Looking in all the wrong places for happiness.
My life’s not shit– I have so much to be grateful for, I know– but it certainly is a mess. I don’t know what I’m doing, and I don’t know what I want. I’m trying to find meaning, but I must be going about it in the totally wrong way.
On one hand– I’ve always been like that– pretty directionless. I’ll have down periods where I’m moody and emotional and wage internal wars about the meaning (or lack of meaning) in my life.
But it was always balanced with moments of clarity, moments of joy for life, wasn’t it? on the whole, didn’t I think of myself as a happy, optimistic person?
This is how my life organized itself for most of the past 24 years:
There’s the everyday drudgery of things you have to do, things you need to do. For ~16years, this role was filled by school and school work. Sometimes it was the worst kind of torture– you just didn’t see the point of it all, this mindless routine! Other times you appreciated it, enjoyed it almost. Probably most times it just was– something to be done, something that passes the time. Dreary obligation and comforting familiarity both.
To make that drone bearable and meaningful, you had to litter it with fun stuff– dot the black sky with shiny stars. Have something to look forward to all the time. Small things like catching a glimpse of a crush. Big things like outings on weekends. Arriving home to your family, a home-cooked meal, playing the piano… whatever. Always something to look forward to. A happy place to go to and to think about when you need cheering up.
Well school has ended and a job hasn’t replaced it yet. On the surface that seems like the first component has been removed– no more painful necessities to plough through. In reality though, the dreariness (the unexciting mundaneness?) remains but with less structure: no more clearly defined time blocks for Lesson Time (zzz waiting for time to pass) and Free Time (yay dismissal!). Which means more or less everything turns into one (often dreary) blob.
As for happy havens… well, my happy bubble was popped. And now it seems I haven’t felt genuinely happy in a long time, nor can I think of anything that really excites me and makes me feel happy in anticipation. I think more accurate words would be: joy. and contentment. Haven’t felt joyful or contented in a long while.
If you can’t think of a reason to be happy, you’re just making excuses and are not trying hard enough.
Easier said than done, as always.
It’s hard to let go of the one thing that has brought you all encompassing joy for so long. Especially when you don’t see any other life buoys, any other light points of hope in sight much less within reach.
But maybe let go you must, before it can stop obstructing your view to an entire world of joy somewhere out there…