Wednesday, August 12, 2015
My Own Search for Happiness
There’s something beautiful to me about stories where some guy goes on some kind of elaborate journey to find happiness. I think it reminds me of my own journey. I know at the beginning of it all I felt like it was going to be some epic thing….
My journey started with a simple concept. Well…I say it was simple. It all started with the search for love, who I am, what happiness was, and the escape from the madness that dwelled within me from being stuck in the dead end of dead ends. At 21, I had already had two crazy brushes with love and one relationship where it was obvious that nothing was going to work out. The pieces of my heart were not going to pick themselves up by themselves and nothing was ever going to be picked up within the confines of the life I was living. So, I set off….
It’s so hard to condense what was my life into some simple little essay for online consumption, but what else am I to do? Maybe someday I’ll get around to a biography, but no matter how much people enjoy the telling of my life history, I still don’t see people lining up to buy a story about my crazy life….
It all started in North Carolina, my life that is. It seemed that for the first 21 years of my life I was completely asleep, only waking up with the crisp mountain air that refreshingly told me I was finally doing something with my life. Though what THAT was, was still a mystery. My first two loves were my only idea to go buy, and honestly, those were more severe crushes that had some sort of dialog. Both of those girls woke my soul up to see something more. But what was that ‘more’ that I needed?
Like more stories of some guy trying to find happiness, it seemed a sort of comedy of errors. My drifting through life trying things that didn’t work, got me into trouble, or simply made things worse. But along the way I learned so damn much. The concept of seeing angles in photography, which depended my love of nature and math and beauty. The idea that you can fully love the wrong person and have your heart absolutely destroyed by yourself being forced to give up on something that obviously is not going to work. The truth that even though I had something to tell the world, a novel could not be written when I did not have enough happiness and depth to crank one out.
Throughout it all, I found that sex was unbelievably easy, but shallow and meaningless, unless there was some deeper connection. And that deeper connection? Yeah, it wasn’t something that I could will into existence. I lived, loved, laughed, cried, and continued to dream. I drug my soul over the hot coals of life in order to find what I was searching for.
I learned that my childhood assumptions were true, giving your entire life to a corporation for a paycheck was by and far the stupidest way to make a living. Credit has a way of ruining life, so it’s best to go through life only buying what you can actually pay for. And honestly, there is no such thing as a happy retirement. If you do not live when you are capable of enjoying life, then time will simply pass you by.
But what was truly living? As I lay in bed, next to my wife, thinking about all the happiness I’ve found, I can tell you one thing, and one thing only. Life is simply the journey. I had bad girlfriends and good girlfriends, I’ve had amazing sex, seen beautiful sunsets, stood on top of mountains, and seen all of creation below me. I have written and have had people enjoy my writing…and hate it. I’ve gotten better at everything I’ve ever tried, and cut the evil, soul sucking asswipes out of my life once and for all. I’ve dreamed impossible dreams and experienced full on, unadulterated life.
To this day I still cry at certain songs, sob in a movie theater, and laugh in the company of friends. I’ve trusted a great many friends, all of whom have amazing stories that I love listening to. I try to experience ever emotion I can, just for the sheer joy of the human experience. I am successful at life, I am the most successful person I know, even if I am also the biggest failure according to most people’s standards. I’ll probably never be truly rich, but I’ve learned that money, possessions, and that rat race is the worst part about life.