Minesweeping For Happiness
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I feel like I look for things too feverishly. Have you ever realised you can’t find your wallet just before you intend to leave the house? You unturn every inch of the place to try and find it until you eventually give up and accept that the wallet is lost. Only to realise, as you sit into it, that you’d left your wallet in the car.
I think I do this with many things. Love, meaning, purpose, happiness. I realise I don’t have them. That I cannot find them. And I search, desperately for them, but never in the right places. I think sex will fill the void of love. I think being well known will fill the void of meaning. But they never do, and I know that, deep down. I know that. But these things are easier to find than the real thing.
And the reality is, I’m looking for things like happiness in the wrong places. I think I’ve left these things somewhere in the house. But really they’re waiting in the car, where I left them. Where I’ve forgotten them. And so I am consumed by this need to find them, when all I need to do is accept that they’re gone. Accept that they’re not here. Because once I do that, I’ll get on with it. I’ll start my day. I’ll get in the car, and I’ll find them right where I left them.
I used to feel connected to Antonio from The Merchant of Venice. For many reasons, but the main one being he deeply believed that his role in life was to be sad. And I thought for a long time that this was my role too. So much so that, when I have actually felt happy, I’ve cut it short, ripped it out, ensured it could never last because I didn’t deserve it. I didn’t think I deserved it.
But now, there are long moments, moments that last entire months where I can leave that role go. Because a role is just that. It is temporary. We don’t have to live in our roles forever. And I no longer want to be Antonio. I know longer feel I need to be sad. I want to find happiness. And although I still often look for it in the wrong places, I am now in a place where I think I do deserve to find it. And each wrong place I look just gets me closer to finding its location. Minesweeping for happiness, wouldn’t that be a lovely title for this little rant?
I think we all look back one day and realise that the path we took makes sense. That it had to happen a certain way to be a certain way. I do believe that. And so as the latest version of the year kicks in, as we look forward to see what might happen, take solace in the fact that the road you’re on now is leading to the place you’re meant to end up. Not in some pseudo-deep way. But just in the way that things are. A ball rolls and stops when it no longer has momentum. So when you stop rolling, you’re exactly where you’re meant to be.