Tuesday, May 5, 2009
"People have this misconception of happy people, that we have no problems, never feel pain. But in reality I think truly happy people are those that have experienced the worst and have come out scarred but in one piece on the other side." -Scarlethue, A Beautiful Truth blog.
I have recently been struggling with my transition from "dark and twisty, angst ridden writer" to "happy, content, healthy relationship, married writer." It's tough sometimes.
Today, I was introduced to the blog referenced above by way of a comment that came by way of another blog that came by way of a forum. Crazy. It gave me some inspiration, though as we seem to be following some of the same paths. Isn't is funny how this little blog world works? You start out alone, venting your thoughts, clearing your head, even sometimes searching for a voice so that your insides aren't screaming all the time. One by one, peoples lives begin to intersect. You pick up a blog that sounds interesting, that picks up another blog, etc. Suddenly your following has doubled, and there are people reaching out (or reaching in rather) and connecting their lives to yours. It's pretty amazing.
Regardless of the content, there is always some common thread connecting us all. Another blog that I follow, "Life in the Second Half", has explored some of those same ideas, (AND she also has a great blog today about happiness, which is where I'm heading with this.) While some blogs follow the lives of their children, others are empty nesters, single people, animal lovers, activists, and the list goes on. And yet, we all share something with each other. I love reading these blogs and comparing lives and ideas to my own. Since I seem to have embarked on quite a search for truth and answers lately, it goes without saying that I am actively exploring. But, that's another blog entirely.
My original point in writing today was to explore this thing we call happy. Happiness is something different to every person. It's not intrinsic, it's not something you can create, it's not something you earn, and regardless of what the books and the "Oprah's" say, you can't will it upon yourself. It just happens.
Like any emotion, happiness has varying degrees and is experienced in vastly different ways by different people. The reason I really liked Scarlethue's quote is that it helped me to realize that my happiness is so much more rewarding to me because of the sharp contrast it has with some of the previous parts of my life. I've lived through bad. I've lived through sad, and hurt, and loneliness that I thought I would never surface from. I have always lived inside myself, but since my husband came along, I have finally been brave enough to let the real me out. He's the only person who knows that "me." Since he and I have been together, I have slowly been able to piece myself back together, and embrace the person I had always hoped to be.
Unfortunately, because we do have pasts, sometimes that past haunts us. There will always be remnants of memories, dreams, nightmares, and what have you that we will never escape. Little notes found buried in a box, songs that trigger a long forgotten emotional response. It happens all the time, usually without warning. There was a time when I tried to suppress these things, to make them go away. It made me feel guilty to think of the things in my past. However, I have come to regard these memories not as things to cling to, but as reminders of why I'm so happy now. They're little earmarks on the pages of my life to help me remember the paths that I took to get here. Would I be the same person without these people and things in my past? Absolutely not. So I will take my tragedy, my heartbreak, and the suffering from life's beat-downs, and move forward. I will mend the scars, heal old wounds, and piece by piece I'll be able to let go of the things that haunt me. I will be the same person, but wiser - more conditioned. The memories will diminish, and I will relish the happiness I've been blessed with; not dwell on the past, but build my future right on top of it...
And I may just end up as the happiest person ever.