Today’s date is Saturday, March 5, 2016; it is exactly noon… and I am completely in love with and in awe of the world and its inhabitants.
Moods such as this tend to swallow me whole on drowsy occasions where I have little to no responsibilities for the day and have experienced an abhorrent lack of sleep – today is no exception. So while I lounge here in this snowfall-filtered sunlight, surrounded by the sultry smoke of incense, sipping tea from a commemorative ale mug of my father’s (thanks, dad, I hope I can use this), I will expel the wonder I feel in my ribcage through these fingertips of mine in the wild hope that it will make its way into you.
A little over a year ago I began to experience true happiness. Pure joy. It came in the form of a physical Yellow, which is a topic I have elaborated on before but have not the words or patience for today. It was the result of a conscious effort to begin seeing the beauty in as many things as I possibly could in order to be content with life instead of waiting to be happy and experiencing beauty as its effect. It was the most daunting psychological experience of my life, and I am and will be continuing the progress until the day my lungs stop respiring.
As I became ‘happy’ and content with life as I lived it, I consciously became aware of experiences I wanted, whether they were in the form of activities, interacting with people, or traveling places. Instead of allowing these wants to make me feel like less of a person for not experiencing them, I unconsciously began pushing them to the side because I knew I was already content and choosing other options in order to give other people or myself a new perspective. Still, for some reason, these experiences began to happen to me anyway – even if I previously considered them impossible. Thus began my searching for a theory of magnetic phenomena.
This is an extended excerpt from a journal entry written in November of 2014:
“This is not a complaint; it is simply an observation. I have a theory about happiness. It is that once one finds their own, individually tailored happiness – a happiness despite situations or variables (or simply even contentedness) – the contents of their preconceived notions of joy they created and believed they must receive to be content when they were in their darker place will slowly enter their life like the steady drip of a faucet that hasn’t been completely shut off.
This I speculate due to odd – but not unpleasant in the slightest sense – occurrences popping into everyday life. I will list as many as I possible can that lend themselves quickly to my mind:
1. Choosing to co-direct the fall production instead of acting in it, and ultimately having to fill in as Clelia two of the three performances (although still an unfortunate event for the intended actress).
2. Offhandedly hoping for video projects in various classes and soon having the opportunity to do so in three of six.
3. Deciding not to bother myself and cause undue stress upon my psyche by worrying about my grades, yet thus far having some of – if not the – the most impressive grades of my academic life.
4. Not worrying about calling attention to my appearance by dressing how I want to, yet receiving compliments even despite the recent acquisition of athletic socks with cheeseburgers and fries on them.
5. Wishing to stay in contact with acquaintances outside my school district and suddenly being contacted by a close friend from summer camp, having a graduated friend from the same camp deliver the pizza my family ordered (we caught up and it was great), and being contacted by a friend who switched schools that I hadn’t spoken with in a year.
But yes, the theory. I do not necessarily believe that bad blood within oneself breeds discontent or that every happy soul gives off some vibe that just sets in motion all the gears in the universe that supply them with everything they subconsciously desire – God knows one will still endure trials in their jubilation – it simply seems that the decisions one makes in such a state that can affect others, in some way (whether through body language, subconsciously, or through some other medium unknown to me) portrays a message that compels others to act in ways that, while they still act within constraints of their own character, is more impressive upon the receiving individual.
The changes and experiences that affect those who haven’t come into direct contact with the contented person yet still have caused some effect, however… how those come to light I have yet to understand, but I will be looking into how that occurs or whether it is simply a matter of happy (ayy) coincidence.
Another odd happenstance of the content and the draw they have upon romantic pursuers. It is true that confidence is a trait that is both coveted by those looking to acquire a significant other and/or acquire happiness in life, but I feel as though the contentedness that the individual in question may also be the cause of a change in their own chemistry that affects those around them – whether their conversation is based in the face-to-face format or through social media, texting, phone conversations, or any other means that renders both parties incapable to detect tone of voice, facial expression, or body language. [Comment: I could possibly be talking about pheromones here, but I can’t be certain.]
The contentedness with oneself also allows for another level of introspection to occur. Speaking upon my behalf only, my level of introspection has thus far laid upon the deconstruction of self-internalized notions that I have previously viewed as gospel. For example, when I was but a wee child, I thought atheism was ridiculous, gay marriage was odd, feminism was a bunch of angry women, mental illness didn’t exist, and all boys ever wanted – ever – was to hurt me and to have sex. I knew in my mind, through education, that the converse of these notions existed and some notions were obscenely incorrect, but only through the way the aforementioned information was internalized did I lean which versions of the truth I was most comfortable living with.
Most of these notions were gradually unlearned through repeated exposure, but I had never taken it upon myself to unlearn an internalized idiom by choice until fairy recently. This was one example of bias that I put on myself at a young age and never entirely grew out of on my own: due to my birthmother becoming pregnant with me at a young age with a college student five years her elder, I never allowed myself to believe relationships involving an age gap larger than a year were appropriate – and even that was a stretch for me. [Comment: When I said relationships here, I purely meant romantic, but looking back at what I’ve written and experienced, I never even began to have friendships with individuals outside my grade in school until the year I wrote this journal entry. It was severely restrictive.]
I began questioning the validity of such a mental formation when I began looking at my past – many of the people I found myself interacting with (platonically or romantically) were those that were markedly mature beyond their years. I realized that I did not have to limit myself to those of my age group to interact with. This was the catalyst that made me begin to deconstruct this false notion.
It made me uncomfortable thinking of myself as one that partook in behavior I personally saw as taboo, and I was not about to go through life as a hypocrite – especially seeing that I highly value relationships of any nature, and being a hypocrite to both platonic and romantic partners didn’t settle all too well with me.
Thus did I begin the deconstruction of the founding assumptions that let me to the ingrained issue: I always believed that daddy issues lead to girls (and boys, for that matter) to be attracted to people their senior by 3+ years, but seeing as my father is a present figure in my life despite my affinity to people within this age group, that notion had to be thrown out the window. This has drawn people older than myself more deeply into my social groups, and, since this is a fairly new revelation, may bring about a relationship of the romantic nature in the future. [Comment: it has.]
Moving back towards happiness as the overarching topic, when around people, one should not necessarily feel simply a relaxed sensation, but also a feeling of mild – and in a sense, diluted – elation settled in one’s chest. It cannot be a feeling one could relate to excitement or anxiety, no, but one must be appreciative of the feeling nonetheless, because I do believe it to be imprinted minutely upon those the affected is speaking to. Call it charisma, call it chemistry, call it what you want, but this is some sort of unique phenomenon, and I am determined to pinpoint and title it.”
I have yet to do either of these things, but once more I am experiencing the effects of this theory both in experience of events, people, and national/global news. In the short span of five months, I have gone from attending the second open mic night of my life to hosting it, both whittling down and expanding my social group to an incredible circle of people who challenge me intellectually and bring even more happiness into my life (that range from 14-40; suck it, preconceived notions), joyriding alone with the windows down and stopping at beautiful places I’ve encountered on my journeys in order to capture them as photographs, traveling multiple hours (an adventure of sorts) in order to provide photographic services to some of those friends I had spoken of that I hadn’t seen in months, and I have seen both extremes of the 2016 presidential candidates (Donald Trump/Bernie Sanders) at rallies in my state. I have participated in a seven-hour yoga workshop with a seventy-year-old woman apparently known (and aptly so) as the Queen of inversions, created a short film aided by professionals and some really freaking talented people within the span of a forty-hour work week, and I have connected and reconnected with countless amazing human beings.
It’s a wonderful world out there, man.