Again, about happiness

It took me a long while of failed experiments to figure out what would make me happy. You need to know what you are searching for, if you are to find it, isn’t it?! In most of those failed experiments money was involved. I had desires, I had internal needs but how can a decent and responsible person attend to their needs before attending to the needs of the loved ones?! And these needs, or maybe wants, or simply comfort can only be met with money.
As such, encouraged initial successes of my immigration, I focused on money, on achieving enough money so I can focus on my intimate desires, the ones that could make me truly happy. In my mind it was simple: I pull as hard as I can, I optimize my finances, make sacrifices and get, before losing my breath, to the point where my conscience will allow me to say “Stop! You did enough – they don’t have to worry about tomorrow”. I knew myself well enough to understand my nature: I am not good at multitasking, and I am not a steady runner. The plan, in its conception, in its focus and achievements, was going ok… Along the way, though, I lost out of sight the details. Details are important. The devil is in the details. And the devil got me. Without much warning (or maybe the warning has been there, silent and subtle), the family was gone. All that focus and all those hardships became, overnight, futile and absurd.
What would make me happy?! Despite what my guts tell me, I know it won’t be that fancy, big car or that superb mansion. Not even the fancy vacations and travelling that I yearn for. It would be exactly the opposite. I am disgusted, even outraged sometimes of the ways this comfort enslaves us. In Rollerball, the original one, with James Caan, his character says something to this effect: comfort is the opposite of freedom. Is it really worth such a high price this damn comfort?!
I always suspected that the “forbidden fruit” was “the knowledge”. Maybe it was, maybe it is, but Adam and Even got dressed – they were cold and ashamed, and UNcomfortable.
I would be happy if I could manage to break this cycle of comfort: work so hard, to buy things for whose maintenance I have to work harder and do what I am not too keen to do, to feel my life whooshing by me, leaving me with a bitter taste that I am trying to wipe with more toys and more comfort.
I know that what I want is different from what I truly need. I need a small farm in the mountains. I need days in which I can switch from a physical activity, to an intellectual one or, sometimes, to complete inactivity. I need to catch/hunt/grow my food and I need to end my evenings reading in silence by the fireplace. I need a sunset or a sunrise, I need the birdsong. I need to not have to worry about mortgage, about that sound from the engine of my car, about taxes, cost of a vacation, about the approaching currency crisis or about the career that my son will chose. I know, it feels scary to give it all up. Live without TV? Backward! Living without Internet? Cumbersome, annoying. Alone with your thoughts? Scary. Not a pub, restaurant, club within 10 miles? What are you – a savage?
It only looks that way. We are addicted to our modern life, up to the point where we sometimes believe that we would die without our amenities. I constantly hear “I would die with my heated seats” or “if you make me eat onions, you would be killing me” or “I need a shower or else I can’t enjoy the vacation”… and I feel the urge to demonstrate to such pampered creatures that we are build stronger and better than they believe. Despite all these theories, I honestly believe that we wouldn’t die due to lack of exotic fruits, or that we could get used without Internet, tablets, laptops, smartphones. Nobody says that the first 1-2 months would be easy – but when you have better things to do than to check what Greek prime-minister is saying about the debt crisis or what will be the retirement modifications, you survive.
The weird thing is that I could do it. Why am I not doing it?! I can come up with 1000 solid reasons yet I can’t hide from the truth. I am afraid. I was born in comfort, I was born in slavery and I am afraid of the jump. We all are. Maybe with someone by my side who would want same things, I could exchange everything I currently have for my freedom and for my happiness.

5 Comments

  • Mada

    April 20, 2012 at 8:59 am Reply

    Lovely ! This is what I liked best :”I know that what I want is different from what I truly need. I need a small farm in the mountains. I need days in which I can switch from a physical activity, to an intellectual one or, sometimes, to complete inactivity. I need to catch/hunt/grow my food and I need to end my evenings reading in silence by the fireplace. I need a sunset or a sunrise, I need the birdsong.”

    I want the same! :))

    • andi

      April 20, 2012 at 12:42 pm Reply

      Super-duper! Hai sa fim vecini in Alberta!

  • Mada

    April 21, 2012 at 1:32 am Reply

    Daaa, maaa! nu plec din tara mea frumoasa! Hai sa fim vecini la Rasinari! :))

  • Andi

    April 21, 2012 at 7:20 am Reply

    Cu tot respectul punctez ca nu stii cit de frumoasa e Canada. E superba si spatiile sint atit de mari incit poti fi cu adevarat in pustietate – sa ai 50-100 km pina la cel mai apropiat vecin. Cum spunea colegul nostru de zodie: Spatiu Vital 🙂

  • Mada

    April 21, 2012 at 7:49 am Reply

    Ba chiar stiu un pic, tot cu respect! :))

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