Archives: Happiness

I Woke to Find Everything Vanished, and I Smiled a Little

I’m finding myself again in a particular state of consternation over other’s expectations of me. Everyone seems to have an idea as to what I should be doing and how I should be doing it.  People who don’t seem to realize that I’ve done and continue to do my level best to fulfill my obligations to them keep demanding more, so much so that this stone is about out of blood.

I’m looking down the road to a potentially major life change that will affect all my relationships going forward. When I mentioned this potential to a certain parental figure I got a disinterested sigh and a couple of self-serving questions about relocation, then there was a call telling me to do something that I’d been doing more of anyway. Yeah, I couldn’t be vaguer.

So in the past two weeks, I’ve received calls, text messages and email imploring me to take up some forgotten task or fulfill some unfinished obligation or to chide me for some life choice that someone else close to me does not agree with. It seems to have spread to my work life as well, as one of my coworkers had the nerve to, without irony (she’s a talker), tell me that leaving early one day “fucks the rest of us.” Unironically because she does about as much talking as she does work, more likely more of the former than the latter, every single shift she’s on.  She also has no idea who I am or how much I work. Assuming your small window into a relative stranger’s world shows you the entire picture is a sin punishable by a hearty “fuck you!”

So yeah, this is a bitching post, so let us get right to the bitching, shall we?

I’m wholly sick and fucking tired of everyone asking still more of me than I already give. Whether it be assuming small financial obligations out of the kindness of my heart or giving my attention to someone else instead of them, I’m done with being motivated by the expectations of others. So many people in my life live in their own little bubbles, surrounded by the comforts I’ve provided and have grown entitled because of them. They feel entitled to be rude to me, demand attention of me, and request of me things that I have no capacity to give at the moment, all while ignoring the things I’ve asked of them.

The very worst part of this is that all but one person in my life (two actually, but he’s always been appreciative of me) at the moment does not regularly say thank you for what I do continue to provide unless prompted to do so,  unsurprisingly, she is the person who gets the majority of my limited free time and attention. She is also the given or implied reason why the rest of them are so damn unappreciative.

Let me say this, I’ve learned about myself one thing. If you offer me appreciation for what I do, I will return in kind. If you continually complain about what I’m NOT doing, it won’t end well.  I’ve lost my tolerance for others putting their needs above mine and now my needs come first, unequivocally. I’m not looking for my ass to be kissed, but when I’ve done any of the things I’ve alluded to above, don’t take that shit for granted. It’s a sure way to get told to go to hell when you need something from me and fail to ask in a way that does not indicate you have a total lack of self-awareness.

At some point in everyone’s life, they realize that a turning of priorities may be in order. They fumble over what that means and sometimes actually come across something that works to better their outlook, enhance who they are and create joy in their lives in the most simple way. It could be a person, a job, a new point of view or any combination but when they do come they change who we are.

Reviewing one’s life you can see catalytic patterns. Times when one event leads, directly or indirectly, to another, and that to yet another still. Yes, there are choices in-between that move those patterns forward in the direction hindsight reveals, but there are often direct lines from a to b that reveal themselves as time goes on.

Hence the title.

When I wake up throughout the day, in the examination mode of memory and contemplation, I see these paths like routes on a map. There are arteries behind me that vanish, paths not taken, roads left behind never to be visited again, ahead there are splits that lead to other splits, that lead to still others. Not quite the infinite paths we like to believe there are, but as infinite as our little brains can handle. Infinite enough to know that even if we chart a course, the wind or a landslide will deviate us at least once. As our past disappears into memory and the present is lived in every moment, we only have so much say, only so many fucks to give.

I’m choosing mine wisely, with intention, giving attention to the things that I choose first and then allowing the rest to intrude when I will it. It’s the only semblance of control we have, and even if it is an illusion, I’ll take it.

For now, here are some general thoughts:

There is more than one way to love, live and leave.

I am not your world unless I say I am. And even if I do, not always, and not forever if you don’t hold up your end of the bargain.

I may love you, but I don’t owe you shit.

I choose what’s important to me, I’m not even slightly sorry If you can’t handle that.

Do not assume that you are at the top of my priority list unless I explicitly say so.

Do not EVER take me for granted.

Finally: Don’t be so fucking vain, this song is only partially about you, whoever you are.

Happiness and Tension, A Study

The more I grow and the older I get the more I realize that happiness is not only relative but may be something unrelated to joy. Joy is the exuberance that follows a positive discovery of the world. The discovery of a new thing or a long forgotten emotion, the discovery of a long-lost feeling or a new vista, all are the fuel of joy.

Happiness is not joy. It’s not contentment, nor is it complacency, It isn’t hope or wonder, though it is a product of them all. Not alone. It is the product of the tension between opposites, the right balance between optimism and fear, a melding and repelling of opposites.

Happiness is what happens where our hope and our fear collide in equal measure. It is the point of homeostasis that occurs when love and hate exist in equal amounts. It is the in-between space where all hope meets all hope is lost. Happiness is the place where our greatest aspirations and our greatest doubts cancel each other out and create a space for us to live in the moment, unhindered by either.

Happiness isn’t a state for any short span of time, it is a long-term way of being that occurs in the moment and across time. It is transcendent yet it steadies us in place. It gives us glimpses of the 5th-dimensional beings perspective of the movies I mentioned in the last post. It removes us from the moment and secures us to it and because our perceptions are so limited we can only really feel it in retrospect.

Happiness is tension. Happiness moves us forward by being the swift, ever-present and ethereal force, the wind that we can’t see but feel when we pay enough attention or when it is strong enough to move us on its own. Happiness is where hot and cold air meet.

Happiness gives us an understanding of time and space that is not linear, not one point to another and not directly linked to our appointment calendars or datebooks. It expands our understanding of what the universe has to offer us, and what we contribute back to it. It connects us to the eternal and in brief glimpses gives us the shape of the face of “God.” Abstract like a psychedelic trip taken in millisecond doses spread throughout the average 28000 days or 672000 hours in an average lifetime, happiness exists in the eternity between moments.

I’m finding myself fearful and more hopeful lately, and therefore so much happier because I can feel both, fully, just this side of insanity. To me, that is happiness.

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