The Day I Chose To Be Happy

Dissociation has taught me something. Something it has been teaching me every day, every hour, building up to the realization of today.

I don’t want to be happy.

When I think of intelligent human beings, of innovators and people of brilliant ideas, I never see their faces in my mind as smiling. Surely to be a hard worker one must consistently sport a downturned mouth, especially when in deep thought, as though they thoroughly disapprove of their own ideas.

To quote a fellow blogger (taken out of context from *this* post, but the phrase has stuck with me):

…interesting people are never taken seriously.

–Ian Williams

I’ve thought (and said) many times about how I would love to be like the man whom the philosopher and mathematician Alfred North Whitehead summed up as: “That adorable genius, William James.” James was a philosopher and one of the greatest American psychologists, but that isn’t why I attempt to portray him. He was a deep thinker, compassionate, determined and always full of curious energy, ecstatic to discover the new, evaluate the unfamiliar, and second guess common sense ideas. They say he took the steps two at a time until old age stopped him, but even then he remained an empathetic, clever, quick-witted, honorable man.

I am what the Taoist monks would call a metal person – the polar opposite of a fire person who can be so energetic and lively (like a flame) that they tend to get bored easily and forget about their priorities. Metal people are perceptive and focused, and tend to focus so much on their priorities that their catchphrase can become “There are more important things in life than being happy.”

Perhaps logic isn’t logical in a world that isn’t fair. When we adapt with life and change our course with the tides. When every. Single. Individual believes different things, feels different things about different situations and scenarios. When really everything is up in the air and unpredictable and uncontrollable that even when we delude ourselves into believing we have the world on a string, something comes along to rip the cord our of our hands – heck, sometimes taking our hands along with it. Why should I be so calculating and critical and logical and distant when in the long run it won’t change a single significant thing?

I have been fearing regretting my choices, wincing when I recall a conversation long ago or last week when I felt like a fool, the memory stinging to the point of physical pain. Uwittingly conditioning myself to loathe with the taste of acid every tiny mistake I make.

Today is the today I chose to be happy.

This will be a project, no doubt. An experiment that I intend to have last the rest of my life (and being 17, I’ve got me a long way to go.) I want to be honest, fair, curious, unafraid of looking like a fool, wholeheartedly pursue what I love, ask stupid questions, and find one reason every day to be happy.

Odds are this is not what William James did, but I like to think he would have been pleased with my plan nonetheless.



16 thoughts on “The Day I Chose To Be Happy

  1. ^__^
    I feel special and quotable.

    I keep forgetting that you’re 17. Given your perception and critical thinking skills, I keep thinking that you must be older than I am. But you’re not, and I, nearly 20, am caught thinking when I read your posts. If thinking were a crime, I think I’d end up behind bars…probably because you would have been executed already, and such would cause a dreadful amount of thinking on my part.

    …That’s sort of a strange comment to make, come to think of it.

    Keep thinking, keep challenging us. I appreciate it. It turns out that college doesn’t promote thinking nearly as much as blogs like yours. College often deadens thinking. I should think on that.

    Again, you are a marvelous writer. Keep it up. =]

    • Better a strange comment than a typical one, thank you 🙂
      You have a grand blog, Sir, and certainly one of the more quotable bloggers I’ve come across lately. I’ll keep up my writing if you keep up yours.
      Take care 🙂

  2. I know you’ve been recognized already for this, but your work deserves much attention. Another fine post from you, my friend!

    I’ve presented you with the Versatile Blogger’s Award for your work here. Your thoughtfulness and creativity and wit are deserving of recognition! Thank you for sharing your wisdom with the rest of us!
    Visit my 09-28-2011 post to see more about your award.

  3. . . . AND this!
    My friend and fellow blogger, I was given a recognition for my blog today that includes as its prize the opportunity to share the recognition with people I think deeply deserving for their work as well. Please accept this bow to your excellence and the attached challenge! Thanks for the inspirations.

  4. Happiness definitely needs to be prioritized and worked towards, it doesnt just happen, so I think choosing to be happy is a lot more significant than one might think.

    • I think something that keeps surprising me lately, is that one can be so conscious of the logic behind emotions, and still have the emotions rule over logic. Choosing an emotion is a process, I’ve learned. Choosing to contemplate positive things or appreciate the sky on a ride through the park. It has certainly changed the way I view things, and yet not changed who I am at the center of it.
      A thought-provoking comment 🙂

  5. Life is an adventure with many ups and downs — and many, many discoveries. Part of life is how we feel about things. I am very grateful for the range of experience as well as emotions that are provided by this incredible experience of life!

    Very nice post. Keep on writing, whether one assumes the role of fire-mind or metal-mind, doesn’t much matter — it is what one creates that is important!

    • I remember a quote from a fairy-tale book I read once: “Adventures never feel like adventures when you’re in the middle of them.” We despise the excitement and change and evershifting circumstances and wake up one day when they’re long past, to realize what a wild ride it was, and to smile at the memory.
      Thank you for dropping by my little blog 🙂

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  7. I must say, I seldom see talent such as yours. You write beautifully, but there is something beyond that, something intrinsic. Maybe you know what I mean.
    I hope you don’t take yourself too seriously though. There was a time when I was an intensely introspective person. I was probably close to your age then. Somewhere along the way I learned that there is a pleasant world outside of my head, and that people who seemed to live on the surface might still be capable of reflection, reason, and introspection despite their carefree dispositions.

    • Thank you, Sir!
      I’m learning to be more easygoing – intense human beings may be admired when they exhibit brilliance, but William James will be admired for the rest of the history of time itself for being a lighthearted, nearly juvenile human being who had incredible psychological insights he shared with the world.
      Happiness seems so often to be associated with an airheaded personality, because apparently deep-thinkers are in such deep thought that they never emerge for enough air to stop and smile.
      Thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting, I truthfully appreciate your opinions and advice 😀

  8. I really love your blog (and am now following you)! I agree that sometimes we are all expected to act a certain way given the norms of our society. Being happy and energetic all the time is exhausting, though! You should be happy acting and feeling how you naturally are. Great writing and a great blog 🙂

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