Let’s be honest with each other. Not every day is a Bobby McFerrin stroll through arbors of sweet smelling jasmine.
Don’t worry, be happy.
The fact is, most days are monstrous grinds from hell. Whether we’re trying to be productive at a side hustle and trying to shove in some free time to write or like a lot of folks here in the Medium community, pounding articles out to make a living. It all boils down to two fundamental train of thoughts.
Either you’re happy or you’re not.
Now I’m not so stupid as to think we all have the same concept of what happiness is. Hell, my version of happiness may not even come close to yours. I’m sure I don’t need to point this out as most (if not all) of you folks are a hell of a lot smarter than me. You know multiple brains have different perspectives and varying ways of measuring happiness.
Which leads me to my point. Over the last two years as a Medium member I’ve read about a lot of unhappiness. Unhappy folks spinning unhappy tales about unpleasant times of their unhappy past lives.
Don’t go all ballistic on me and get your knickers twisted in a bunch.
I get it.
I know people have to purge demons. I’ve got plenty of those suckers lurking in my head as well. I am not without fault and am not trying to cast stones here.
If I’ve learned anything from posting and reading on Medium it’s how to be strong and resilient even though life takes Babe Ruth swats at my ass every chance it gets. I take away a precious life lesson when I read something, from every single one of you.
So please keep ’em coming and for God’s sake don’t put me and my stories on the back of that top shelf with all the dust bunnies.
I have bad allergies.
It seems to me for some of us, happiness has become a bitter pill to swallow. Maybe it’s because we spent the better part of our childhood and adult lives shackled to bouts of manic depression, Impostor Syndrome, survivor’s guilt or other atrocities.
Maybe we’ve become trapped in our ravaged souls so much the only way we cope is to draw from the inner turmoil in order to craft our message.
But is it absolutely necessary to let despair and terrible past lives or even horrible current struggles become the only source of inspiration or muse, our only writing vehicle?
IMHO no, unequivocally not.
Sometimes unhappy people need to take a happy pill (metaphor people — don’t rush to the pharmacy, or try to score a bag of E on the corner) every now and then.
It can’t be all gloom and doom. I couldn’t survive, hell, I wouldn’t want to survive in that kind of world.
I’m not naive. You can’t live as long as I have and not experience some really nasty times in your life. I’ve had those moments where I’ve actually considered the ultimate life style changer known as death. I struggled with that shit for a while, but I managed to turn myself around then and I believe I’ve beat those feelings for now.
We all can, but to turn the corner we can’t remain bogged down in a pit of endless grief. Sometimes, we have to swallow a pill of happiness, no matter how bitter the taste and vile the thought.
As Bobby McFerrin sings. Don’t worry, be happy.
Take the pill dammit.
If your writing sucks (I’m working on mine okay?) being happy won’t hurt it much. In fact it may improve it.
If your writing is tip-top, then writing when you’re happy may just push it into the stratosphere.
Yeah, go ahead. You can do this.
You may gag a bit at first but wash it down with a dose of healthy perspective and let the pill do its job. Find that damned happy place of yours and set a spell.
But you can’t or won’t stay there forever. We all know this.
Life doesn’t work that way.
We know feelings of happiness about ourselves and our current situation are as fleeting as a woodland sprite. The effects of the happy pill will eventually wear off. One second we’re all warm and gooey inside, contented and feeling pretty damned good and the next we’re wondering how the hell we’re going to make it.
It’s just the way shit works.
I know our lives suck a hell of a lot of times, but for everything there is a season, a time to love, a time to cry, a time to laugh.
A time to be happy.
Don’t let happiness become such a bitter pill you refuse to swallow it. I want to laugh with all of you. Even if the subject is some of the stupid shit I’ve written. At least we’re laughing. I want to see the happiness in your writing and feel all warm and gushy inside. I know the world is not all rainbows and unicorns and most times we’re getting the shit kicked out of us.
But just for a little bit, smile and be happy. Let your writing show me and the entire world how happy you are to be writing.
For some, happiness is a bitter pill to swallow, but I believe each of us needs a little happiness self-medication now and then.
Love you folks.
P.G. Barnett lives a Texas life in bliss with his wife. Not so much bliss with two female cats. Thus, the warped sense of humor.
Let’s keep in touch — email@example.com