My Symphony: Take Me Somewhere Nice by Mogwai
The ghosts in the photograph never lied to me. I’d be all of that – a false memory. (Mogwai)
Tonight is one of those nights. Those many nights…
Let me begin by saying that I sincerely find happiness a rather exhausting state of mind. One would think that it is something that resembles a reward of some sort – the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I think that generally, happiness (whatever it means to people) is a rare thing. But contrary to the stigmatized notion of it, happiness is actually not a destination. It is not something that you work hard for in order to achieve in the end. I mean, it’s not even something that’s achievable, nor is it something that necessarily comes in the end. Instead, it is the tiny bits in between the everyday hustles and bustles of life that are pirouetting within one’s self in totally random moments, and for a brief amount of time. Happiness is not the trophy one gets for finishing first, or second, or third in the rat race; it is instead a penny, or a letter in the alphabet, or a piece of a jigsaw puzzle – something of a really small size and value that has the potential to become magnificent when joined with all the other really small pieces, creating a larger-than-life picture.
When I was in first grade, we were asked in English class to write about our “Happiest Moment In Life”. I’ll be completely honest: I do not remember what I wrote at all. But I don’t blame myself. Perhaps the content of my essay was greatly insignificant that even my seven-year old self knew it wasn’t worth remembering. Poor kids we all were in Ms. Gemma’s class. We were so young and we were already introduced to the concept of happiness as this one human experience that beats out all the other experiences; this concept of the “most unforgettable experience” as a merit for having lived one bold, outrageous day in your life. If the school wanted us to be prepared for the real world, they should’ve made us write on “A Happy Moment In My Life” and “An Unforgettable Moment In My Life”. Not these overwhelming titles with superlative adjectives that only blow everything out of proportion. If I could rewrite that essay on a happy moment in my life, it would go like this:
A happy moment in my life was when I woke up really sick and didn’t want to go to school. My dad just finished reading his morning news, and he seemed to be in a bad mood. He picked me up from my bed so quickly that he hurt my right arm. He then said to me, “You’re going to school no matter what.” I cried, and I cried because the way that he said those words was cruel. He’s always like that. He always thinks that I am faking it. Moments later, as I was sadly sitting in front of breakfast looking like a pale donkey, Mom held my hand, and then she hugged me. She said, “You don’t have to go to school today if you’re not feeling well baby.” Then she smiled at me.
If there is one thing I learned in the first year of my 20’s, it’s that life is not simple. And the newest trends in the Internet are making it even more complicated for humanity to breathe and really be itself. I don’t know where this came from or who started it, but these days, it’s almost like a disease to be unhappy. Nobody seems to be allowed to get sad or depressed anymore without getting looks of pity and, believe it or not, disgust. We live in a world where one’s heartaches and problems are considered as weaknesses and, according to the obnoxiously sarcastic Internet users, boring shit which ain’t nobody got time fo’. Everything right now is all about having fun, living because you only live once and attracting nothing and nothing else other than good vibes. Anyone who dares to rain on people’s parades is immediately dismissed as an outcast, a loner, a weirdo and worst of all, a loser. A poisonous loser.
Everywhere I go, every turn I take, I keep on encountering people who implicitly claim that they are allergic to sadness, that they find the idea of depression very unattractive. We’ve all heard it. It’s all over social media, it’s all over the news, it’s all over television. People like Miley Cyrus broadcasting their very exclusive views on life and the way that they want to live it. “That’s not really me (‘new Miley’ referring to ‘old Miley’). I’m just all about fun, and that’s, that’s who I am” <insert loud applause of hundreds of fans in the live audience>. The entertainment industry, in all its forms, has successfully glamorized life and romanticized living.
Stop. For crying out loud, just fucking stop it. Not the media (it’s a little too late for that anyway), but you. You reading this right now, you with the heart, you with the soul. Stop being a slave of society’s sugar-coated tyranny.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with sadness.
I’m sick and tired of these hipsters walking around acting like they rule the world for basically not giving a fuck. I’m sick of these optimists feeling the need to be positive all the fucking time. I’m sick of these pretty girls who think that they just cannot fart in public, and these ripped guys who force themselves to not get attached and be emotional. I’m sick of all those highly inappropriate grade school essay topics, and I’m sick of the teachers who think it’s okay to suggest happiness to kids in a single, superlative light. And I’m just sick of everybody who is quote-unquote allergic to sadness. Fuck you. I hope that your life is filled with pure fun and nothing else. Just that. Just pure fun until the day that you die. Maybe then you’ll be happy, but I strongly doubt that.
It’s just all too much. Too much make-up. Too many masks. Too many pretensions.
I swear to god the next time I hear someone say things like “I don’t do drama. I’m all about fun”, I will punch that bitch right in the throat and tell her, “Look, honey, it actually goes both ways”.
Life is not a one-way street, and people need to understand that. Just embrace the fact that sadness and happiness don’t have to be two opposing forces. Learn to relish in the joy and the misery of being alive in this planet. Otherwise, you’re making it hard on people like me, who actually see happiness as a very separate concept from fun, and who look at sadness not as a sickness but as a mere reality. A reality no one should be ashamed of.
Happiness alone is exhausting. It is only meaningful and desirable when it has randomly jolted out of pain (or nothingness).