I never really thought about achieving happiness as a kid. I just always remember having it and thought that pretty much everyone in the world had it by default. It wasn’t until later in life that I realised that happiness doesn’t always come that easy.
As my world grew larger and I began to understand the realities of life, I realised that for most, happiness was more a destination never quite reached or an achievement continually strived for but always just a goal or two away.
I quickly realised that people all over were living primarily to attain in many different ways, something I always just remembered having. My childhood wasn’t perfect in the eyes of many I realise, but I had been blessed by a mum who loved her kids unconditionally in the true sense of the word and a hard working dad that loved us the best way he knew how even if he was rough around the edges. Much like me.
I saw that people were either on the verge of happiness, trying to achieve it, in pursuit of it or had somehow lost it and were trying to find it again. It seemed that happiness was something a lot bigger than I gave it credit for because many of those that supposedly had it at any given time were in a constant battle of unlimited fronts in order just to keep it.
I started to see happiness was often stolen from some through no fault of their own or could be lost just as easily as you lose your car keys. It could be taken from you as easily as a phonecall in the middle of the night, a knock at the door or an unexpected diagnosis. Sometimes it was lost purely because you didn’t realise you had it in the first place.
As my understanding of what happiness was would change as I got older and realised that so many would spend their whole lives trying to experience it to some degree, I had grown an underlying guilt of having something that so many others didn’t. I felt that maybe I didn’t deserve it and that in order to be worthy of it i had to throw mine away. So this is exactly what I did.
It happened quickly. Before i knew it it was gone. Although it is only hindsight that allows me to see what I had done, life was quickly going to be very different for me. It would become a battle just to participate in it and my hopes of finding anything that even resembled what I had would quickly fade.
What I also did for good measure was throw out any hope of finding my very own in one piece again. I would have moments that I held pieces of it in my hands again but it would sift through my fingers no matter how tight I held them together.
So the arrival of guilt and my failure to acknowledge the damage it would cause was the catalyst of the creation of my very own sinkhole. Once i started allowing my natural instinct to just feel happy be a burden of guilt i threw the baby out with the bathwater as they say. Once the sinkhole started taking, it didn’t stop until there was nothing left. Nothing.
I would not only lose my home & all my worldly possessions, I would lose things much more important and meaningful. I would lose my friends, my families pride & I lost hope. I lost myself.
Slowly, I began to see a road I could walk upon to begin one last search. It went in another direction to the one I was previously taking and I could see straight away that it would be a bumpy ride with twists and turns that would take me to places unknown.
But I have one small advantage over many others on a similar journey into the unknown. I at least have the advantage of knowing what I’m looking for. Because I know what happiness to me is. I know what it feels like and how special it is even in the smallest amounts.
So I will take this road one step at a time, one day at a time and stay inside the guard rails of hope. Hope that I will find what once was mine and given to me as a blessing and this time I’ll appreciate it in any form it wants to take.