It’s funny that at one point in my transition from kid to adult, I was under the impression that happiness was something meant only for children. It was apparently something I was meant to let go of, leave behind, and try to forget about. If someone is overtly happy, they are delusional, unrealistic, and not serious enough.
Oh, how wrong I was.
One can sit on a mountain and think one of two ways: a) I made it here, I did a good job, this view is great, life is limitless if the sky is, or b) that was such a long climb, I’m tired, it’s too cold up here, it’s a long way down.
Basically, there’s the optimist and the pessimist. For argument’s sake, we’ll go by what one of my profs said: “A realist is just a pessimist in denial.”
Being profound doesn’t have to mean being sad and ruining a good situation by over thinking it. There is such a thing as being profoundly happy. Through years of trying to identify myself as a creative, deep, and serious person, I’ve learned that maybe that isn’t the best option. All it had done for me was lead me to depression, anxiety, and an excessive fear of everything. But that’s okay, as long as I was truly thinking about the world, right?
I criticized others for not ‘thinking enough’, not challenging easy, happy views of the world. I was mad that they were so happy because I thought it was the equivalent to being ignorant and childish.
The optimist isn’t an airhead just because they clear their mind of negative thoughts. As well, they aren’t stuck in some immature dreamland nor do they have unrealistic goals. In fact, they’re winning this game of life.
I put such an emphasis on trying to understand the world, trying to find meaning in every detail to ‘appreciate’ it to the fullest, meanwhile I was weighing myself with every burden imaginable. I was dragging the cross without looking at salvation.
Even if happiness WERE some magical, mystical phenomenon, why would we forbid that? Why would I not carry that around with me through my adult years, through my entire life? It’s a beautiful, wonderful thing to be able to appreciate things with an open, optimistic mind. I don’t want to lose the “childish” view of the world that tells me that everything is possible, because no matter what your age, it’s still the truth.
Don’t think that being serious equates to being mature. Sure, there are more serious events and responsibilities that one takes on with age. However, losing faith and excessive joy was never a sacrifice we were asked to do. Just because the “adult world” contrasts to the “kid world” in that kids watch laughing, animated animals on television whilst adults watch Parisians and Palestinians get murdered, doesn’t mean that mass media has to justify how we’re supposed to think.
Take life seriously, be appreciative of details, lead your life with purpose – but please don’t do it with a heavy heart.