I worked my way through an egg white omelet and freshly squeezed mimosa at a comfortable, but sterile gastro pub. I’d met Susana for brunch, a childhood friend, and we found ourselves exchanging thoughts on happiness. It was a fitting conversation with a new year still fresh in the mind, and lofty intentions affirmed for the new year.

We snickered as our conversations collided.

Remember when we were nine and happiness was our imagination?

It was so real. Effortless. I contemplated happiness as we spoke. There’s something we’d seemed to have misplaced about it. Susana and I had shared life’s schoolings, dreams, adversities, accomplishments, and a little extra pleating around the eyes after a long night. Through it all, our spirits were still genuinely content.

But it delved deeper. When we are unhappy we question ourselves, our beliefs and others around us. The things that used to gratify our soul, no longer did. If you happen to live on planet Earth, you may be aware that life can be vicious at times. It affects us. How could it not? We’re human. Happiness is not an automatic right. It’s not a product meant to be bought, gotten, or taken.

I’ve seen people trade in their souls and abandon their closest family in search of happiness.

What had we gotten wrong about this?

Good ol’, in the flesh happiness is not a goal! It’s a by-product of living the the real you. It’s that certainty that we are scared to death of. Consequently, the more we put off living our life, the more we become incapable of living it.

I recollected my days in Spain. Spaniards seemed so easy going; they madly celebrated life. But it was a choice.

Here’s the thing that the unhappy us doesn’t realize. When we act from an affected, fake happy, people may keep smiling at us, talking to us, they might even say they agree with us. But deep inside, their opinion of us has changed.

Consider this: The top 5 things unhappy you is sick of hearing.

I dont have the courage

Breathe in, fill your soul, and know that unhappy you, is lying!

I cant let go, that person(s) hurt me!

Humans have complex psyches. We sometimes get hurt, and hurt each other. If you’ve been mistreated, pull that knife out of your back. You are not prey.

If I had what she had (does, earns, looks, etc) I would be happy.

Seriously? I’m going to remind you of what you already know. You are not her. You are wholly, perfectly you.

Its too risky.

Hey you! Safe is the new risky. Leave behind what (or who) doesn’t work, and blossom.

Ill do it later.

Umm, gloomy self. Let’s hope later, isn’t too late.

Those things you are betting your happiness on are an illusion. It’s time to change once and for all.

I was still distracted as I listened to Susana. Thinking of the effortlessness of a child’s fantasies so vivid they animate an entire group. They buy into a collective ‘vision’ feeding off each other’s happiness. I’m not speaking naively or suggest we revert to juvenility. I don’t live in a world of unicorns and butterflies. Make believe is investigating the possibilities of life. Have you ever been afraid of the dark? Funny, it’s not the darkened room that creates unease, but what we image is in it.

A million infinitesimal experiences have designed each of our marvelous twisted roots grounding us. We give courage to life by being the real us. The truth is heavy; that’s why so few people chose to carry it. I will not make the mistake of being wrong about happiness again. My ever enduring roots burrow deeper, unapologetically me, honoring life.

Finishing my omelet, I was at ease, knowing happiness is not a beautiful empty illusion. Happiness is out there blatantly trying to seduce us. It’s waiting. It’s patient. It treasures us. After all we are worth waiting for.

Originally published at hermag.co


  • Liz Galloway

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    Liz is an adventure and travel writer, with a lust for adrenaline. She changes her hats as a writer, wellness instructor, consultant, outdoor ambassador, outdoor adventure provider, and media PR curator, depending on the day. It's good to have choices. She has a background in Business & Hospitality and writes and speaks about reconnecting through discovery, interpersonal relationships, publicity, travel and creating meaning with adventure. When she is not eating french fries and sipping wine, you can find her traveling to remote areas, capturing new stories, teaching yoga, or working on her helicopter license. She also aspires to stunt double as a ninja. Connect with Liz on Instagram.