First of all, everyone in the world of any age should read this: http://thoughtcatalog.com/2013/oops-i-accidentally-wasted-my-entire-20s-and-i-feel-fine/
So often I feel like happiness is about freedom, absolute freedom, and sometimes even loneliness. I think that it’s about being able to do anything I want, infinite possibility. Exploring new worlds through travel, destroying old ones to create a bright, but vague future. Sometimes it is about connection, but not the conditional kind. It is about the overwhelming love you sometimes feel for a child, or a pet. It is the sublime experience of loving someone and not knowing really when or if you’ll see him again. It is loving the uncertainty, the possibility, the pure potential. Happiness is about mystery, and all the possible worlds there are and how these worlds somehow come in to being. You may wonder why it’s this way but not that, but also know simultaneous it will be otherwise in the future. Happiness is like surfing (or boogie boarding), or actually most like body surfing- you just let the ocean carry you, you are perfectly yourself yet somehow more than you. It’s not about the car you drive or your job or how many starving children you have saved, it’s just you and your awareness and your body being pummeled, swept away, and ultimately caried forward, flying in the dome below the sky.
Success I tend to think about in much more concrete terms. I have a number in my mind of how much money I should earn and how many years it should take me to earn it, how old I should be when I get married, the type of guy it should be, how he should court me, how many children we will have, and a feeling that everything worthwhile is in my power to obtain. It’s about feeling like the stars are perfectly aligned, I’m in the correct job, and somehow I’m pleasing myself and everyone else to boot. Success is having diplomas to hang on the wall and somehow still being able to believe you are a free spirit without living out of a van. Actually, it’s not really about being a free spirit, it’s about having just enough freedom to flap your wings within a golden cage, to look at other people and think, “I have it so much better than them, it could be so much worse,” trapped in a cycle of gratitude and effort and self-control. Success is losing five pounds without being too hungry, it’s being sexy without being too sexual, it’s America’s sweetheart and her four bedroom colonial. It is the future you dreamed of.
I don’t want the future that I dreamed of, not anymore. I want life to give me a big surprise better than anything I could have imagined. It really already has, and I want more of that- joy, adventure, spontaneity, freedom, wonder, awe. I want to live in a more sublime state of union with God, not enslaved by my desire to control my surroundings and everyone around me. I don’t want a love that’s based on planning a future together- I just want someone who loves me now, and makes promises only because he enjoys being with me now. I don’t want to keep striving for a perfectly optimized life, devoid of joy and sorrow, a Lake Woebegon of above average, or even “excellent.” What the hell is excellence anyway? I want genius, madness, passion, the great mysteries of life!
I want to stop listening to Zarathrustra speak, hear Jesus say, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword,” and let everything change forever, and surrender to an eternal God who is beyond my knowing. To go beyond pleasure, comfort, achievement, ego, success; To live, to enter into the mystery of all that is. I don’t want Santa Claus to give me what I asked for; I want the Second Coming in all its abundance. I don’t want to be the person I always wanted to be, or live the life I planned on living; I just want to live.
I want to live in full consciousness of my deep desires; to not deny what was put in my heart by the God-in-man that said, “Where your heart is, there shall your treasure be also.”
I don’t want to go on eating chocolate cheesecake and diet soda; I want my life to be a moveable feast in itself. I don’t want to worry about the palm oil in my oreos- I want to go and see those palm trees.
I want to stop believing that success is where they tell me it is; I don’t want to walk past the poor hard-hearted when they beg on the subway; I don’t want to stop love from breaking, and mending, and overflowing my heart.
I think the hardest thing I’ll ever do is this last lap of living from a place other than my heart- sometimes things are a means to an end- and just let myself truly reflect and discover what my real ends are, and believe that somehow, my life is in God’s safekeeping.
What will I do next? What else shall I do? God only knows!
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.