How is it that it becomes the ultimate pursuit of life? As if we are reading our own life’s stories and skimming through all the pages, skipping paragraphs, flipping pages in a hurry, just to reach the end that says “happily ever after”.
I grew up reading fairy-tales. And I believed them. In all sincerity. I thought the ultimate aim of life was to be rescued by a prince in shining armour, marry him and live happily ever after. Feminists, attack me not, yet! I thought thus, when I was a teen. I have grown up since then.
I stopped believing in the concept of happily ever after, over a decade ago, when I realised “after” was an abstract concept. Before wasn’t. Now isn’t. But after is. It is vague. You don’t know when after arrives. What’s worse is, you don’t know, when after does arrive – what it shall bring with it.
So how is it that most people, are in a pursuit of happily-ever-after, or whatever version of happy forever they believe in? And if there isn’t a happily-ever-after, what remains instead? Why do people then seem so fixated on “the future”?
Most importantly, if I don’t believe in being happy forever, what should I believe in instead?
The answer to this came to me, the way it usually does, because S.B. said, “Sans, you are the only person I know who enjoys even the most mundane things, and lives them, with such passion and intensity.” Okay, these may not have been the exact words, but I believe they are close.
That’s when I knew. The pursuit of happiness does not rest in a particular time. It rests in a state of mind. And there is no state as the present one. What if this moment was the only one in which I was supposed to be happy? What if the goal of life was to build a series of such moments, line them as close together as I possibly can and live through them? I pause every time I find myself thinking, “I’ll be happy when…”
There are no happy whens. That state does not exist. I can attempt to build one, but when it does arrive, chances are it will escape me because my mind, or soul, or body would be too weary or occupied to register it. And so, I’ll only know of it in retrospect.
What if I concentrated on being happy “now”? In every moment, of every day? Isn’t that a better choice?