is easier to restore. Loving yourself enough to pay attention to how you feel and why you feel the way you do, and putting that before whatever else you sometimes put before your happiness.
I don’t know, I’m figuring this out as I go along, I won’t even lie. Aren’t we all? Some just more ahead than others, some on different tracks, some on an entirely different course. But having said all of that, to a certain extent happiness is not giving a f*ck and taking hold of whatever it is that you need.
But again that doesn’t mean you have to rush, it’s okay to take your time where time is needed.
Yeah, life is full of co-existing contradictions.
What do you think?”
Words by Charisse Chikwiri