I was minding my own business, on the back of a motorbike heading out of Tay Ho, Vietnam, when my Spotify shuffled to a random song by Julia Michaels. “What kind of sorcery is this?” I thought to myself as I gazed down to find out the artist and title. The song is called “Happy”, but it’s not about rainbows, butterflies, or drugs. The song is about sadness and heartache. She sang it in a way that touched me in my feels. It’s not often a song will turn me into a total softie while bobbing my head back and forth like I’m preparing for a mosh. However, the reason I was taken aback wasn’t because of that.
Why would a song about heartbreak, and not being happy, resonate with me so much when my life is good? That song essentially put me into a time machine, and flew me back to my cringy yet significantly trimmer and more youthful 16-year-old self. It made me think about times that I didn’t particularly want to go back to, and question many of my life choices. Yet, I still pressed repeat when I knew the song was coming to an end.
The next time I heard her sing the chorus, “I just wanna be fuckin’ happy.”, I asked myself what I had probably been suppressing for a long time. Am I really fucking happy? The fact that I asked that question was enough to know the answer was no. Don’t get me wrong, my life is great. I’m surrounded by an incredible community and wonderful friends. I love my family and have created a beautiful life for myself. I have a good life and I’m happy, but I’m not really fucking happy.
By that I mean, I still have voids I’m trying to fill. I still believe that my life will be better once I start my own business, or once I’m waking up every morning next to the doppelgänger of Leonardo DiCaprio from Titanic. (Yes, specifying Titanic rather than The Revenant makes a big difference in my book.) A part of me feels empty because I’ve created a life where the future, and things outside of myself, hold my conditional happiness. I was and am living a great life, but what’s keeping me from being really fucking happy is complete acceptance and gratitude for what is, regardless of other things I want that have yet to manifest in my life.
I am choosing in this moment to put my value and focus on different things. To bring my attention to the good that I have now rather than what I want in the future. That’s not to say I can’t have dreams and desires, but what I need to do is stop putting so much hype, hope, or worry on the future, that I feel my present is less valuable. Wanting more from life is fine and normal. However, needing something more to feel better, is not a goal we should strive for, yet we seem to have collectively agreed it’s alright.
Many think that in order to change your life, get what you want, and be fucking happy, we have to do something different. Although that’s not wrong, it’s not where to begin. It’s not about doing or having. It’s about being. Who do we have to become? Who do we have to be to change? We have been brought up in a world revolved around doing, but we won’t be taking the right actions if we haven’t become the right person first.
I am choosing to become more grateful and appreciative for what is. I am going to become more present and mindful. I am going to observe my thoughts, feel my feelings, and accept them without resistance. I am going to chill the fuck out and be fucking happy not by changing what I do or have, but who I am. Then, I’ll be truly fucking happy.