“I have often wished that I could have three lives: one to read, one to write, and one to experience.” – V.S. Naipaul
You know when you’re just having “one of those days”?
A woman asked me how I was doing and instead of the usual “I’m doing good, and you?” I actually told her the truth: “I feel like shit.”
She said: “Aw, you know… It’ll be alright!” and gave me a smile. I wanted to punch her in the tits.
Seriously though, I actually had a semi-epiphany a while back. I’ve read a lot of books on self-help, psychology, philosophy and science that deal with happiness, fulfillment and so on. What started I realizing along the way is that, well, they’re just clever ways of trying to avoid feeling pain. Also, they often put too much emphasis on being happy instead of accepting what is.
I was curious to see if I could provoke her [yeah, I can be cruel sometimes] so I told her: “What if it isn’t? That’s got to be alright too, right?”. She looked at me for a while before saying: “Hm, that’s an interesting way of looking at it.”
Spoken as someone who truly doesn’t want to continue this discussion. I left it at that. Feeling thoroughly satisfied with myself!
It got me thinking about other times in my life when i’ve not felt fucking fantastic at all. At the time I told a friend of mine: “Man, we’ve got NOTHING to complain about! Life is good!”. In all honesty I was trying to push focus on the fact that there were bigger issues in the world besides my petty problems.
I guess it came out of a sense of guilt that I had really good things going for me. Yet, I wasn’t happy. At times I even felt like shit. Looking back now I see that I had a lot of a couple of things like cash and fun but was experiencing major lack of love in my life or spirituality. At other times I had a lot of love but a lacked a sense of purpose etc.
So, what does one do? Seek balance? Nope. Sweep it under the rug? Damn skippy!
It felt really freeing to admit that I wasn’t shitting rainbows today. I still managed to do a lot of great stuff, talk about creativity and laugh. Who knows, maybe I even got that girl thinking about what happiness is all about? Or,maybe I just ruined her entire day: “You won’t believe the giant asshole I talked to today!”.
Look, we can strive to be happy. It’s a nice goal to have. But if start ignoring our pain it can start to build up. And once it’s grown big enough it’ll suck you in by its gravitational pull.
What made this more fun was to actually make light of the fact that it was one of those “Donald Duck”-days. Had this happened a couple of years back i’d probably faked a smile and tried to avoid the feeling. Now? I can embrace the crapiness that is!
Also, I finally figured out a quote i’d read something like 10 years ago but couldn’t remember what it was exactly. I knew it was something about “Three Lives”. And now it came back to me!
I have often wished that I could have three lives: one to read, one to write, and one to experience.
That’s something we can all relate to. We’ll just have to make due with the time we’ve got. Thanks V.S. Naipaul!
Curiously enough, right now, i’m feeling pretty happy!