When was the last time you were TRULY happy? I am NOT talking about the time you felt good because you had just gotten laid or about the time when you were in the ‘Sab Kuch Moh Maya Hai – at peace – just smoked a joint’ phase. I am talking about when you felt alive and would not trade that moment for a million dollars. I bet each one of us would dig up that memory in a jiffy. It could be that one amazing trek with your friends or that great conversation with some loved one or when you managed to make a baby squeal in delight with your ‘oh so weirdly funny’ faces.
Creating happy memories is not very hard. In fact, it is the easiest thing to do. It is the acknowledgement of the fact that you created a fond memory which is tough. None of us realizes that the ‘now’ – where things are the standard ‘I’m doing great’ – is what will be a cherished memory when the going gets tough. Most of us cling on to the utopian version of when we will ‘finally’ be happy, which by no means is a wrong way to pursue happiness (I do it all the time), but one forgets that the present with all its trials is perhaps better than what we think is ‘ideal’ for us.
This is perhaps the greatest learning I will have taken from my final year at college. I was obsessed with getting a good job; so much so that I let all those great moments of my last year at Hindu pass me by. I still had not gotten that dream job and I was crying all the time. More than the failure, it was the fact that I wasted away those golden times with my best friends, that bothered me. And guess what? The job happened. Everything fell in place. Happy, I don’t know, but I was definitely exhausted by the end of it. The fact that we attach finality to every event reduces the magnitude of the happiness we thought it would give us. As clichéd as it sounds, the journey DOES matter, it always has, always will.
So No, ‘that exotic vacation spot’ or ‘that amazing job’ WILL NOT be the day when you will FINALLY be happy. That definitely will be a happy memory once it is created, but until then, we need to stop pining for it.
It is a quiet Saturday evening and I am feeling Solomon-ly, so excuse me for what comes next – Say ‘I’m doing great’ like you mean it, not like it is some involuntary reflex of your tongue because believe me, if you think you’ve hit rock bottom, let me tell you that you have not. Yet. That realization doesn’t happen until after.