Happiness is an iffy thing. I don’t see a lot of people talking about being happy on Facebook. I see posts from people in emergency rooms, asking for help from fear. I see people talking about the happiness they no longer have, wish they could have, and may have if they get something else first.
But much like a dog chasing a car, if we catch happiness, we don’t know what to do with it. It instantly becomes a burden.
Happiness has to be hard work. If we admit to being happy, we have a responsibility to stay happy. Maybe even admit we deserve to be happy. And then, even harder, make others happy. It’s too much work to sustain happiness.
Today, when asked how I was, I said, “Really happy, thanks!” The answer? “Well, aren’t you lucky. Wanna trade for my life?” We punish people who are happy. How dare I be happy when I am not gorgeous, but am overweight, no longer young, in debt and drive an old car? What right do I have to happiness? That’s the general soup we swim in.
So we don’t want to be happy. We just want to chase it. For all the competitiveness of our culture, we never claim to be happier than someone else. Or know more about how to be happy. Or how to stay happy. Nope. We’ll deny it. As if it were bad luck.
So maybe it’s the pursuit we love. The chase. The just-out-of-reach-ness of happiness. It’s the best when it’s the one that got away. Owning happiness is a burden. Chasing it is an adventure.
Quinn McDonald is happy. Yes she is.
Follow QuinnCreative on Facebook