Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Happiness Comes From Doing

"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. " ~Dalai Lama 

I find the topic of happiness an intriguing one. For a long time, I did not know the true meaning. I glimpsed moments of it and analyzed my emotions, trying to capture what it was and how it felt. I've learned that happiness means something different to each individual and therefore, defining it is an impossible task. However, one thing that I have come to realize is that we absolutely create our own happiness in the way we view the world, in the way we view others, in the way we allow these things to impact us. Happiness is not left to the gods of chance, it is not something to be gifted upon us or something withheld because we are undeserving. Each one of us creates our own light and our own life. 
I bring up this topic because I have been forced to view the impact of happiness on my own life and on the lives of those that surround me. I say forced because sometimes people's situations can not help but impact you and the way you think. I had a customer the other day who gave me a lecture on marriage and how I should never marry because it will end in a bitter divorce. His opinion clouded my own beliefs if only for a second. But I realize that his decisions are not my own, his life is not mine. We often let others paths cross our own and start to see our lives reflected in the eyes of others. This can be dangerous if we allow that glimpse to become a worrying doubt, a haunting belief that maybe that will happen to us too. 
I've been hearing a lot about relationships lately, about how they never work out, about how guys will betray you, about hardship, about fighting. I try not to let it in. I try not to let it affect me. But the truth is it always has a way of creeping in the cracks. Now is my relationship perfect? No. But I am happy, and just because these situations are happening around me, it doesn't mean that they will happen to me. I keep my life separate, I keep my opinions quiet because the only person to whom they matter is me. If I let every person in my life sway my opinion, I would be a very unhappy person. At the same time, if I let everything that happened in my past, every relationship that went terribly wrong, every person that I lost affect my every day decisions and thus those of the people around me, where would I be? Nowhere. I would be lost. I would be stuck never moving on. It's unhealthy, and I choose every day to move forward and not look back. 
The point I'm trying to make today, and I hope I'm being clear, is that we do make our own happiness. It may not look like the happiness of the next person, and it will be perceived differently from an outsider's opinion, but it is our own. No one can judge how happy we truly are, no one can tell us how to feel, no one can predict how our lives will go. You need to remember that, because if you start listening to everyone else and stop listening to yourself, that's where the real trouble begins. You are the only person who knows what is right for you. If you're not in a situation you like then change it. If you're not happy then find something or someone that will make you happy. Talking about it and projecting the drama of your situation onto others only helps you to blow off steam, but it's worth nothing in the end unless you actually do something about it. After all, actions really do speak louder than words, so stop preaching and start changing. You'd be amazed at what you can find when you stop the cycle of talking and not doing; you'd be amazed at what you can find when you start focusing solely on you.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Nostalgic Rain

I often find inspiration in the strangest of places. It is only eleven o'clock in the morning and already my emotions have flip-flopped several times today. I now sit in the laundromat, a diverse and unassuming place in which to find the urge to write. Sitting here sweating from the heat radiating off the dryers, I sit fending off the stray fly and curious passerby as I write here for the first time in a month. I can't believe that I have taken such a long hiatus from this blog. I have gotten so wrapped up in my life lately (which isn't necessarily a bad thing) that I have neglected the few online readers I might have. If I'm honest with you, I'm not even sure in which direction this post is headed today, but I will continue to make progress in whichever path my thoughts may choose to take me. 
I woke up this morning to the beautiful sound of rain on the windows. It was beating against the glass panes as I lay wrapped up in the blankets letting sleep gradually wear away from me. I thought it had to be at least ten o'clock since I had been lounging forever listening to the lulling sound that only the rain makes so well. It was only slightly after eight, so I languidly made my way to the desk by the windows. After pulling back one shade briefly, I decided to keep it drawn as I walked to the kitchen to reheat a cup of coffee. It was a silently gratifying experience as I made my way through the small apartment, the sound of rain surrounding me while I remained untouched by water and the outside world. As I sat down to journal, my mind raced in various different directions. The rain has the ability to affect me like that. I will wake up in one state of mind, thinking of one person or experience and then it brings me to another time spontaneously. It brings the nostalgia every time, and sitting at the desk staring at the shades, it brought me through countless memories. 
I don't know why or how it does it, but the rain can bring people and places back more clearly than if I sat in the dark and just used my imagination. It's evokes songs into my memory that I haven't heard in ages and never fail to associate with those I've lost in some way or other. So here I sit sweating in the man-made heat of the laundromat nostalgic for different days. Now I'm not saying that the present isn't a happy time or that the past was in some way monumentally better, but days like these make the past loom so close that I fear I may slip back into it. Nostalgia is the hardest feeling to explain, but I felt that I must give it a try, knowing that I will never give it complete justice. 
I honestly believe that days like this are necessary to living, to being, to feeling. It is most definitely an effective way to keep me in tune with my emotions, not that it takes much since I am an extremely emotional being. Another soul in need of wasting time has joined me at my small table, attached to his laptop as well. I would normally go on a rant about society being so connected to technology 24/7 that we are no longer in tune with each other and personal relationships, but I won't, not this time. Sharing my space with someone else involved in his own life is comforting in a way, companionship found in solitude. And so I have graced you with my first post for the month of September. I hope to continue writing more regularly, even my journal has been neglected lately, which never bodes well for my emotional well-being. Whether it is sun or shine that keeps you company today, I hope it evokes a good mood, or a reminiscent one if you are so inclined.