No yens. No yearnings. No strings. No connections.
I’m going through an interesting phase right now, during which I’m quite enjoying being unattached. I’m consciously uncoupled. Not seeking out love connections of any kind. It feels pretty good, and not in a Lets-Say-We’re-Happy-To-Cover-Up-Our-Deeply-Hidden-Fears-and-Keep-Our-Concerned-Relatives-Off-Guard sort of way.
I am not feeling desperately incomplete or like I am in a situation that needs fixing. I’m not resentful or closed off to the idea of ever being in a relationship – but I am enjoying this freedom. I am working, writing, attending classes, volunteering, and spending time with friends, but I also genuinely treasure my time alone.
Life feels full of opportunities. It reminds me of this Fred Astaire bit from the movie Top Hat. (Yes, I own it as part of a DVD box set, as I’m a bit of a Fred-and-Ginger buff.)
Why isn’t this feeling celebrated more often on film?
I’ve made my feelings known the benefits of just saying “Fuck It.” Go ahead and say it. It feels good, right? It touches into something genuine. For just a moment, you let go and allow your inner-asshole to emerge, and it rings a bell. Fuck it. Yessss.
Must. Force. Happy. Now.
If you google “Happiness,” you’ll find endless, sometimes conflicting articles touting the appropriate recipe to “Get happy!” The exclamation point implies a level of excitement and enthusiasm that is hard to achieve in life without the help of drugs and/or massive denial of reality. It also sounds like a demand. Do it. Get happy, goddamn it! You’re not happy! What’s wrong with you?
Couldn’t we just be a little cranky? Please?
This pressure to be cheerful is ever-present. We view and post selfies with grins so wide it is hard to discern whether the person in the photo is ecstatic in their surroundings or grimacing in pain. We all do it, if we’re being honest. I am as caught up in this happiness craze as anyone, which is to say that intermittently make myself absolutely miserable by Trying! To BE! Happy!!!
And for the record, I’m ok. It’s not a cry for help. But could we cool it we with the never-ending Joy Olympics and aim for something richer and more sustainable? Maybe we could aim to just be content. Or – when life is handing us multiple lemons – we could be angry or sad or distraught about the lemons for a few minutes before throwing a sheet over it and acting like it didn’t happen? “Move along folks. Everything’s happy here. Nothing to see.”
Let’s hear it. I want to hear about your bad day when you’ve had one. I want to laugh about our shared misery – the absurdity of it all. The happy Happy HAPPINESS is giving me a severe case of the creeps. Please make it stop.
So, you’re depressed after a breakup or a hard time at work. You’re overwhelmed by an insatiable urge to smear lipstick on your face like warpaint and run into the street, screaming, crying and singing Morrissey songs. Yeah – I mean, we’ve all been there. But follow these pro tips to release that pent up energy without getting yourself stuffed in the back of a paddy wagon or counting the ceiling tiles at the psych ward.
1. Keep the Post-Its to a minimum. When you are in the thick of trauma, and in need of a lift, I whole-heartedly support writing yourself little notes to get you through the day. “You are a good person, and a loyal friend.” –Yes. You are. Good for you. I think so, too.
But if you find yourself plastering so many happy notes around your bathroom mirror that your bathroom wall is now a yellow and pastel blue decoupage of self-esteem building, you have gone too far. You’ve crossed the Rubicon into Crazytown, Population: You.
And, hey – it’s ok. I totally get it. I love you, too. But let’s take those down and start moving forward, and into the world. We have all been there. No judgement.
2. You can judge a self-help book by its cover. Here are some tips.