“Some people turn sad awfully young. No special reason, it seems, but they seem almost to be born that way. They bruise easier, tire faster, cry quicker, remember longer and, as I say, get sadder younger than anyone else in the world. I know, for I’m one of them.”
And as I sit here and look out the window at a big ass tree and grass that needs to be cut I find myself sad. Although I’m not awfully young, as Ray Bradbury put it, I still feel like I’m in my prime (whatever the hell that means), and still doing the whole song and dance of getting up in the morning and being a productive member of society. We’re born sad, we’re born happy, we’re born, we’ll just put it that way. When in the great adventure of life do we actually regain control over our emotions, never? Are we cursed to be sad for the rest of our lives just because we were “born” sad?
I used to think so, I used to think that “sad” was just another emotion such as happy, hungry and horny. I used to think that sad was just one of those things that everyone deals with, day in and out, you get sad because you burn your toast, you get sad because your tank of gas didn’t last as long as you’d like it to, you get sad because you have to crawl your ass into a job that you hate and make money that you don’t really even care about. You get sad because you’re alive, you get sad because there are people alive around you, you get sad because, well, nobody taught you how to be happy.
Let’s take a moment and think about it, as a baby, you knew to cry when you were happy, when you had shit yourself, and especially when you needed attention. These basic instincts were just born to all of us, we cried as babies because we didn’t have language skills enough to express what we really wanted. I need my ass wiped, I want some food, fuck, I want to be played with. These basic things that we needed, but weren’t getting was what made us cry, and crying usually coincides with sadness. I’m sad, give me attention, make me feel better, life will go on. At what point did we decide that crying wasn’t working for us? At what point did we find ourselves using words to express our feelings instead of crying? The moment we used language for the first time was when we lost our touch on reality. Our ability to be sad went away and all of a sudden we were trying to use words to express our emotions.
Honestly, there aren’t enough words in enough languages to really depict emotions, good and bad. When you’re pissed off what the hell are you supposed to do to release that negative energy that dwells inside of you? Swear? Hit something? Does any of that really satisfy your anger? Worst case scenario you’ll end up like me and either hit a wall, hit a tree, or hit the hay. I’m pretty good at putting my anger at ease without using words, but at the same time nothing ever gets resolved. I’m still mad at something, I’m still in limbo as to what has hurt me, and I sure as hell don’t know how to fix things.
Coming from somebody that has been perennially “sad” for 30 years, it’s been a blessing and a curse to see what it takes to really set me off. I can be “sad” in a way that I would be after hearing a sad song, but I can also be “sad” in a way that makes me want to hide from the world and wish it all away. Sad, as Ray Bradbury put it, is a permanent condition, one that all of us know about, but only few of us actually deal with on a day to day basis. I can look at all of the amazing things in my life and still have this dark nugget of sadness curled up in my brain.
Well, I did have that nugget, but somehow, in someway that nugget dissolved into a mysterious feeling called happiness.
Whoa, hold on, did the little blonde girl actually say “happiness”?
Yes, and no. It’s sort of a double edged sword, follow closely because this might get a little deep.
“What I want is to be needed. What I need is to be indispensable to somebody. Who I need is somebody that will eat up all my free time, my ego, my attention. Somebody addicted to me. A mutual addiction.”
The nature of the human beast, set in a couple of sentences, summarized everything that I am sad about. Ever since being a little kid playing with my brother and sister I had this evil feeling of being disposable. It wasn’t my parents fault, it wasn’t societies fault, it was solely my own fault. Even from diaper age I felt like the world didn’t need me. I did bad things, I continued to act out, and finally, around the age of 13 I gave up. I realized that I was indeed disposable, nobody really cared, or so I thought, and I went about my teenage angst believing that I didn’t matter. My life didn’t matter, my actions didn’t matter, and in fact, sad was the only thing I really believed in. I didn’t believe in myself, my future, or even my own potential. I was just breathing air that somebody else should have been breathing. I was alive, but I was dead on the inside.
I never felt indispensable to anybody, I sort of assimilated myself to a paper plate, plastic forks, hell, a paper towel. Use it, toss it, get a new one. That was what I felt in life, that was the “sad” that encompassed me, that was reality to me. It wasn’t anyone elses fault but my own. That was who I was, that’s who I chose to be, and carried on that way until this morning. This very morning, I realized that I am needed, I am indispensable, and all of my free time is taken. Although it’s not easy to describe, it’s easy to feel. I’m floating along feeling hated and lost, I’m also floating along feeling loved and desired. It’s not something that anyone else can offer, you have to find it inside of yourself.
Let’s think about this for a minute, a simple example. You have a car, it needs gas, you give it gas, it goes. You rely on that car to get you to where you have to go but at the same time you have to take care of it, in the form of gas, oil changes, and maintenance. You give the car attention because it gives you what you need. Looking inwards, we’re born sad, or at least that’s what we allow ourselves to believe. It’s like having a car with a leaky gas tank, a blown motor, or hell, a flat tire. We accept the fact that there are things wrong with the car, but we continue to drive it….we don’t get very far though. Same happens with our brains and how we take our outlook on life. We have a sadness that doesn’t get up anywhere, just like a flat tire, but we allow it it to be a hindrance. We don’t take time to look at the problem and fix it, we just accept it and go on with our lives. If you had a flat tire on your car, you’d pull your ass over and put on the spare, because you have to get to where you’re going. Why is it, however, that we allow sad to become our flat tire?
I’ve dealt with my flat tire enough to realize that it’s not going to get me anywhere. I’ve found happy, it’s in the same toolbox as sad, but it gets me much farther than sad ever did. If sad was a tire it’d be the worst quality rubber compound on the market and would flatten if you looked at it wrong. Happy, however, is the tire on the car that will never go flat, it’ll get you to where you have to go, and it won’t let you down. Although our brains are trained on so many levels to accept different emotions, the only one that really matters is happiness. It’s the only tire that rolls to where you want to go.
I. Am. Happy.