Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Happiness, and joy

Happiness is something that's been in question as of late. What is it that makes someone a happy individual? What guaranteed loss is worth the potential gain of happiness?

John received a text message from someone saying they followed my blog, and wished they had the same happiness I have. Yet, I don't really consider myself a "happy person" and definitely not on any level someone should hope to be.

I have a wonderful man in my life, and good friends, a decent job. On most days, I feel content with my life, and blessed for the people within it. Yet, if anything, my blog is full of my angst - my worries. I have optimism for the future finally, but there has been so much heartache in my past.

I have always tried to please others. I have been the best friend because of this, and found it relatively easy to attract members of the opposite sex. Yet, I haven't really ever felt a true sense of self worth. I've been told numerous times that I am no good, and if you tell a child this long enough, she may just believe you. Yet, I have found solace in friends my whole life, that told me I was not only good, but spectacular. Through early elementary it was Kendall, then there was Becky, and Brittany. Middle school brought me Karen, Emily. Mid-High school brought me Tiffany, Betsy. These girls (and others) all seemed to tell me that I was more than the expectations of failure beat into me by my parents. And so, for their time, they served the purpose of keeping my head high. And for that purpose they received my endless devotion, loyalty, comfort, love and advice.

I have always been told I was wiser than my years, and even now though I am in the general term of 'adult', most think I am much older than I am. I may not have traveled the world, but I've lived an awful lot of life in my 22 years. I have an excellent judge of character, and can often derive a general sense of a person from very limited interaction. As such, the behavior of people very rarely surprises me. I try to see the good in all that is, and all who are. Yet, in some the good is so limited as to be null. When I tell someone they've found a good guy, chances are that guy treats them with love and kindness and will be with them for as long as my friend will have them. If I tell them that the guy seems like he might not be faithful, not a great guy - well, there he goes cheating and making you feel awful. When I tell you to think about the decisions you make, and to not go out and throw your long term relationship away without thought... well, that turned out how I said it would too.

So, with this judge of character, I should have seen the heartache coming each time, right? Well, there are some things I didn't expect. Love really is blind. When someone changes so much based on who they are around (as certain friends tended to do), you're having a friendship with more than just one person. For example, with Brittany... there were different Brittanies for Jason, Galen, Matt, Justin, Danny, etc. etc. I had to choose with each relationship she entered whether I wanted to be in a relationship with the person she was dating - that's who she became. So, now that she's with a person who delights in the misery of others, and who is just plain no good... There have times before where I've had to tell her goodbye for a little while until she realized my character judgment was correct, or found out the hard way. Then she'd come back into my life, and things would continue on as normal. As her pure self, or her self when she's with someone awesome like Matt or Danny - I could never have found a better friend. (Although this time, she's gone way too far for a simple I told you so to fix it).

Anyway... happiness was what was found with these girls when they were removed from boy drama, and actually acting like themselves. Yet, still I had a broken heart. The great thing about them was that they loved me anyway. We could be together and just be sad, and that was just okay as being happy. Then, even though most of my thoughts were dark, I was happy.

The next phase of my life was predominately focused around Clint. I think in the beginning, lust blinded me more than love. I avoided him for a long time because I thought he was just a player, trying to see if he could land the "goth girl". (Emo, though, please.) Eventually I talked to him, we went out, he kissed me... and that was that I suppose. Somehow we had common interests, common outlooks on life. Somehow I forgot my initial character judgment, the one that is always right. And that forgetting led me to a path that lasted five years and completely revolutionized me, how I view the world, and my view on relationships. During that time, I was happy. Even though I kept waiting for something to happen, for a white knight to swoop in, I guess. I was happy. The rough parts of our relationship always smoothed out, except for the last one of course. We separated, we grew apart, and back together. He saved the relationship a few times by crying, and I by begging - and it should have ended much sooner than it did. But, I was happy. I didn't have to worry about anything.

And, here we are now. I am more in love than I thought possible. Yet, I think I am at a low point in happiness that I haven't seen since I was living with my parents. I don't have a working relationship with any of the girls I mentioned above. I'm too broken down to try and start new friendships. I'm fairly certain that everyone is the same (or at least females) - you give them all you can, you're kind and open and honest... they talk about you behind your back and leave you at the first sight of what they deem as a decent cock*. Most girls are more concerned with their significant others, and their significant egos to really form a true friendship. No one seems to have much time for true friendships these days at all, male or female. There are FaceBook friends, there are people I enjoy hanging out with, there are people I enjoy partying with, but I don't think there's anyone that I'd consider to be my best friend. My best friend went and turned into a stranger.

I keep thinking, if I could back in time - so that no one could meet Corey and be brainwashed by him - would I? How far back would I go? Would I simply put my foot down on him being invited to the wedding? Would I insist after our first meeting to never see him again? Would I take it back even farther so that John and I never start a relationship, thereby saving everyone the trouble?

There lies the question, I suppose. What can make you happier? I spouse, or a friend. The part of me that still loves Brittany regardless of what she's done says that it would be wise to rewind time to the night John said we were exclusive or not at all. To stop the relationship, and keep my friend. Yet, if it didn't happen now, the propensity for it happening would still exist. She'd still be the type of person to change based on who she's with. She'd still leave me, or turn into someone I couldn't associate with at some point. Or, maybe without the brainwashing she'd still be with Danny, I don't know.

I do know that I wouldn't trade Johnathan for anything. I do know that while it is so his fault this person is causing me directly or indirectly so much stress and heartache I can't sleep and I'm breaking out like a prepubescent - I'd rather deal with all this drama, this hole in my chest that keeps me from taking a full breath, then lose John.

So, I am happy. For I have found what most people search long and hard for, and some may never find. My soul mate. Someone who knows me, someone that I know. We don't have to hide our pasts from each other. We don't have to hide our presents, our thoughts of future. We can laugh at your delusions together, we can take bets on how long everything will last. You're full of anger, jealousy... we're full of love, hope, happiness. No, not happiness, for as I said I'm quite miserable. Something that roots into your heart and core and lets you know that everything will be okay...

Joy. I am joyful, even if I am not happy.

Happiness results from the possession or attainment of what one considers good... Joy is a source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something or someone greatly valued or appreciated. (Dictionary.com)

So while I may not regularly attain things I consider good, not enough to break through my dreariness at least - I have a source of keen pleasure and delight in John.

So, what is it that makes someone a happy individual? An excellent cup of coffee, sunshine, a hug. But, I don't think that's what we think of when we think of someone who is a "happy person". We think of someone in possession of joy. What makes someone a joyful person? God, the support of family, real friendship, true love.

What guaranteed loss is worth the potential gain of happiness? Not a lot really. Happiness is nice, but fleeting. You can only continue to attain new things for so long. A new book may bring you happiness. Writing a blog filled with your delusions may bring you happiness. A walk through the park may bring you happiness. But, these things are not worth the loss of much more than time.

What guaranteed loss is worth the potential gain of joy - of knowing God, of having your family, of preserving a real friendship, of finding true love? Just about anything.

The hardest part is knowing the difference between happiness and joy. You can let the dark times consume you, let the lack of happiness overwhelm you if you don't focus on the joy. You can risk it all because you think you're finding a source of joy, only to realize it was a fleeting happy moment.

So be careful, dear readers. Don't risk it all on happiness. Don't miss out on your opportunity for joy. I'll be here for you if you need help telling the difference.

*That's not quite fair - Kendall and I couldn't keep up the "long" distance. Friendships with Becky, Karen, and Emily fell apart for a lot more simple and yet complex reasons with no harsh endings what so ever. I'd like to try rekindling things with them, but don't really know where to start... or if they're the same people I once loved. I don't have any harsh feelings for Betsy either, although for her I was never a true friend, just one of convenience she would go to when she needed consolation or advice.
She never allowed herself to be brainwashed or believed complete fallacies about me though, at least- from what I know.

1 comment:

  1. Hmm...this post has given me a lot to think about. At first when I read it I found myself disagreeing with a lot of things, and that's originally what I was going to comment about, but after more thought...I definitely see your point (pertaining to happiness and keeping friendships that is). I think we have a lot in common...