The Problem With Happy

Yesterday I cried.

It was a really really ugly, shrieky cry.

A cry that caught me off guard, which says something since I cry a few times a week.

It was a deep cry. An uncontrollable cry. The kind of cry you realize you’ve been suppressing for years and kind of forgot about.

It was so so so so so so sad.

And then I went to my parents’ house, and I cried some more.

And between the crying I talked.

I talked to my mom about happiness.

My whole life my parents said “We support your choices, we just want you to be happy.”

It’s honestly such a nice sentiment. It really truly is. But after pursuing happiness for about a year and a half (potentially longer), I realize the whole thing is flawed. It’s a losing battle.

Because the truth is, it’s impossible to be happy all the time. And, at least for me, trying to be happy has been really unhealthy. It’s meant suppressing negative feelings. It’s meant smiling over pain. It’s meant lying to myself and to those I care about.

It’s meant assuming something must be wrong with my life, since I’m not always happy.

This year has unintentionally become a year of acceptance for me.

capture

It was led by accepting the shape of my body. But it’s become more than that.

Over and over again I have been told this year to accept myself.

To accept whatever I’m feeling. To try to accept the part of me that feels abandoned.

To accept that sometimes, even when traveling, I’d rather stay home and watch a movie than go out on the town.

When someone empathizes with us, they validate our feelings, they basically serve as proof that we are not crazy for feeling or reacting to something the way that we do.

Accepting my feelings (or body, or preferences) is a form of self-validation.

Ignoring my sadness or anger or frustration, because the end all be all is to be happy, is not acceptance. It’s suppression. It’s lying to myself and to everyone around me.

Yesterday, I asked my mom to stop telling me that she just wants me to be happy. We agreed, together, to change the conversation.

Because of course I want to be happy, but happiness just one piece in a much much bigger puzzle. And in order to be happy, to truly enjoy those moments of bliss, I have to accept all the other feelings too.

 

 

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