The wild thing about life is we somehow believe that all the things ‘meant’ to make us happier are external. When we feel unhappy we are told to; meet up with some friends, go on a road trip, go to a new restaurant and try a new meal, go to the gym… then the world presents a situation where you can’t escape to find this happiness.
A pandemic meant limited movement and erasing everything we thought was normal. Now you can’t do all the things that are meant to make you happier. You have to sit in a house by yourself or with some people you share a blood line with and figure out how to be happy. No exits.
Then it dawns on you, all the things that made you happy had nothing to do with you, or your internal happiness they were just a band aid to get you through a difficult time. If anything the pandemic has been a gift to help a lot of us realize this.
7 months into the pandemic financial income has declined for some, economic stability has been tumultuous and friendships that were solely based on external elements to build a connection have died a natural death. It just took one tiny pandemic to threaten an entire population of billions of people to realize that happiness ‘comes from within’.
No one takes you through a how to be happy class while in high school or the university. All we learn is about an endless and often meaningless rat race to meet society’s expectations and make money, so much of it that you barely enjoy all this money you’re making. As long as we have a degree, a good job, get married by 28, buy a car, secure a mortgage and pop out a few babies then what more do you need to be happy? Until one day, something tragic happens when you pass out from exhaustion or suffer a cardiac arrest or realize your kids grew up with you missing every single important moment of their lives, worse yet, a pandemic happens and takes everything away then you understand that without happiness it is all a vanity of vanities.
You don’t need another pandemic, let this one be the first and last reminder that happiness is intentional and not incidental, coming from within you. You can seat alone and be content marveling and the beauty of life and you can feel the same way with friends and family. Don’t allow happiness to be tied to external things solely. Don’t get me wrong, do you know how fun a sherehe is in Nairobi? Or having a partner who loves you unconditionally, or having friends that bring out the best in you, or going to the gym and doing a HIIT work out without actually dying? It is glorious to have all these elements but let it be filling up the joy you already have within.
Have a beautiful day and be kind.