I have been thinking about happiness a lot lately and what it means to be happy.
Sometimes, “Are you happy?” feels like a trick question. But why?
I watched this video (below) a while ago and it brings up some good points about experience versus memory. I can be happy with my life and still not be happy in my life from day to day. Or vice versa.
I’m at a place right now where I am happy with my life. I love how much I’ve changed my life for the better… where I live, who I live with, our adventures, my plan for the future even seems better and more authentic to me. The few things that I want to change are in the process of being changed, with love and support from all sides.
So why don’t I feel happy?
Something seems to be wrong with my experiencing self.
There are probably many explanations, the first of all being the season. May is a peak for suicide and depression. My head chemicals are probably responsible for a lot of this feeling.
Then there is stress, which seems to like the ambush approach… My little car, the first and only car I’ve owned and which I bought all by myself, needs a new engine, heater core, back tires, tie-rod, and a bunch of other stuff that I can’t afford. For the first time in 6 years, I have to worry about transportation. I am close to public transit but the stress of “What am I going to do now?” really eats at me. It has really brought my debt and lack of credit to the forefront again as well.
Worse than worrying about my car’s health is worrying about my own. I have to admit that waking up on the bathroom floor with a very tender forehead and no idea how I got there was the most terrifying thing that has happened in a while. And then passing out again immediately after (fortunately my Sweetie caught me that time, unfortunately he is more stressed out that I am). I think it’s telling that the first thing I whimpered from the cold floor was “I don’t know what happened”. Uncertainty is a fear that has plagued me since childhood.
I guess it’s no surprise that I don’t feel happy lately. It just seems so at odds with Spring and the beautiful sun shining right now. I’m thinking of Tom Waits’ “Make it Rain”. I felt better when the weather matched my mood, like it was permission from the world to feel this sad. Sitting in the sun makes me feel like I’m disobeying orders to be cheerful and have fun.
Maybe I just need to stop worrying about it. Maybe this new, stricter diet will keep me from any more fainting. Maybe an allergy is upsetting my mental equilibrium. Maybe not having a car will be a blessing in disguise. Maybe in a week or two I’ll be wondering what I was so upset about. After all, it’s almost time to start butterfly hunting again.
Happiness is just a tricky thing.