I want to be happy. That is what it boils down to. There are people in the world for whom everything is a trial and there are people in the world who want to be happy, and I want to be one of those. I want to be happy, and I want to be the kind of person that makes others happy, just because it is the kind of worldview that is contagious and communicable even if you think it is twee and ridiculous and sappy to say I want to be happy, even if you think happiness is not a worthwhile goal, even if you have a heart as black as coal and cold as ice and as small as a tick in an elephant’s ear.
I would say I want happiness for Christmas, but it’s something you have to do yourself. And what I really want is a pony, actually. And what I really want you to understand is that the kind of happiness that I’m talking about isn’t the go-lucky style; it isn’t the cheerful, optimistic, everything’s a-okay style. It isn’t the kind that lets you quit your job and your life regardless of the consequences and go trekking through Tibet in search of inner peace. It isn’t the ridiculous and trivial kind of happiness I’m talking about here–the kind you get from eating cake. I am not disregarding that kind of happiness, no, not at all. But what I’m talking about here is the more like–let’s say the kind of happiness that comes from there being cake in the world, available for eating. The fact that you can eat cake. Does that make sense?
Let’s also say this: It is not that "dance like nobody’s watching" greeting-card style of happiness that is packaged and sold. What I’m thinking about is the people who work to be happy and healthy and secure in their lives and bodies and the inside of their head, and the way they deal with the world and the people in it. That is what I am thinking about. That kind of happiness. A fuller, wider, broader sense of happiness in the world. Maybe I’m ridiculous. Maybe I just want to stop thinking I’m ridiculous.
I am tired of worrying about things. I am tired of worrying about being ridiculous, and sounding ridiculous, and acting ridiculous, and other people thinking I am ridiculous. I am also tired of worrying about the following things: being crazy, being stupid, being stupidly crazy, doing stupid things, acting stupidly, acting foolishly, being foolish, being a fool. I am tired of second-guessing everything I think and everything I say, and I am tired of waiting for other people to get tired of me. Or tell me that they’ve always been tired of me. I am tired of being tired, and overwhelmed by the business of living, of interacting, of being inside my head, which is a busy intersection at rush hour, filled with the dulcet sirens of a fleet of wahmbulences. I am also tired of acting like every emotion I have is either incredibly unimportant and ridiculous, or deeply and vitally important to the fate of the entire universe and thus, must be dissected and worked over and sobbed about.
There are bills and there are jobs and there is stress and debt and a future to plan for and there is some way, I know there is some way, there has got to be, and I will goddamn find it, the way toward making these things not simple, or easy, or gloriously fabulous and wicked-fun, but there is a way to make these things manageable, to make them not only manageable, but serious, grown-up responsibilities in which I can take satisfaction in completing. They can be things I’m not hiding from, anymore. They can be things that are ordinary and usual, not never-ending sources of great giant sucking gobs of panic and worry.
And there is my body, always present and demanding something from me, always needing more of this and so much less of this and always impossible to deal with, it feels like. Food and water and vitamins and exercise and it is all a chore, right now, and it shouldn’t be a chore. It should be something I do to take care of myself, something I do because I want to do it and not just need to. Except that part of being happy is that these kinds of things are not shoulds and musts, but something that is just part of my life and being happy and healthy.
It is very complicated, this happiness thing. It is hard to define without sounding a little crazy (I am not crazy!) and it is not enough to just want it. It is a something you have to work at, I am guessing from my perspective as an unhappy person who wants to be happy, and it is something that is hard and frustrating, that process, I am guessing from my perspective as an unhappy person who finds things overwhelming. But wanting to be happy, I think, is one of those first steps that you take and it is one of those important steps to take, because how are you going to do it without deciding that it’s important? Now I have to figure out how I am going to do it, since I can’t get it for Christmas. Or maybe the pony is all I need to be happy.