Happiness Is A Warm Mug Of Hot Chocolate

I was drawing a blank for today’s post, and not having written one yesterday, I figured I needed something. I have inspiration in spades, but the issue has been figuring out what I could really say about the subjects that have come to mind.

My happiness seems to be important to those around me, and thoughts about that seemed to overflow from my mind, snaking in different directions so as to give me a multitude of angles I could discuss.

To begin, I’m not clinically depressed, nor do I have any other mental illness in which depression is a symptom. However, I haven’t been diagnosed as such, and I’m sure that since things are different for me from day to day, I’ll be considered to be somewhat normal.

So what is it about everyone wanting me to be happy? I don’t know.

I found it hard to admit to my friend from Japan that getting a message from him around 8 in the morning was like inhaling the aroma of coffee. I didn’t use those words, but I did say that if I didn’t hear from him most mornings, I had a habit of rolling over and going back to sleep for another hour or so. Around 7:30 in the morning after I sent that e-mail, I had a response from him. In my half-awakened state, the corners of my mouth turned upwards and I sat up so I could respond to his message.

He wrote that he was neither happy nor in the depths of misery lately. I’d like to say that I’ve been in the same mood, as I have enough hope for my future to keep me from being miserable, yet I have enough going on that I’m not allowed to be perfectly happy. Writing to him keeps me going, even when he suggests that I’d be happier elsewhere or that he’s keeping me from being happy. In this instance, I’m sure I know when I’m feeling happy.

I will admit to romanticizing my friendship with the guy from Japan, mostly because I want to go to Japan. If something comes up about Japan on my social media feed, I like asking him if he’s seen or heard of whatever it is, and what his opinions are on that thing. When I get a chance to go over there, I have a feeling that dragging him from place to place will earn me the same responses that I get from the e-mails I sent his way; he’s fairly apathetic, which is no different from how I feel about the Syracuse area at times. As I find more Asian-influenced things like restaurants, grocery stores and even a karaoke bar, I’m more inclined to have him visit me though I know it still won’t feel like home to him. The idea of meeting him one day, even though I don’t know if it will ever happen, gives me hope and makes me happy to think about what we’d do together.

I find that I’m happy when I’m doing things for others without being asked. The moment I’m asked to do something, it becomes an expectation, and there’s the possibility of disappointing the other person if I don’t do what they asked. However, if I think someone will enjoy going to a certain place or doing a certain thing, then I’m eager to see their reaction. The possibility that I’m making their day will make mine in return.

Before I started writing this entry, I wondered if I’m doing the happiness thing in all the wrong ways. I Googled the phrase, “ways to find happiness” and clicked on the first link that was listed. Let’s see if I’ve managed to find any actual happiness.

  1. Be with others who make you smile.
  2. Hold on to your values.
  3. Accept the good.
  4. Imagine the best. 
  5. Do things you love.
  6. Find purpose.
  7. Listen to your heart.
  8. Push yourself, not others.
  9. Be open to change.
  10. Bask in the simple pleasures.

One, be with others who make you smile. I tend to make myself smile, because I believe I have humorous thoughts, but I think I’m excluded from this point. Right now, I’m staying with a friend who isn’t always positive, but she’s realistic with a sarcastic wit. Even when unpleasant words spill from the mouths of everyone under this roof, it’s the things that aren’t being said that show a loving family who’s struggling to get by but isn’t letting anything dampen their spirits.

Two, hold on to your values. The article says that your values are “what you find true, what you know is fair, and what you believe in.” I could write paragraphs that would explain my desires in life, and the things I’m willing to do, and how those things change from time to time. Fairness, however, comes down to compromise, and I know that if I’m willing to attain something, I need to make an equally desirable offering to the powers that be without sacrificing myself. Again, there’s much to say on the topic of my values. I do have them, they do exist.

Three, accept the good. “Look at your life and take stock of what’s working, and don’t push away something just because it isn’t perfect. When good things happen, even the very little ones, let them in.” Well, unfortunate circumstances brought me back towards my hometown, which has been somewhat of a blessing. Chatting with a guy from Japan isn’t perfect because of geography and time zones, but he cares about my life and making sure I take care of myself. My living situation isn’t perfect, but it’s better than some of my other options. Aside from the things I have to fix anyway, I’d say I’m fairly happy with my life at the moment.

Four, imagine the best. Imagine being in Japan? Because that would mean that I did a few things correctly, and I succeeded at making one of my dreams come true. Imagine being married? I can see myself having breakfast in a sunlit nook while seated at the table with someone I admire and love. I don’t imagine myself living in a mansion, or swarmed by the public because I’m famous or wealthy. The best for me is moderate wealth and success, having my needs met, and not wanting more than I can afford to have.

Five, do things you love. I love attending concerts. I love going to the mall, even if I don’t buy anything while I’m there. I also love reading, playing video games, and using up the batteries in my wireless computer keyboard. Not everything I love requires spending more money or leaving the comforts of home, which is excellent in that I can do what I love in any situation I find myself in. Lately I’ve been looking for a job and writing this blog, so I’m doing what I love while trying to find a means to do more of the things I love.

Six, find purpose. You know, the idea of moving to Japan to marry a Japanese man and hopefully give him a family would be a wonderful purpose. Did you know that there is a declining birth rate in Japan, because the elderly are dying faster than people are giving birth? Are you aware that some people have given up on dating and have decided to marry their friends, just so they can be married? I would be helping out society. So far in life, I haven’t had much of a purpose other than to help corporations become successful. I’m not even sure if I’d feel a sense of fulfillment if I were to find my true purpose in life.

Seven, listen to your heart. “You are the only one who knows what fills you up. Your family and friends may think you’d be great at something that really doesn’t float your boat. It can be complicated following your bliss. Just be smart, and keep your day job for the time being.” I think I’m getting better at following my heart, but I think I still try to ignore things in favor of what I believe I really want. I did follow my heart earlier this week, despite someone thinking that I might actually be happier if things went differently. I don’t regret anything yet.

Eight, push yourself and not others. I know what I must do! No, that’s not a sudden realization that I need to motivate myself. On the same topic, it’s fairly easy to lose faith in a person because you’re trying to motivate them when nothing seems to change. I am pushing myself to change the parts of myself that need immediate improvement at the moment, but I could always try to pressure myself a little more.

Nine, be open to change. I moved to New Jersey, leaving behind my hometown for two years. At the time, I didn’t have the option of not being open to change, because life was changing and I had to decide which direction I wanted to go. In the same way, I was brought back to the area, and I have to be open to all the changes that have happened here in the time since I left. I think it’s one of the reasons why I don’t mind being back here, and that is to say that everything is new even though so much is familiar. It gives me reasons to explore the area, with the best part being that I know all the roads to get back to where I need to be. And if I get to live in Japan, I’ll be thrilled, because even though I’ll be out of my element, it won’t all be new to me because of the things I’ve tried over here. I am always welcome to change!

Lastly, ten, bask in the simple pleasures. “Those who love you, treasured memories, silly jokes, warm days, and starry nights—these are the ties that bind and the gifts that keep on giving.” Starry nights, yes! Right now, it’s Christmas lights and decorations. Warm baths, warm soup, and hot chocolate will always be pleasurable. Fluffy blankets and cozy socks are never wrong. My loved ones, my memories, things like that are personal to me so I won’t dwell on them here (at least not in this entry), but they’re things I think of fondly.

I would say I have a grasp on this happiness thing. It’s not a perfect grasp, but I know what I need to make things better, and I’m not completely miserable. So if my happiness matters to you, know that I am already happy! If you think some of my happiness comes from relying on people, remember that people can be replaced. I can find another Japanese friend, I can find another local friend with whom to spend my time. I don’t want to replace people, however, because they’re not just possessions you can use up and discard. Doing so would affect their happiness, and if my purpose is to make others happy, then it would go against my purpose if I needed to replace my friends.

Not only that, but I like these friends. They care about my happiness.

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