Hap·pi·ness – The state of feeling pleasure or contentment.

It’s this nine letter word that gets thrown around all the time .. but something that we usually never take the time to really think about. We say things like “I’m so happy!” all the time, but like many things in our daily lives, it’s one of those things that we don’t choose to take the time to think about.

Of course, happiness is feeling pleasure and contentment, but have we completely equated our happiness to the little things like getting our nails done, or getting the latest iPhone? Don’t get me wrong – fresh nails and a new iPhone are objects of happiness – but I’m talking about type of happiness you feel that makes it seem like you’re on top of the world.

Since moving to San Francisco (one month ago.. HOW CRAZY), I’ve had the time to take a step back and really look at my life and reflect… and the crazier thing? The people that I’ve met in this city have pushed me to reflect in ways that they or I could have ever imagined.

About three weeks into my time here, I was at the train platform conversing with a woman, who asked me  “Are you happy?” And as odd as this encounter may sound as I write this, I wasn’t taken aback by her question – but instead by the answer that immediately came out. I easily said “yes, I am”. Her response?, She smiled and said “You look really happy”. I smiled said thanks, and the conversation moved on. This incident left me with so many thoughts, the first being – wow, I am so happy, and I have so many reasons why.

Fast forward… and here I am two weeks later, writing about this because I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. No one in my life prior to this one woman, has ever directly asked me if I was happy or told me that I looked happy. I’ve been asked ” Are you OK”, “Are you alright”, but never “Are you happy”… and this can be for so many reasons, but I have a feeling that it’s mainly because we have just taken for granted our happiness. Our happiness shouldn’t be automatic, it should be conscious choice.

I don’t think that I’ve been unhappy, but this conversation and the past couple of weeks have shown me what it truly means to be content. I can easily say that I’m currently living my dream – still. surreal. – and so much of my life is like a dream come true at this moment. I’m happy with how much moving across the country has allowed me to grow (even in 5 short weeks). I’ve been both pushed and shoved out of my comfort zone through this experience, and it’s only just begun.

In the past five weeks, three people have told me that I look very happy (something that I hasn’t ever randomly happened in the past 20 years of my life) – and I am. I am so happy – it’s hard not to be, when I have so much to be grateful about.

Now, the purpose of this post was not to tell you about my happiness, but instead to ask and even suggest if you’ve ever taken the time to think about your happiness. When was the last time you were happy and what does true happiness look like for you? Like I said earlier, that iPhone or whatever shiny new object you desire can definitely equate to happiness, but in the big picture – how much does it really matter?

It’s time to stop worrying about the imperfections of the past, time to appreciate the beauty of the present and definitely the moment to take a step back to realize all that we are lucky to call ours.

 

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