How do we measure happiness?
Do we measure happiness based on how many true friends we have? On how much time we spend with family? On whether we have found true love, and what we did with that discovery? On whether we’re chasing dreams or just living one day after the other? Is happiness measured on how many times a day we feel scared and face that fear, or how many times contempt takes over? How can we say we are truly happy, or happier than another, if measuring happiness can be so… difficult?
When I was young — not just young, but at the specific age of 5 — I thought happiness could be measured by how much people loved you. That theory proved to be wrong as soon as I was old enough to understand love can’t be easily measured, either. Then, I remember thinking — at the age of 13 — that happiness was measured by success. If I had the job I wanted, I would be happy. If I was studying in the college I wanted, I would be happy. If I was at any level walking towards professional success, surely that would mean absolute happiness.
I don’t know how to measure happiness, exactly. I just know when it’s there. It’s when we breathe in and it isn’t only air that we bring to our lungs, but a sparkle of something very close to life itself, which is obviously ridiculous and absurd and a bit redundant. That’s what I feel happiness is — being ridiculous and absurd and a bit redundant.
In my honest opinion, happiness crawls under your skin the same unexpected way sadness does. It piles up but you don’t see it, and then all of sudden it’s there, and you can’t even plan an escape. You’re happy. You don’t know how much — if you ever learn how to measure happiness, do tell; I’ll be forever curious — but you know it’s there. You’re breathing in life, and yet breathing out love. I’ve never been especially good with biology, as I don’t understand the mechanisms of life, but I’m not clueless enough to ignore it when it happens.
I can only hope you’re not clueless, either.