………Dici enim nihil potest verius. Dici enim nihil potest verius. Dici enim nihil potest verius. Dici enim nihil potest verius.ici enim nihil potest verius. Dici enim nihil potest verius. Dici enim nihil potest verius. Dici enim nihil potest verius.…………
I’ve been smiling, for an hour now! Do you know how annoying this can be for people who want to be miserable? Yes…think about it. How dare you let that sunlight shine through..?! How dare you, indeed!!
Two days…two very long, dull days I’ve dragged around and felt horrible! Am I ill, you wonder? No…just sad and mopey and BLAH BLAH BLAH…
I get like that, just like anyone else. If you’re never sad, you must not have a pulse.
Tonight, I sat down to write. I wanted to write some little poem…some sad little thing that would just show the whole wide world how terribly melancholy I was at that very instant.
It was at that moment a friend, we’ll call him Chris, just for the sake of naming him (and how convenient that it’s actually his name) sent me a wacky little message. Being the kind of person I am, I sent a text with a wacky response, and the next thing I know he’s sent me a YouTube video of a song.
This happens regularly. You see, my friend Chris, I’ve dubbed him MusicMan. He lives and breathes and sleeps music. He and I have been friends for about 6 months or so, and every time we speak, it’s about music. He plays in a band, creates solo music, listens to music all the time, and for whatever reason, we randomly became friends based solely on the common denominator of music. He sends me a song and, as I listen, it reminds of me of this one song from way back when, so I find it and send it to him…and then he responds in kind, and so on and so forth…
So here I was, ready-set-go, ready to make the whole world cry with some sappy teary-eyed words strung together with despondence and bitterness…and instead I’m smiling and remembering some amazing song that I hadn’t thought about in a decade. The problem was, I still wanted to write, and here I am telling you the very process by which my whole frame of mind was reset.
Some people enjoy being unhappy and miserable. They want to spread it as far and wide as possible. I’ve never particularly liked that feeling, and maybe that’s why I identify with the clownish, jesterish way of speaking and acting with the people I cherish. I don’t want to be sad all the time, and I don’t want you to be sad all the time, either!
I’ve gone so far as to stop watching the news altogether for long stretches of time because I can’t help but to sometimes get used to the spoon-feeding of misery by the Almighty Broadcasters of the World. I know there are bad things happening in the world…I know there are bad people committing wrongful acts against good people. I knew this even as a child, before I understood anything on the news. I remember, at probably eight or ten years old, discovering a gigantic book at the public library, its pages filled with pictures and details of something called the Holocaust. I remember bringing this book home and sitting on my bed silently, turning each page slowly. I read every line, studied every picture. I knew this was not the movies. I knew these bad things happened. All I could do was keep turning the pages, and not let my horrified tears drip onto the book. It was, after all, a library book.
I do know bad things happen every day. I understand that people do not treat each other properly. People do not treat animals properly. People abuse our trust and our planet. I know these things with a sometimes painful clarity, and when the small wrong things in my own life stack up to my eyeballs, I want to throw my hands up and stop caring altogether.
But I don’t. The reality is that I love to be happy. I really, truly love laughter. One of my favorite things to do is to make people laugh. When I make you laugh, it makes me happy too. Laughter is one of the few free commodities left to us. Why, then, should we abandon it for the whole idea of misery?
Listen, I’m not going to blow smoke up your ass and try to convince you to skip happily around with a big cheesy grin on your face and bubbles in your brain. I know times are hard for many of us, maybe for most of us. The things we want to accomplish are not coming fast enough, the bills are stacking up, we lose patience with our jobs or our kids or our automobiles. We feel the pressure to be successful creeping up our spine, squeezing the base of our necks, hurting us and tempting us to give up and curl up in the corner.
I know this because I live this. I fight the urge to give up! And I hope you fight it too. It’s incredibly difficult to fight some days, especially when the naysayers whisper in your ear, “You can’t do it…”
There are people who enter your life for the sole purpose of making you unhappy. I’m sure this sounds preposterous, doesn’t it? You and I both know it’s true – chances are, there is someone in your life at this very moment that always has something negative to say, and of course they mean well. Of course they do…
You can’t do it.
You cannot make your dreams come true.
You are not the master of your destiny.
See how it felt just to read those words? Screw that, if I hear someone saying anything remotely like this, or taking a tone of voice even suggesting this, I back away slowly, hurling Wizard of Oz jokes and fading into the distance as smilingly as possible!
An essential part of being happy is to not only recognize the people around us who want to spread those negative thoughts and feelings, but to recognize those people who are in our lives for no other reason except to share joy. MusicMan, my friend Chris – he and I do not discuss politics. We don’t debate the intricacies of personal relationships or the unfairness of fuel gouging. We do not bemoan the inevitability of tax increases or swap stories of the greatest movie ever made.
We talk about music. There might have been no other reason for him to be in my life except to school me on the massive catalog of unbelievable music in the world, of which I possess so little knowledge. I may have entered his life at a time when he needed someone outside his immediate circle to notice and admire his skills. It might have been that he was supposed to share his knowledge of music, just because.
As random as that might feel, I’m certain it is no more random than the way any other friendships form. And really, what does it matter? This particular relationship contains zero negative effects!
The bottom line is that there will always be people that ooze misery. There will always be people you don’t want to be around, because they make you uncomfortable, or because they don’t understand you, or because they are assholes. Perhaps they bring out your own inner asshole (go ahead, run with that…)
It is possible to pull some happiness from your day and feed from it. Please do; I hope you do! When I sat down to write my sad little poem, I was initially irritated with the MusicMan for interrupting my goal of being a sad sappy little poet. I told him this! I said to him, Give me some other song, something mean or hateful. He refused. Infuriating! I want to pout and be in my sad space, damn it! He just kept on, quietly slipping another link to another song, each more funky and upbeat than the last. Guess what….it worked. I was feeling better, back from the edge of a place we all dread; I was ready to say something and this time it had nothing to do with LOOK AT ME or I’M SO SAD or even WHY OH WHY CRUEL WORLD HAST THOU ABANDONED THY LOVE FOR ME…
Hey…nothing wrong with sadness! There is nothing wrong with anger, or desperation, or any of the other myriad of emotions that our wacky brains sift through on an everyday basis. We have them all for a reason. They are there to remind us that we are human and they are multi-faceted gifts. Too often we focus entirely on the negative spectrum and forget that it’s okay to laugh. Damn it, it’s okay to smile!
There is a reason people connect. Sometimes it’s a huge deal, they are meant to spend forever together, and they tra la la off into the sunset …and sometimes it’s just to pull each other out of the muck now and again. Sometimes it’s somewhere in the middle.
We all have the capacity to annoy the hell out of one another. Conversely, we each have the ability to pull each other out of the shit hole we slip into now and again. This is not the secret to happiness, this idea of making someone else happy for moments at a time, but I am willing to bet you might like the feeling of causing someone in your life to smile.
Just remember, you can tell the naysayers to fuck off, and if you can’t because you don’t swear or because the situation isn’t appropriate for that, you can say it in your mind and even THAT has the distinct possibility of causing your smile for the day.
So…smile. I dare you.