Thursday, October 25, 2012

What makes you happy?

Whenever I ask this question to any of my friends, they go blank. I don't know why. Perhaps because everyone is looking for a larger, loftier goal that would eventually make them happy. Happiness is usually in something that is yet to be achieved. But what about local happiness? I have found out that the things that make me happy are really insignificant in the larger context. But they have the power to make me happy instantly, and keep me happy for a long time. Those things are like the complex carbohydrates of the world of emotions. :)

For example, the other day, I collected fall leaves with my flatmate. Then I googled the recipe to preserve them and I spent a part of my afternoon pressing them into a wax paper and immortalizing them. Sometimes, after Yoga, I cook myself a very light dinner and usually go to bed thinking about breakfast (Nutella on toast). I wake up feeling really happy on those occasions.
There is a lot of happiness in watching birds. I often spend my Sunday mornings watching the social patterns of the geese that flock around the lake outside my apartment. Watching the sun kissed sky in the American Midwest has also been a source of joy. I don't know what it is about the sky here, but it is exquisite. The sunsets especially, make me want to cut out a piece of the sky and use it on a quilt.

There was a time when "living in the moment" was a mission. I remember being very regimented about being in the moment and I remember failing very badly too. It was during my PhD when I was really obsessed about having a plan for everything. I remember trying meditation and being utterly exhausted at the end, trying to control my mind. And I can't fathom why it was so difficult to control it. I don't know what scared me so much. I think my fear was mostly related to other people and my failure in their eyes. But it is really hard to define what failure is. Or for that matter success too. Because sometimes, failing makes us happier than sustaining success as defined by someone else. Sometimes, the fear of failing is more crippling than failure itself.

There is also this feeling, which can be described as I-don't-want-to-trade-my-life-with-anyone-else. You suddenly become genuinely grateful for your journey. It happened to me during my France trip. The whole trip sort of happened in a haze (mostly because I did everything last minute). One day, when we were in Paris, my best friend (and flatmate) Elodie and I were crossing subway platforms to change lines. At the junction where all the stairs meet, there was a chubby accordion player. We did not have much time but Elodie decided to let the next train go and requested that he play "Bella Ciao" for us. He did, and we danced together on that filthy, crowded subway station. That was a bitter sweet moment. Mostly because I knew I cannot do anything about it once it is over. I knew it was going to hurt just as much as it made me happy. But above all of that, it made me grateful. It is only in moments like these, when you know that the only "reason" this is happening to you is to make that little groove, that notch, that scar of memory on your mind, so you never ever forget that you have been loved like this.That you have been this lucky.

Then there is also this question that is often overlooked. How deeply can you fall in friendship? How honestly can you sustain it? How many times do you have to distill your emotions to get rid of envy when you are friends with someone? How many times do you have to ignite little dynamite cylinders to get rid of the barriers you build in friendship, to protect yourself from an honest opinion? Sometimes, our friendships go through a loop and we return to innocence. But we have to stay and fight until the end of the loop. The ends of these loops are important not just in friendship, but also everywhere else. Somehow, as we simplify ourselves, we can manage a better performance with each of these small avartans. It is our expertise as dancers on our own stage, with no one else but ourselves as audience. I guess the happiness also comes from impressing ourselves, by not making the mistakes from the last time we looped (pun intended).

And I guess, when you are grateful, every little joy is happiness. Happiness doesn't stick to deadlines or public performances. And then probably, the answer to that question would eventually be "I make myself happy". :)

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Happy Birthday PurpleMoon

Another year gone by and I can see how I am losing my enthusiasm to write here. :)
But that said, I would like to wish my blog another (hopefully more interesting) year of posts.
And Thank YOU for visiting.