So I recently attended a wake for the brother of a coworker of mine. The deceased was a young man of the mere age of 24. He died in a hiking incident in which he fell off a cliff and to his death. Prior to the wake all I could think of was the negative: I mean shit-imagine hanging out with your friends doing something you’ve done your whole life and then just….not coming home.
But then again, isn’t that a good thing?
At the wake, I shook hands with his beautiful mother and I hugged my co worker, our chest as close as they could be as I tried to absorb just a modicum of his despair. “Take all the time you need,” I told me coworker. “I’ll be back to work on Monday.” He responded.
I was so taken aback I didn’t reply. Back on Monday? I thought. That’s not nearly enough time to wipe the snot out your nose. Apparently my coworker said he will be returning to work soon despite everyone’s plea that he take more time because “that’s what his brother would have wanted.” His brother had the opportunity to do what he loved all of the time and although that was the way he died, it was an ideal way, and my coworker loved our job and wanted to spend any moment he could at work because you never know how much time you have left.
And that’s the truth: as cliched as this seems, the one promise that this life has to offer to anyone or anything is death so it really is up to us to surround ourselves only in what makes us happy.
But also, that if it’s a double edged sword?
What if because we know we only have this one life we stop appreciating the average day to day and instead chase this concept of happiness to the point where we don’t even realize that we are doing the things that make us happy?
Two sides of the Happy Coin
I drove to the wake with one of my managers and in the car we discussed relationships. We both agreed that although at this particular moment in our lives we do NOT want a relationship with anyone, we are constantly looking for one. Why do we keep looking? Well because Rhonda in HR just got married and Boss Lady Barbara is engaged and Jamal from Accounting has been married 25 years and they are all so…”happy.” So, what if my manager and I think we are happy but we are not? What if we could be happier with a significant other? Right now at the ripe old age of 25 I am not in the mood to deal with someone else’s shit: I work hard at work because I’m ambitious, I work hard at home because there’s no other choice, and in my free time I like to stuff my face full of high sodium Lunchables and drink wine out of a bottle in my panties and a t-shirt. Although I’m sure having a little boo thing next to me while I wipe snot off my nose with the bottom of my shirt and weep to another episode of Ugly Betty would be nice but it’s not exactly what I truly want. That being said, I still have every Tinder meets Bagel while Cupid searches for Fish app that the world has to offer. My “fomo” as the kids call it keep me in a constant state of searching for happiness instead of simply enjoying what I have at the moment.
I think as humans we are too insatiable.
Nothing is never enough and believe you me it has served us well over the centuries. Could you imagine where we’d be if people where like, who needs horses we can just walk all the time to all destinations! Or if the people who make, I don’t know, roller coasters were all, safety belts? Psht! We good! It’s conflicting because in this sense and in many others the thing that makes us want to keep improving and discovering new ways to be happy is a great thing.
The Lesson, I Guess
I’m just saying we need to be able to understand that happiness comes in many forms and those forms look differently for all people and their multiple stages in life. Right now I am happy with my Netflix and Nachos but maybe tomorrow I will want a little shorty by my side. Right now, you may be satisfied taking the bus but tomorrow you will want a car. I’m not ashamed of my Lunchables and you shouldn’t be ashamed of the bus. My coworker’s brother loved to hike so while we can comfort ourselves in saying, he died doing what he loved, I don’t know if HE knew how much he loved it. Did he ever take the time to say, I’m so happy right now and just be alive? Or was he too busy searching for the next thing? We need to find the happy medium between improving our lives while enjoying exactly what makes us happy in the moment. We need to take a moment and just…be happy.
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