In the same vein as yesterday, I would like to pose a question:
Is it possible to be happy and sad at the same time?
To me, at least, the answer is yes.
I watched this TED talk
by Emily Esfahani Smith when I came here to Alaska and it blew my mind. I had struggled up to that point on that trip and with my concept of happiness as a whole because that trip wasn’t an extended period of happiness. It was hard at times, it had bumps.
After talking to my husband, however, he explained that long stretches of happiness aren’t normal and that it’s possible to find happiness in moments, not just in long stretches. These moments are to be cherished as much as the long periods. That blew my mind, and that was one of the beginning steps towards the unraveling of the old normal that I experienced back in Texas. It goes perfectly with the TED talk.
The overall message I took away from the talk is that happiness is fleeting, but meaning will sustain me when times get hard and I won’t feel as lost. That talk was a gift from the universe/God right there. It came to me at the exact right time, right when I needed it. It’s gifts like this that give my life a sense of meaning. I said in the previous post that there are things that come to me exactly when I need them. I’ll give them a name – spiritual love notes. They make up the core of my belief that there is a plan for everything. This also helps give my life a sense of meaning.
Perhaps my happiness-throughout-sadness is me finding meaning in my life. I hope I can bring meaning to the lives of others, too. These little loving synchronicities are proof to me that everything is here for a purpose and that God is in everything. My husband is my biggest source of meaning. Writing is a close second, my friends and students are third.
I find happiness throughout sadness – and vice versa – throughout my days. Tutoring has slowed way down as summer break arrives for those in the United States. School is out for kids in my town already, and I have far too much time on my hands. I will spend more time on writing, definitely.
Happiness has taken me completely by surprise, and there are still smatterings of darkness. I don’t think they should be eliminated, but they should be managed and noted.
I’m currently in a sad spot, but I’m writing to manage it. I feel better. This blog is a gift and a godsend. So are the people in my life. I’m glad that I don’t confuse happiness for mania anymore and can start to recognize it for what it is.
Maybe this is what everyone was talking about when they spoke about contentment – that calm assurance. Maybe that’s what I feel when I recognize meaning in my life. That would be awesome.
Go watch the talk! I’ll be around.