I spend so much of my time wishing I was happy. Wishing I was normal. Wishing I could remember things better. Wishing I could smile more, laugh more, sigh (happily, of course) more. I chase after that feeling of contentment like a a beagle after a rabbit— the hunts instinctual and unavoidable and almost so much a part of me that I forget I’m hunting. How long have I been searching for that Thing that seems to easy for other people?
How am I always standing on the other side of a precipice and watching Happiness sail away on a ship with a crew full of the merriest men and women and people? Because there’s always more happy people than there are sad. In this picture, I’m alone. Always.
But the cliff image isn’t really fitting. I wish it was. Watching Happiness sail away with a smirk on her face would be simpler than the truth.
You see, Happiness isn’t so far away. I can see her.
She’s across the room, everywhere and nowhere, smack dab in the center of a throng of people that I don’t even have the nerve to walk up to. Her very presence attracts a crowd of sunshine faces and songbird laughter. I couldn’t go over there in a million years because I don’t belong with them. I don’t smile all the way to my eyes. I don’t laugh with my head tilted back, beckoning to the moon to join me. I don’t fit in.
I’ve never. Isolation is a friend of mine at this point.
But Happiness does. Happiness stands just there—across that room. So close that I could reach out and shake her. Why won’t you spend time with me? Why can’t we laugh and sing and run hand in hand down perfectly white beaches or careen through dim emerald forests?
I wish she were sailing away from me.
But no. I’m in the room with her. And somehow, that’s a million times worse— seeing her, hearing her, craving her, and knowing she’s always a brush of fingertips away.
Am I happy? No. But I’m in the room with Her.
Credit for the phrase “I’m in the room with it” regarding happiness goes to @billiethedoll93 on TikTok.