Happiness is a bird. A tiny, delicate, fragile, beautiful little bird.
But it’s hard to manage, because you have to hold it in your hands every day. If you just leave it in a cage and look at it, it will die. But carrying it with you all the time is just as dangerous. If you hold it too tightly, you’ll crush it. But if you hold it too loosely, it will fly away.
Have you ever felt like your current happiness was too fragile and fleeting to ever last? Sometimes I just think that because things are going so well right now, there is no way that this level of happiness is sustainable. Which then makes me feel like an eternal pessimist, unable to live in the moment and just appreciate how great things are going for me at this particular point in my life. My sister told me once that I’m constantly looking for the next worst thing to happen. Constantly anticipating the demise of whatever awesome thing is going on right now. I never really believed her until recently.
The struggle is twofold. I’m in a really good relationship with a sweet guy, and have a fantastic amazing job that I truly love, a boss that is a mentor to me and a wonderful person. BUT. At what point do you ever decide that something is forever? I’ve made the mistake of thinking both a relationship and a career would be “forever” before, and both those things are now just memories. Like, BOLD of me to assume that this is what I want for the rest of eternity, right? Ten years can really change a person. Change your views, change your goals, change everything about your life. So how could I be so arrogant to assume that this relationship I’m in right now or this job that I love right now are things I will still want ten years from now? There’s no way at all to predict that.
Happiness is a bird. If I decide that I’m content in my life, I’ll be trapped in the “forever” cage again, and my happiness will eventually die of natural causes. I need changing scenery, I need new people, I need surprises and last-minute 180’s. Complacency is the death of all of that, and therefore the death of happiness. But if I am neglectful of all the good that is happening in my life, it will also cease to be good, and that too will cause the death of happiness.
The answer to all this is exactly what it needs to be. Just because something doesn’t last forever doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth doing. The pain of something ending does not outweigh the joy that the thing brought you in doing it. I’m learning to hold onto the bird and admire it and love it and keep it alive. It’s a work in progress.