What the F is happy?


Are you happy?
Someone asked me this recently, alongside, what would make you happy – and honestly the question stumped me.
What is happiness” is something I have pondered for some time; by pondered I mean I’ve become a little bit obsessed with the idea of being happy, the goal posts of what it is and whether I am or not.
Happiness is a multi-faceted beast that has so many elements it’s increasingly hard to grasp what it is; for me happiness may be something completely different to what it is for you. It’s complexity doesn’t stop there, the many different elements that feed into this overall feeling of ‘happiness’, anything from jobs to people to finances can impact your happiness, are often not in sync.
But the hardest part about it for me? It’s largely out of my control.
I’ve seen a millions ‘inspirational’ quotes masking the fact that happiness isn’t necessarily a choice with words like “to be happy you must XYZ” and truthfully, that’s not really true.
I don’t choose to be unhappy, nor do I choose to be happy. Yes, I can do things I know that will aid the quest for happiness but it doesn’t promise it. I can also do things I know will make me unhappy, yet often go down that path.
And it’s not just actions; it whittles down to things such as mental health. You could have every element to the typical happy life – but if you’re not feeling it then that is simply that.
I’ve had every element before; a job I enjoyed, a boyfriend I ‘loved’, friends, family. Yet, at that point, I couldn’t have been more unhappy. I’ve felt incredible lows and incredible highs; I’ve had days where I feel like I can’t go on, and days where I feel like I am the luckiest person in the world. I’ve had days of crying, and days of laughing, and absolutely no control over these emotions.
So what is happiness and how do you chase something that really, truly cannot be caught?
I think for a long time I’ve found myself chasing something I thought was happiness, but actually isn’t my own happiness. I have chased people, things, dreams, job and lifestyles that from the outside in looked to be happy. I had more friends than I had time to spare on them, more plans than I had hours to sleep and dreams I wasn’t sure I’d love if I got there.
From a young age you become obsessed with the idea of what happy should be, rather than working it out for yourself. Working out what makes you happy, because for some the big house, the ridiculous bank balance and hard work will make you happy, for other a humble existence surrounded by those you love will be what makes you content.

So when I ‘grow up’ (allegedly I should have already) my focus is going to be on being happy; wherever, however that may be. I’ve become so obsessed with the idea of what it is that I’ve forgotten to just be; let things happen and find what happiness means to me.


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