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Monday, May 5, 2008

Julia: On Happiness

Happiness. What does it mean to you?

For a long time I thought it was walking around in utter euphoria. The birds singing to you, animals breaking into the house to help you clean, a cramp in the face from an excess of inexplicable smiling, etc. That’s bull shit. If you live every moment of your life like this, I’m happy for you. I, however, am not a cartoon. And such a constant cheeriness is quite exhausting.

I’ve recently learned what, in my opinion, happiness is. It is the ability to feel content where you are, just as you are. Happiness is so much simpler than it is perceived to be. Throughout my life, I’ve said “If I just had [insert noun],” or “If only this changed… then I could be happy.” I’m not unique in this way; I see people do this all the time. But it’s never enough, is it? We always want more, more to validate us and fool us into thinking that we’re not miserable. Happiness is the point in your life when you feel like you belong in the exact place that you are. Although, as I said, it’s a simple concept; absolute contentedness is so rare. The societal chase for materialistic things or extraordinary circumstances is encouraged by nearly every force surrounding us.

If you strive to walk around in euphoria, you never will. That isn’t, nor should it be, the common goal. Stop transferring your pains onto other things and people. Stop expecting outside forces to take them away. Sure, they distract us well. But once you’ve lost the adrenaline high that comes with retail therapy, you’re just as miserable as you ever were; the only difference is that you’re now $1,200 under because of your fabulous Chanel bag. Yes, it is fabulous; nevertheless, yes, your boyfriend still left you.

Where’s the happy medium? I’ve traveled all over the world and returned to find my problems exactly as I left them. You can run but you can’t hide.

I say, let’s just be happy. Let’s just choose to be happy. Let’s all be good to one another. Let’s stop this nonsense. Cruelty. There’s nothing in it. I have never understood the mentality of a Sadist. I don’t feel better about my life when the lives of my peers crumble. And that poor wallflower in the corner; why are you picking on him? What has he ever done to you?? Ever? Let’s all be good to one another. Love is the answer. It is! If we can make people feel like they’re loved, we can tether their hopes to life by making them feel worthy. Doesn’t that sound worth it? It does to me. I don’t put people down when I can build them up. I wish people would adopt such a philosophy. I mean, really… we have so much to deal with in life without the added burden of peer cruelty. I love all of you. All of you are worth so much in my eyes. If we can love and be loved, we’re on the ultimate path to happiness.




Anonymous said...

well said. i've struggled with anorexia, and my mantra was "if i just lose those extra two pounds..." i'd be happy. yet, i never was. and i'm still a whale and unhappy.

Julia Kathryn...Venditti said...

Hold out, dear. I'm really into reading PostSecret (I don't know if you've heard of it, but it's really become an addiction of mine) and I once came across a postcard that really stuck with me. It was a woman who wrote "I once had a dream that I left my husband for a blind man who told me I was beautiful." So, anyway, that means a lot to me and truly is one of the most beautiful things... ever. I hope it means something to you, too.