Wingin’ It with Happiness

New Daily Post:

Today, write about anything — but you must write for exactly ten minutes, no more, no less.

11:10 am EST

I was having a discussion with someone in a particularly trying time for them. They didn’t know what to do — to be incredibly vague — and it got me to thinking. And certainly, this is no powerful insight I conjured up; it’s been floating out there from others, but we’re all just wingin’ it aren’t we? This thing we call life? There’s no IKEA manual on how to construct a life and I’m actually glad for that given IKEA manuals are goddamn confusing.

But seriously, what are we doing? How are we doing it? Nobody really knows. Nobody is tapping into some sort of higher understanding of what it means to live a happy life. We’re all stumbling on the path in the “pursuit of happiness,” because that’s the end-game isn’t? Happiness? It’s an ancient idea; it’s been around since Aristotle and his virtue ethics. Happiness, that’s what all of this breathing in and breathing out is about, right? But fuck do we stumble. Some go backwards on the path, some veer off of it, some bury their head in the sand, etc. and so on.

And then there are those that stride confidently down the path, some even sprint. What are they doing that we aren’t doing? What secret do they have that we don’t have? The secret of confidence, of projection, I’d say. That is, they project the confidence that says, “I know what I’m doing. I’m grabbing life by the fucking balls, man.” That’s all it is. The proverbial “there’s two types of people in this world” point. Person A and Person B both are just wingin’ it, but Person A is better at pretending to know what he’s doing. Person B looks like they’re stumbling and unsure.

To be sure, I am Person B. I don’t know what ultimate happiness, that end-game, looks like. I know things while on the pursuit of it that make me “happy.” Movies, music, professional wrestling, writing, reading, having a serious or funny or both conversation with someone, my dog, my precious alone time and thoughts and accomplishment. To the latter, I mean like the little things or the big things, whatever it is but a “sense of accomplishment” is a nice, happy feeling. So, I know those things, but I don’t know what I’m striving toward. Publishing a book? Yeah, that’d be fucking fantastic. Making enough money to be comfortable? Goddamn great. Meeting someone that I fall in love with and they fall in love with me? Yeah, I think about that one a lot and that would be nice, certainly.

Is the pursuit like some holy grail of happiness at the end? Life is complex and the path to “happiness” surely is, too, so it would seem foolish to expect a singular thing to provide the ultimate end-game happiness. I suppose, then, that it’s an assortment of different things. Mostly the intangibles, I think. Going back to Aristotle and his idea of virtue ethics. Living a good life, a life worth living. Doing good, being good. And not because you expect favor or reward or credit for being good, but for the sake of being good itself. It’s inherently good to be good. There’s no reason one needs to “be good” other than it being inherently good to be good.

I want to live a life where at the end of it, people say I did good by them. And they don’t say that merely to avoid speaking ill of the dead, but because they genuinely thought I impacted their life positively. That’s what I want. I want to leave behind evidence that I made a difference in someone’s life, even if it was one person or even if it was in some small way with that one person.

That’d be cool. Even if I didn’t know what I was doing. Right? Happiness…it seems far away and close and unimaginable sometimes.

11:20 am EST

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