Hard to define and sometimes even harder to achieve. It differs for everyone, and changes day to day.
Is happiness making confetti cupcakes at 9:30 in the morning on a Wednesday. Hurricane Girlchild seems to think so.
Maybe we all need to take a page out of the 5 year old's handbook for life. If it makes you happy do it. Everyone else be damned.
Can you imagine the chaos? self indulgent. hedonistic. blissful. chaos.
But it's not that easy. We are adults, and have responsibilities. That's what runaway weekends to Vegas are for.
What brings me to write about this is a 'conversation' I had with a dear old friend yesterday. By conversation I mean an instant messaging exchange, which isn't really a conversation at all, but if you know someone well enough you can get a lot out of the words they type- it challenges a person to be descriptive and explanatory. I read the words in their voice, I can imagine their facial expressions and feel their tone. It was a bit of a fluke that we both found ourselves online at the same time-and I was pleased to see his name come up as we haven't spoken in ages.
But in the first sentence he wrote I could feel his sadness, like a hand reaching for yours in the dark.
"Shan you there?"
Not the common- hey how are you? or HI! what's going on?
I'm here. I'm always here.
During our exchange, I discover that Dear old friend has found himself at the end of his rope. Now hating the big city he has called home for many years and is looking for a change. I can still taste the bitterness of his words describing the hatred for his current home. He plays with the idea of moving to another province in search of some peace and happiness. His language made me sad for him, wishing I could reach out and offer a hug. I could almost hear the despair in his voice as he typed and typed and typed. Opening up to me, with frustration regarding his circumstance.
Why don't you just come home? I ask. You can always come home.
Not able to pursue his dream here. No appropriate work in his field... says Dear old friend 'The Musician'.
So the question that I ask myself is this-where do you even begin to look for happiness? Especially when you are pursuing a dream. At what point do you let go of your dream and take work to pay the bills and do your music part time? Or do you dedicate everything to your craft and passion and focus just on music?
I don't envy Dear old friend's need to make a decision to move. Picking up and relocating at this point in my life seems like an arduous task. Re establishing yourself in a new city, especially as an artist seems frightening to me.
It also begs the question- will the situation be any better elsewhere?
Is true happiness something that will be found in a new city? Or, is it simply the pursuit of happiness that keeps one from looking around and realizing that maybe you already have all you need in order to be happy- at least for today?
These are questions that can't be answered for Dear old friend during an instant messaging chat or even as I write this blog. From the language used I can tell his mind is already made up. A move is in his future.
We want what is best for our loved ones, friends and family alike. Do we want them to give up on their dreams and pursue a life more ordinary if that will create peace and happiness for them? Is stability the key to happiness? or is chaos? Depends on the day - and maybe, just maybe that's the trick, waking each day and looking around for your 'happy' if that means eating cupcakes for breakfast on a Wednesday or Thursday or Friday.
Fortunately for him- have guitar case will travel. Nothing tying him down. Those of us here in the Heart of the Continent will be waiting- with open arms.