There is something interesting about taking time off, leading your eyes to new sights, and casting away from the shore, watching the waves drift and bend as the shoreline decreases. There is something about walking outside, sunlight gleaming over your shoulder as you lock the door behind you, ready to start the day, clean and fresh. There is just something, I can’t put my finger on it, that sparkles more than the greatest dollar, brighter than the largest star, and lasts longer than life itself. There is also something, something that deals with happiness, that even in darkness it still provides light, even in sadness it provides laughter, and even in sorrow it provides hope. Over my month off of writing, I have found so many interesting things that I can’t wait to share with you.
My time off concluded this: No one knows what they are doing. Honestly, no one really knows anything, and that is perfectly okay. Because what are we doing here today? We are learning. We are learning what to do. We are learning how to be. We are learning that knowing is not happiness, rather not knowing is just as nice. We are learning that life is merely just a dance and we are just a bunch of ballerinas that probably do more falling than twirling. We are learning that we should trust and forgive because even the person next to us is learning, living among us in the sea of the unknown. We are learning that everything is just a situation that consequences could dominate, or they could relieve. But, regardless, we are ALL still learning.
So what? Why do we care? Why do I continue?
But seriously, why do I take my time to write these thoughts down?
Simply put, I write because I want to. Happiness is expressing my emotions and thoughts down on paper. Happiness is being able to sculpt a paragraph that is easy to read and makes an impact. Happiness to me is sharing happiness, even the simplest kinds. I write because even the people who express that they don’t believe, do believe in something. They believe deep down in the magic of reality, and this blunt truth propelled me to today’s topic.
What is happiness? Really, what is it?
Hmm… I had an idea, but I was unsure. So, I asked.
Happiness is: 23 views of happiness
All names of the participants have been deleted, but the descriptions are true. These 23 people took a minute out of their day to talk with me and I have shared their minutes with you.
1. “Happiness is a dog’s unconditional love and acceptance for their human.”
2. “Happiness is a meal on the table with a piece of buttered bread. The feeling is just more than any other feeling.”
3. “Happiness is my paycheck, gotta pay all my bills. Sometimes, I think it is proof of my hard work. Without that, I wouldn’t be able to do all of the things I really enjoy.”
4. “Happiness is when I am a chef and I cook something people want to eat.”
5. “Happiness is now, then, and tomorrow. I was given three months to live and I am 6 months past that date.”
6. “Happiness is a warm shower and a bar of sweet smelling soap.”
7. “Happiness is waking up at 6 am to go for a run. The sun rising is one of my favorites.”
8. “Happiness is a cup of coffee. I absolutely do not function before my coffee. Even my husband knows that!”
9. “Happiness is my pillow, after a long day. Sometimes all I want to do is stay in that state right before I fall asleep. You know what I mean? When you can slightly feel awake but mostly asleep?”
10. “Happiness is drawing a doodle in my sketch book. Some people just really are able to create, and that is me.”
11. “Happiness is having a best friend who listens when I need them. There is no amount of money, things, or vacation, etc. that could top that.”
12. “Happiness is FRIDAY!” (this man ran away with his hands in his air)
13. “Happiness is feeling the warm rain on your hand when you are nicely placed under an umbrella. So simple, yet so satisfying.”
14. “Happiness is graduating college, phew!! I could never picture myself getting here, and now I can’t imagine my life before it. It is amazing how much college changes you.”
15. “Happiness is the sunshine, look how beautiful it is outside! I can’t believe it some days, I just want to spend every minute outside!”
16. “Happiness is overrated. We should stop spending time delighting our peers, and instead start focusing our efforts on what makes them miserable! haha- just kidding. Happiness is laughter. Without humor, I would be no one.”
17. “Happiness is not what I have, but what I enjoy. I enjoy sitting outside on my porch and watching the cars go by.”
18. “Happiness is hugs. You can give hugs and receive hugs at the same time. What could be better than that?”
19. “Happiness is sleeping in on a Saturday and not having any homework.”
20. “Happiness is being by myself. Sometimes it is just nice to hear nothing and breathe.”
21. “Happiness is when it snows on Christmas, rains while you watch a movie, and is sunny on the 4th of July.”
22. “Happiness is my fridge. A full fridge is something many take for granted, but something I really enjoy.”
23. “Happiness is anything you want it to be. If it makes you smile, it must be happiness.”
To some happiness is serious, or not. Sometimes, happiness is easy and it is hard. It is complex and it is deceiving. What you can learn from here is this: Happiness is more than a sentence, it is a way of life. As I have learned from days of observing and talking with people, some people bring happiness wherever they go, and some whenever they go. Happiness truly is a matter of view. One person could think one way and another the opposite.
Happiness is all that you make it.
Through these 23 people, I have become closer to everything that makes me human. Hearing a voice, known or unknown, warms the heart. Having a meaningful conversation, eye contact and smiles, pumps the heart. These relationships, connecting two hearts, are what keeps even the shy alive. Happiness is more than just an emotion, it beats, it moves. Being happy is contagious and these 23 people have started the plague.
Just with 23 people.
How many people will it take for you to be convinced?
All you need is one. Just you.
Ask it. What is happiness to you?
-Happiness in Handfulls