The concept of happiness is a wild thing. Probably defined as the most personal of concepts on the planet.
Because, if you were to ask a dozen people what happiness meant to them, they’d probably all say the same things. To them, happiness might be to be in a good loving relationship. Or to have a good job that provides them enough to survive on. Or to see their grandchildren. It’s all pretty generic stuff, when you think about it. But, if you were to strap them in a chair, tie electrodes to their fingers and toes and turn up the juice, their perception of happiness would quickly turn from a lovely snow on a Christmas day to the concept of you turning off the electricity and stopping their pain. You see, happiness is merely an expression of what we want next.
High School Dreams Almost Always Include Cars
I remember in high school, all I wanted was a Rolls Royce. Not a new one, mind you. Those weren’t even cool. No. An old 1960’s Rolls Royce Phantom V, the giant boxy one that used to haul around London The Beatles or The Stones as they enjoyed their mobile drug orgies. John Lennon famously brought a new 1964 one and had psychedelic patterns painted all over it, signifying his disdain for establishment and his unabashed love for money.
I think as we grow older, happiness hits a fork in the road. Most of the things we wanted when we were younger (family, career, etc.) have either happened or it didn’t. We can still try and fight for those things later in life, but all that’s really gonna do at the end of the day is make us more unhappy. The key to happiness, I think, is to find the perfect balance between what you want and what you have. Remember, “wants” are attached to the future. And, unless you are so confused, all you want is what you used to have, you can find little blips of happiness in the present. In the moment. The problem with “the moment” is that we kind of never know when it’s coming, therefore, you have to train your mind to be super vigilant to recognize that it’s actually always here with us. Take for example octopus.
Happiness is Octopus
When I lived in London, one of my favorite things to do was to get on my little 50cc “Joker” Honda “looks like a mini Harley” scooter, ride up to Golborne Road and go to the fish stalls and buy a half a kilo of fresh squid. I’d also get some “rocket”, better known in America as arugula. I would then zip back home and do a little stir-fry of the squid, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper, olive oil, and a little white wine. Once they were all satisfied as cooked, I would sprinkle a little chopped arugula over the sauce, which was served over freshly made pasta. Delish indeed. So, that made me happy. Was I able to free my mind of worry and concern about my life in general while I made my dinner? Not really, but yes. Because within the exercise of cooking, one automatically gets the satisfaction of accomplishing something and that can only be good for one’s soul.
These days I pine a lot about not having a steady relationship like I’ve had in the past. Whether I’m aware of it or not, every woman I meet during my day, I’m either sussing them out as a potential candidate or seeing if I make any sort of substantial impression upon them. Nearly all of these quick chance encounters never lead to anything, not even a phone number, though occasionally they do. And some of these conversations with “strange” women can be absolutely delightful and funny and even, on some level, loving. But, I know it’s not a reality to think that I can immediately take them home and serve them Octopus Flambé. (If ya know wot I mean, wink, wink…)
The Sweet Bird of Happiness
Happiness is hard to find for one simple reason. Our personal definition of it keeps changing. And as long as one is aware of that, then you can avoid seeking happiness as some sort of permanent thing and just try and find the little pleasurable moments in life. The laughs, making someone feel good, exceeding your personal best at the gym. Giving the finger to someone who cut you off in traffic. There are a million daily reasons to be happy. But trying to find happiness as a permanent thing is something that only time will prove or disprove. Happiness is in our minds. Happiness is in the moment. Happiness is in good memories. And happiness is in garlic squid over pasta. AND, flipping the bird to some dickhead in traffic. Unless, of course, that bad driver was an octopus.
For the Hollywood Dog, this is a very happy Steven Alan Green