I Like the Way it Hurts

So, I have been spending a lot of time thinking about happiness lately. Largely this has been motivated by the fact that life has taken a fairly steep turn for the worse in recent months. As should be noted from some of my recent posts my love life fell apart, which is really just the icing on the cake of suck that has been my life in these last few months. I failed to get into grad school, my job search has gone terrible, I have no money, and outside of my immediate family I have very few if any people actually in my day-to-day life.

I by no means think that I am alone in any of this. Quite to the contrary, I understand that I am merely one amongst many who are struggling in these times we live in. In fact, I know a few people who have it at least as bad as I do if not worse. I also understand that I have myself to blame for a good number of my problems. So why the hell have I been thinking about happiness lately?

Well the other day I was having a matter of fact discussion with my brother about the general shitstorm that life can be and he asked me, “what is happy”. As so often happens to me, that seemingly simple question sent my mind to work buzzing with the potential answers.

After much deliberation, the only satisfactory answer I have found is that being happy is making the decision to not be sad. I know it sounds kind of weird but I really believe it is true. When you are depressed you can choose to continue to wallow in your unpleasant feelings, remaining unhappy, or you can choose to not be sad. When you make that decision you will slowly but surely start building, or rebuilding, positive things in your life, and sooner or later you will be happy.

The one thing I do know is that you will never improve your situation by sitting and whining about things that have already happened. Sure we all need to vent every once and awhile, but eventually venting turns into bitching, and then bitching turns into whining. Next thing you know no one wants to talk to you because you’re entirely unpleasant to be around.

We have no way to fix the mistakes of the past. However, we can learn from the past in order to make the future better. So instead of wallowing in what could have been get out there and start thinking about what could be and make it happen. I know that is what I am going to be doing, because who really wants to be a miserable bastard for the rest of their lives.


4 thoughts on “I Like the Way it Hurts

  1. Nice picture with the post 😉 If you want a temporary uplift in spirits, go back to your “things not to do in a theater” post. Memories lol!

    As to your theory on happiness . . . it’s possible. I know people much better off than me who are always more down in the dumps/unhappy then the should be. It truly, to me, comes down to how self-centered a person is a lot of the time. When they don’t get what they want, when people don’t see their point of view, when they want something and can’t have it, when they want sun but get rain and on and on and on, that’s what makes them unhappy.

    They don’t stop to think how they may not deserve what they want, how their point of view is only one (and quite possibly wrong) of many, how maybe they don’t really need what that particular item, or how the rain actually helps others where the sun has caused too much drought. Basically, if the stopped for a minute and imagined how much worse things COULD be and how they don’t have it bad at all, they might realize they have no REAL reason to be unhappy. Their life is not worse off for lacking all those things they wanted.

    And, of course, you have people who honestly are not happy unless they have something to bitch about. It sounds strange, but I know people like that. They don’t have anything to say, they are not “important”, until life has thrown a wrench into the oh so great plans they had laid. THAT’S when those people “shine”, when they really get animated, swear and curse and rant expertly, wielding their righteous anger at the world in general.

    Or maybe they’re just looking for shoulders to cry on. Pay attention to those status updates on those pages of the “book”. See how many people put up their woe of the day. Or hour. Or freaking minute. And then cry me a river, because 95% of them do not know how rough the 5% not complaining might really have it.

    Another issue is how much everyone spends countless hours, days, weeks, months and years, trying to live up to expectations others have heaped on them or trying to meet goals that were to far reaching to begin with. That is a source of happiness/unhappiness that is easy to understand. Trying to live up to what others want you to be or expect you to be is tough sometimes. And in the situations where you have set goals for yourself, it is disheartening, to say the least, when you have not met those goals. But when you are able to live up to the expectations and/or reach your goals, THAT is when you usually attain a measure of happiness. That is because you have achieved something. Achievements (and not the xbox kind) are a measure of yourself as a person. Grades in school, records or personal bests in sports, those tell you how well you have done something and as long as you have reached a level YOU wanted or that you could live with, that can bring happiness. So, really, I guess you could say that is self centered as well. I don’t know. Setting goals and reaching them works for me. I have set lots of goals in life. I have rarely reached any of them yet, but as long as I keep working towards them, I have nothing to be sad about and I have a lot to work for to be happy.

    That’s the big picture stuff. I don’t miss out on the small, day to day, things, though. Hanging out with friends, cracking jokes, enjoying music, movies, sports, and games, being with my son on those weekends I have him, those are the everyday things that will make a person happy.

    I guess I’ve had a lot to say, and I could say more, but who’s honestly still even reading at this point? If you have, this is for you: ACHIEVEMENT: reading the ramblings of Ryan! 25g points!

    See a typo? Achievement! 5g points! (because it probably won’t be that hard to find)


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