I’m on the Pursuit of Happiness
“I’m on the pursuit of happiness and I know
Everything that’s shine ain’t always gonna be gold (hey)
I’ll be fine once I get it, get it in, I’ll be good”
Kid Cudi first came to my attention in 2009 by a friend I was working with. I remember listening to the Man on the Moon album then and thinking, wow! This is really poignant. I was at a crossroads at the time and had a choice of taking a road that would lead to self destruction or taking a road that would allow me to rebuild and (as much as I hate the phrase, it makes the most sense right now as cliche as it is…) “head towards salvation”.
Funny how life works; this album was brought to my attention recently when, once again, I am at a crossroads in life. A friend’s significant other played Pursuit of Happiness and I was like BALLS! I KNOW THIS SONG! and anyway, it got me thinking…
The idea of pursuing happiness is not a new one, nor is it unique to any person individually or as a group. I think most of us, to a certain degree pursue happiness. And it always seems that with the pursuit of happiness, you have bumps along the way and when you are in the middle of these bumps, you sit there screaming “I AM NOT OK!” or “STRONG?!?! IM STRONG ENOUGH!!!” But when you look back on the shit show that your life was, and the calm that it probably is now (not mine currently, but it will come, I know it will come), you say, “Fuck yea; I survived!”
I have been doing this lately. I am traversing through uncharted territory at this current moment in time. And shit is hard and many people shy away from interactions with me so that they don’t have to ask how I am doing and risk hearing the truth… because well… I am a truth teller (anything but shy..). Mostly, when asked how I am doing, I lie and say “I’m fine” <– why do people do this? Why is this acceptable? Why is it taboo to say “Hey, yknow what, actually I am doing REALLY shitty and while I know this will make me stronger, I am strong the fuck enough.”
But this whole thing and then a twitter thread from my buddy @btopro got me thinking this am…. why is it that we as a society no longer care to hear what’s really going on with our fellow people? Why do we not try to help more people? I know some of you are prolly reading this and thinking I am insane or asking why should I help someone I don’t care about? or where would I find the time? or we all got problems…
But really, read the quote — your life gets better when you help others to get their lives right and better. And sometimes, all that takes is lending an ear and bouncing some ideas off of someone else.
I suppose I am naive to think that when people ask “How are you doing?” that they do so out of more than just social interaction — but I know this is the case. This is why, when I am at work and contacting someone for information, I don’t normally ask how they are doing… I realize it can come off as rude, but I am not at work to do anything other than work. Yes, I have friends at work and I like them and genuinely care about how they’re doing, and yes when I am not on a deadline, I do take the time to ask how whoever from x,y,z dept is doing because well, you get more things with honey than you do with whatever the fuck I normally put out there in the world (anger, antagonism, etc… you name it, I prolly portray it!). I guess I just wish we as a society could do more than SAY that we care about fellow man and actually start giving a fuck. I volunteer for a few causes, I donate to house of ruth, I am trying to instill the idea and concept of charity and helping others in my kid (although she is only 18mo, she is grasping the idea fairly well re sharing, taking turns, helping) and plan to continue to do so. Just because I am a jaded asshole, doesn’t mean I intend to raise a jaded asshole also. I never want to snuff out her light. She is such a pure and happy being. I know she will see pain and hurt, but it won’t be from me, if I can prevent it because yknow she’s awesome.
So to summarize. Start being nicer. Don’t ask empty questions. LISTEN to the answers of the questions you ask. It might make all of the difference between someone going home and having a normal night and a bullet in their head, all because you decided to listen. Help when you can. Recognize that there are some times where you can’t help anymore and you need to step back and let someone save themselves (current situation for me). Be a fucking human. Don’t just go through the motions.
And with that lecture completed, we come to my next point… In this concept of “pursuing happiness”. Happiness is state you can achieve but there will always be bumps in the road that will disrupt it once you’ve found it and so I guess this speaks to me a lot. Happiness is a direction, more than a place.
The idea of pursuing happiness is wonderful but if you forget to stop and just breathe in the happy, will you ever get to experience it? Idunno. I guess happiness being a direction makes a lot of sense to me because I have seen a lot of shit… and I don’t say that lightly like when someone says they’ve seen some shit and really they’ve lived in mostly a bubble and they’ve “experienced life” but from afar. I have truly lived, and I have almost died, and I have survived and I have pulled myself up by the bootstraps and I have powered through. I have rallied. I have done it all and I know there is still more to do and experience. Point is. I thought I found a direction and a road to happiness and while I have had to make some adjustments along the way and I def took some wrong turns, I finally think I am getting back on track. My kid is amazing and def smarter than your kid so there’s that 😉 but yknow, she makes me happy. My family is wonderful and supportive and I am continuously learning and looking to learn more… although I could do without some of the extra life tests these days, I still pursue and always will be looking for this idea of happiness. When I find it, I will let you know 🙂
PS: Life, if you are listening, I am strong enough, I have enough character, and I would love to catch a break if you’re willing to throw me one. K thanks…
PPS: this post was def all over the place, so if you made it all the way through, give yourself a gold star!