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To Be Happy Again

April 22, 2012

November 22, 2011 1:32pm

I woke up this morning, hoping that it would be a good day. I always do that when I’m anxious about something. Something happened today that got me really upset; something school related. It made me angry because I had tried hard – but maybe not as hard I could have tried. There I sat, on the couch, in the middle of the McLennan Library, staring out into space. I didn’t even know what to think. All I wanted to do was wallow in my sadness, in my disappointment. I kept telling myself to snap out of it, but I didn’t care; I deserve to dwell on this, I thought. But I knew that I had to pick myself up and go somewheredo something. So I packed up my things, pulled my banana out, and walked outside. I turned my ipod on and listened to a very sad piano piece. I peeled my banana and ate it, chewing on it as if only to waste some time, while I watched a contractor drill a hole into a cement block. Though I could still hear the derrr derrr noise of the drill over my music, I felt surprisingly, sort of at ease.

After I finished my banana, I threw the peel away in the garbage can and walked in the direction of my home. I kept trying to feel better, but all I could feel was this immense sadness. It was this feeling that was screaming, no matter how hard you try, you just keep failing! This feeling felt as though someone was actively squeezing my heart. I wanted to make it go away, but I just didn’t know how. I wanted to cry, but no tears came. I wanted to go home to stare at myself in the mirror, to force myself to talk about it; if I wasn’t going to talk about it with someone else, then surely, I would at least be able to talk to myself about it. But even that, I couldn’t imagine doing – it just sounded too silly. But maybe, I was just too scared to confront this problem. Maybe I was afraid that if I talked about it, it would become real. With each step I took towards home, I felt my heart sink even deeper into my chest. I didn’t want to go home, to be surrounded by four walls, to be enclosed in my bedroom. But at the same time, I knew I had work to do, that I had promised myself to finish my final Law paper today. So I forcibly continued walking home.

All I wanted to do was lie in my bed and wallow in my sadness. I thought about giving myself a break day, just sit around and do nothing. But then I thought, well if I was a mother, would I be able to do that? Would I be able to just sit around and wallow in my sadness, without regard to my children? No, I wouldn’t be able to do that. That got me thinking about my mother. Through it all, the sadness, the madness, and the happiness, she needed to hold her head up high so that she could take care of me. So my being sad is no exception; I couldn’t very well stop the world just because I had a problem – life would just continue going on, with our without me. When I got to the entrance of my building, I dreaded putting my key into the lock, but I did it anyway.

I walked through my apartment, straight to my room. I didn’t do much, I just sat around for a couple of minutes. After, I wrote a short, “feel better, life moves on, be strong” kind of letter to myself and tucked it away into my wicker basket of memories, stored under my desk. This became sort of a tradition; every time I felt bad about something, I would write a short inspirational letter to myself and tuck it away. I wouldn’t reread it, or edit it, or anything like that. I would write it, and then tuck it away. To this date, I have not opened the basket yet. But someday, I will, and that will be when I’ll see how far I have come – life will be great.

I have mentioned to a few that I have been meaning to start meditating for 20 minutes each night. But every time I would remember, it would always turn out to be 11 o’clock, and there would never seem to be a point. I might as well just go to bed, I would always tell myself. But today, during those couple of minutes when I first got home and sat around dwelling in my sadness, I thought, hey, maybe I should meditate for a bit. I had already texted one of my roommates that I would be at Starbucks studying for a bit, and would then meet her at the library. So while I waited for my chicken to cook in the oven, I got out my nice headphones and sat myself on the floor in my room. You see, I have a play list called “To Enlightenment”. On it are all of my favourite orchestral pieces. There are three pieces on it that are my absolute favourite. So I started with the first piece. It took some getting used to – I kept opening my eyes every time I thought I heard a noise. But it would have been impossible for me to hear outside noise because the music was on very loudly, and my headphones are very good. It was hard at the beginning. I kept allowing outside thoughts to enter my brain. But by the third and last piece, I was on my way to mastering the art of breathing, and I felt great.

The meditation lasted for about 12 minutes. Really, I did not expect to feel better. I wasn’t really expecting much, I was only hoping that I would feel a little calmer. Honestly, after that, I felt so much better; I felt as though I could be happy again. Suddenly, I couldn’t even remember why I was so upset. I mean, I remembered why I was upset, and what happened. But I couldn’t remember how I could let that get to me – how I could let this measly thing upset me. To say that I felt enlightened, would probably be putting it lightly. I was amazed at how much better I felt. But really, what I was amazed at was how those 12 minutes really made me feel better. It was almost like it was magic. I might be sounding a bit too optimistic here, but really, that was how I felt, and even right now, that is how I still feel.

What happened this morning feels as though it happened a while ago. It feels as though it was so long ago that even as I try to conjure up that feeling of sadness I felt, I can’t even do it. After I left the apartment, I walked to Starbucks while listening to Michelle Branch’s, Breathe. It’s an oldie from the Disney Channel days, but it made me so incredibly happy. While I was waiting for the light to change at the busy intersection of Sherbrooke and Alymer, all I wanted to do was run across the street, jump, and scream with happiness. I thought it would be really fun, but also, quite scary for those around me. That made me smile. Of course, I didn’t do it. But maybe one day I will.

What did I learn from all of this? I learned that things are almost always not as significant as they seem. Well, I actually already knew that. Then, I learned to forgive myself, to let things just… be. But no, I also already knew that. I think what I learned was that I can be happy again, and be happy again really quickly. While I was wallowing in my anguish, I thought, this is going to take a while to get over. But no, it took no more than an hour. I think that was the quickest I have ever gotten over something, and not even intentionally. Usually, I would always force myself to get over things. I would always imagine myself extracting the sadness out of my brain, like Dumbledore extracting a memory out of his brain and letting it go into the fountain of memories. Except, I would imagine the sadness being extracted and floating away, back into the universe. But this time, I didn’t even have to do that. It just, went away – and all by itself, it did go away.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Rikostyusha permalink
    August 14, 2012 1:19 pm

    “this feeling that was screaming, no matter how hard you try, you just keep failing!” is so familiar to me! I found that kept repeating those words last two years the way too often. It made my life unbearable. But you are right, there are no excuses to be like that. I usually try to think: “if i don’t know what is dark, i can’t understand what is light…” And meditation could be the best way to get there.

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