A Happier New Year

I distinctly remember the single recurrent question that parents, acquaintances, and teachers alike loved to exercise upon me and at the children in my growing up days; with quite a cruel twinkle in their eyes, an anticipation, rather a certainty, that our answers would mirror their thoughts they, happily and a with confidence soaring high, would ask, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’. I knew ‘a doctor’ would earn me a candy, ‘an engineer’ a boisterous smile, ‘an architect’ an eager nod; however, ‘a writer’ would be met with concern, ‘an artist’ would have a ready reply ‘that’s a hobby’, while ‘a journalist’ would need talking me out and ‘You are good at Math.’ response! But nobody asked of me if I desire to be happy, if I’d be a happy man when I grow up.

Happiness was assumed, it was inherent and would be a constant, they blatantly and grossly thought! And precisely ‘to be happy’ was my answer in the secret slam-books that we children shared with each other, shrouding it away from the gaze of guardians. They laughed too, berating me, ‘Don’t you have an ambition?’ smirking in their child-like amusement. But I truly, earnestly and zealously wished to be happy. Little did I know that what I had innocently wished for was much more difficult and treacherous to attain than getting into medical school! Happiness was never inherent or a constant. I had to strive to be happy, to find peace and, now, I’ve realized, and am still learning the terrible predicament that I had led myself into.

I had placed my happiness in others. I ignorantly believed in attaining happiness only when my broken self was complete. That I will most certainly find irrevocable joy in the heart of a companion. That I will chance upon the lost half of a broken medallion, its other incomplete half lodged within me, in a heart that claims my heart. I erred in believing that love, as I had read of, dreamt of would sail me through doldrums of despondency into an island of everlasting happiness. Besides, I have always been a person who is terrified of happiness, believing that I will slip from the high cliff of happiness into the deep trench of despair if I were to be tremendously happy. That never helped either.

Ignorant was I. The lost half of the medallion of joy was inside me all along, under layers of doubt and ignorance. The two broken halves were always there, seeking each other and all I had to do was muster the strength to put them together! There was never the mistaken necessity for a companion to validate my existence, to oar my sinking boat. Moreover, aren’t happiness and despair are the troughs and crests of the same wave that propel life forward, the presence of one necessitating that of another?

The year before, in all likelihood, was one of the darkest years I have lived-I dwelt in a land of rotting thoughts, breathing in the stench of despair, suffocating, dying one day at a time, to hastily and regretfully deciding to end it all. But I made it and I’m alive! Rains washed off the rot surrounding me, a bright sun shone and baked the quagmire of unhappiness lest I sink, the wind fanned away the stench and I see light, may be a pinprick but it is there.

And as I step into this new year I shun all resolutions, of all checklists, of all promises and I make only one promise to myself. To be happier. I have a lot of learning to do, to be comfortable in my own skin, to always hold the medallion of happiness together. Yes it will be a precarious and arduous task but I will walk along. This will be a happier new year.

Image Credit : ArmyAmber from Pixabay

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64 thoughts on “A Happier New Year

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  1. It indeed will be the happiest year ……..for my friend happiness is a choice. Not that it’s the easiest choice to make but when was life easy anyways.
    A very happy new year

    Liked by 1 person

  2. powerful insights Parikhit … and I so relate to those endless questions and rote response to little ones!
    So very glad that you have survived and are choosing to take responsibility for your own well-being, some need meds to break through … good luck 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This write up is beautiful. It talks about blithe children, aspirations, adults’ longings, heart – its breakdowns and all that it endures, and the spirit (I wanted to use the word soul here but I always find ‘soul’ too heavy a word to be used) that always mends everything that constitutes a being.

    Love and more Love, Parkihit. And courage!
    Happy New year!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Great message, Parikhit. I recently realized as well that happiness is not found in another person…it comes from within. I want peace, which to me is a big part of happiness. I hope this is the year of peace for both of us. 💙🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Certainly this will be a happier year. May God bless you with loads of happiness and peace. You are an amazing writer. Your words have the strength to hold the reader. Keep on writing an stay happy. May Allah bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Parikhit ! Less than 12 hours ago I was having a heart wrenching conversation with someone about happiness. Someone who puts their worth and value and yes, happiness, in the hands of others. I will share this with that person. It’s such an eye opener to realize that happiness isn’t just ‘there’. We do indeed have to go after it, nurture it and allow it !!! Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t it 🙂 I think we always mistake happiness to lie outside, which sadly fades away and diminishes. It is inside us and has been there all along waiting for us to unearth it. Thank you so much Colleen and I do hope the other person realizes it too and continues to be happy by himself/herself 🙂

      Like

  7. A very moving account Parikhit from experience but enhanced by deep reflection. Your story is full of rich insights for yourself and now shared with others. You’ve found your happiness within –
    So, you are already enough exactly as you are, just acknowledge it! Enjoy sharing your new found treasure with others! “Happy” New Year!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much Marie! It is always such a delight to read your comments 🙂 I am still on the way to find myself, seek my lost self but I do hope I am on the right path 🙂 Happiness is always within us, isn’t it? Just that we are blinded by the impermanent glitter in the world outside.

      And a very happy new year to you too. Wishing you happiness in every way and every day and smiles 🙂

      Like

  8. While out intentions are good, we adults somehow fail to look into the child’s mind and understand them.
    Loved how your thoughts flowed here Parikhit.
    To be happier….a beautiful wish for the coming year. Hope you find plenty within you. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. True. Parents, guardians always mean the best for their children, so much so that their best may not always be best for children in some cases. May be a proper discussion and balance is utmost 🙂

      A very happy new year to you too Radhika! And thank you so much for the lovely wish! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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