“The significance of the cherry blossom tree in Japanese culture goes back hundreds of years. In their country, the cherry blossom represents the fragility and the beauty of life. It’s a reminder that life is almost overwhelmingly beautiful but that it is also tragically short.” Homaru Cantu, Huffington Post
There was a time in my life when I thought I knew what it meant to be happy. According to my mother, it was the church and a happy husband. My father was always happy with a good bottle of tequila and Chente playing at full blast. My brother found small happiness in family gatherings and good food. Everyone had their small bits of happiness and I took a little from all of them while trying to discover my own. While beautiful in their own way, they did not make me as happy as they made them. I struggled with myself this way. I romanticized the idea of happiness, believing that the fairy tales were true. All I needed was a man to fill my life with love and happiness.
At the time I didn’t quite understand that the person I needed to love was myself. Or that happiness was what I made of it not what it made of me. I watched enviously from the outside as others gathered around in their smiles until I was given the opportunity to peak around the curtain. Each happy person I saw had something to hide. It was a small scar they were attempting to heal. I listened to lovers express their true feelings about their partners. Five years or more together and still, love didn’t seem enough at times. It made me realize that love didn’t always bring happiness. I can remember being truly, blissfully happy only a few times and love was barely there.
It’s a wonderful feeling. How to explain it to someone if they’ve never felt it? Hmmm. It’s like drifting in the water watching the clouds pass you by as a gentle breeze caresses your skin. It’s like that one moment the sun sets and suddenly the sky is ablaze with its glory. It’s a truly awesome feeling. I’ve been feeling this for a couple of days now. No, it isn’t sex. Although, it has been very good lately. This zen feeling has been growing inside me since my new apartment. Life seems a lot easier. I don’t know if I changed or everything just fell into place but I’m enjoying it now. It’s a suspenseful moment because I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop. There is always a balance, right? If something good comes along, there is always something bad to counter it.
When these thoughts mess with my head I begin to worry. I over think and panic. Maybe I’m not meant to be so happy? Maybe, I shouldn’t be so happy? Maybe, there’s something I missed and that’s why I’m so happy? Whatever it is, this time I’m just gonna enjoy being happy. I’m going to ride the wave all the way. I’ll have this post to remind me that at one point in my life everything was absolutely perfect. I wasn’t a perfect mom. My place wasn’t always clean. I wasn’t in love. But I was completely and incandescently happy. Most importantly it was all because of me. There wasn’t any magic spell or dragon to slay. There was no traditional ‘happily, ever after,’ and yet, I am living happily ever after.
I hope that if you are in a bad spot you realize that it will pass. And if you’re in a good spot, it may last for longer than you think. The important thing is not to become too obsessed with what isn’t happening now. Like the beauty of the Cherry Blossoms, learn to accept the change like the seasons. Maybe right now you’re in the season of loneliness or anger or tired or confused. Just like everything else, happiness will follow and when it does you’ll be completely lost in your joy you won’t have time to think about anything else. The past is something you’re meant to learn from. The future is something you’re meant to experience. The present is something you’re meant to enjoy.