Let the conversation begin.
Heartfelt thanks to Hope Xchange's mentor, Kevin Goldman, for guest blogging this week and sharing with us his definition of happiness and what makes his life meaningful.
In general, I am not a happy person.
What exactly does that mean? I know varying factors. Personally, I am diagnosed clinically depressed with mild PTSD, over anxious and “crème de la crème”, socially anxious. I tell people about my depression and they suggest “I’m unhappy,” “it’s a phase,” “you’ll get over it” and “it’s all in your head.”
I’ll address one now. Just because “it’s in my head," doesn’t make it not REAL. It is, in fact, very, very real.
I’m a programmer and developer by trade, so I know ones and zeros. It’s called binary. Depression is not binary nor black and white. I’m never truly happy or unhappy. I have felt varying degrees of the concepts of happiness: joy, bliss, ecstasy.
Happy implies a permanent state of being. For example, I’ve completed A, B, C and now D. I’M HAPPY!!! Like, when playing Mario Brothers and we beat Bowser, we feel as if we’ve made it. We’re superb. We’re the best. It makes us a, single serving, whole.
I remember my brother going on a journey to “find himself”. It thoroughly confused me. WHY do you need to wander (physically or metaphysically) to “find” yourself? As if it’s “the journey” they all suggest we’re taking.
Why not MAKE a life and BE the person by executing continual trial and error? By ACTUALLY LIVING?
YES, we need an endpoint, but it doesn’t have to be stationary. There doesn’t HAVE to be an end to the journey. So travel on. With the idea that you’re not searching. You’re adventuring. You’re experimenting. You’re dog damn LIVING!
Before his journey, I gave him a small piece of paper that simply ready, “YOU, are MICHAEL GOLDMAN“. I, perhaps, found him before he did.
Yes, I know it’s all a seemingly large, vast space to explore and we need milestones.
Remember when we “knew” the limitations of our galaxy? We knew that there was this bounded (albeit boundless) concept of a space. Does it matter if a planet is a planet? Scientifically, mathematically, systematically and historically, YES… it does. However, Pluto was. Now she’s not. Then she was again and then, again, perhaps not.
Black and white, my loves. It’s the very definition of the words. I’m okay. Sometimes I’m not. This is all, however, about the definition of happy. It's slowly becoming a filler word. In the meantime, it’s a very static word to describe a very complicated array of emotions.
Take, for example, asking someone if they are happy or not. There is a delicate web encapsulating those words. You may as well ask if happiness exists or not. It makes no difference, the subject. The answer will, nearly, ALWAYS be different. However, most people will suggest “I’m ‘okay’ “ before, “yes, I am happy”.
Maybe, just maybe, I am constructed a little obscurely.
I might be in pain and “unhappy” all the bloody time.
Maybe everyone else is feeling pure ecstasy. Or maybe they’re full of shit.
WHAT, TRULY, DOES IT MATTER? I – AM – NOT – HAPPY. Nor will I ever pretend to be.
I keep myself occupied. I’m learning about me. I’m learning about you. I’m learning about us. This is all such of an incredible fascination to me.
I DO THINGS.
I create things that mean the absolute world to me. Those, in and of themselves, may not make me happy.
I love people.
I help people.
I people watch.
I make movies.
I make music.
Sometimes I work two hours a day. Sometimes I have to be pried from work. Sometimes, rarely, I’ll greet the sun and greet the moon with nothing but work in between.
All of the things I just told you that I do. I may not be smiling during or may seem off, or non-confrontational.
I – AM – NOT – HAPPY.
Honestly, I’m often doing all aforementioned tasks because I am creating a distraction from my internal suffering. But, I do them because to me, they give me meaning.
They mostly complete me. I slave and bury myself in these projects because I want to feel stressed, challenged, almost tormented and perhaps hidden.
I want to build things. Sometimes, I want to build things and break them and build them again.
I want to hurt. So I can know what it is to feel okay.
I’m not happy.
I’m not unhappy.
I’m moving swiftly and adapting and creating and loving.
And … well … I’m okay with that.