I believe in happiness.
Not just serenity.
Not just peace.
Not just every day contentedness.
As much of it as you can possibly get your hands on.
It seems, at times, that most people hope for happy and hang on to content. My belief in happiness seems to separate me from a good chunk of the rest of the world.
Friends, loved ones and strangers shake their heads at me and scoff at my idealism. They tell me I’m unrealistic. They look at me with a disapproving eye that says I’m immature and unaware of the ways of the world.
They cluck their tongues and caution me against the illusion of green grass.
I try to explain that I’m not nearly as interested in my neighbor’s backyard as I am in what’s further up the hill. They nod as if to suggest that it’s the same thing and they understand.
And I wonder if I’m crazy. I wonder if I’ve come this far in life on nothing more than foolishness and self delusion. I wonder if perhaps they are right and I am, inherently, wrong. I wonder if someday I will grow up and learn to settle and accept and appreciate like they say, and I will regret all of this faith I have put in happiness.
I remember bits and pieces of a high school psychology class – or maybe it was sociology. It was something about self actualization and levels and I always kind of had the sense that that was what life was like. Advancing through levels. Or climbing stairs. I don’t imagine that there is a top to reach, but I wish people understood that I’m still intent on the same damn stair case and just another step, not a leap from one corner to the next.
I wish they didn’t cluck their tongues at me.
I wish they didn’t apologize for who I am or feel the need to make excuses and allowances for me.
It hurts my heart to see the way they tolerate me.
But it doesn’t hurt enough to back down.
I believe in happiness.
As much as I want the people in my world to understand that, I don’t need them to. I don’t fault them for being able to revel in contentedness. I don’t look down on them or pity them. I’m genuinely thrilled for their peace and serenity.
But I don’t have to take it as my own.
For whatever reason, this is how He made me. Desperately yearning and constantly seeking. Reaching. And while others may not understand, I know that there is a difference between failing to appreciate what’s right in front of you and refusing to settle when you know there is more to be had.
I’m learning to hear my own voice. I’m learning to discern the difference in tone between the voice that is mine and the voice of those whose approval I long for.
And my voice is loud and clear.