Sunlight, Shelter + Food.
For a long time, I repeated this thought in my head every day. That all I need to be happy, is sunlight, shelter + food. My happiness was dependent on my ability to eat, to have a safe place from the winter, and to spend some time in the sunlight. Yet, I chose not to sleep, I chose to barely eat, and I chose to spend my time in the sunlight simply for smoking cigarettes and drinking sake in the early morning.
I do miss those times, and I likely will for a long time.
As I’ve grown, I’ve realized that I’ve been given so much more than those things. Each moment inside my home is a gift, each new piece of food I am able to eat is a gift. Each ray of sunlight I can feel on my face is a gift. But I find it hard to enjoy life when I am without another set of things.
Friends, Family + Food.
I grew content to spend my days in the sunlight with my friends and share meals with my family in the evening. I was without a care as I sat down each night to prepare for sleep and I knew that the next day would be more of the same. I no longer needed food to survive, I was able to have it to enjoy. My friends and my family would be with me to drink sake or to smoke cigarettes and each day was a cycle. I would be able to continue this habit for a long time, until I met new things that made me happy.
Love, Land + Money.
I found my girlfriend and fell in love immediately. My apartment became a home and in order to keep that home healthy, to keep my girl secure, I needed to make more money. So I did. I sought out whatever I could that would keep my pockets full, our plates full, and our lives full. But the full pockets began to weigh my legs down. I found it harder and harder to get outside. I found it harder and harder to sit down for a meal. I found it harder and harder to go out with my friends. I no longer enjoyed what I ate, I just ate because I needed to. I stopped seeing my family, barely able to see them more than once a week. My desire to do anything other than make money and care for my girl consumed me, and I grew full of sorrow.
But I told myself,
I am supposed to be happy here.
I wondered why I didn’t feel the same as I had before, because I still had shelter. I still had food, I still had sunlight. I had friends and family. I hadn’t lost anything at all, in fact, I had gained so much that I didn’t know what to do with myself.
My days were spent inside, whether at my computer desk, or inside my workplace. I began spending more time alive at night than I did in the day. I hardly saw anyone, resolved to working. To make more money. To keep my dreams alive. All of these sources that should have brought my happiness to life were slowly killing it. My day to day life was chaos from start to finish. I couldn’t compete with the world around me. I could barely compete with myself. The joy I took in eating was gone, the joy I took in quality time with my friends and family was gone. Each moment with them was pressed against the clock.
I need to get back to work. I said.
I need to get some sleep. I said.
When I smoked cigarettes still, I could survive like a superhuman. I was spending 70 hours at a time with minimal sleep, awake for nearly the whole time, partying, having fun, making money, loving life. I wondered briefly if I should start smoking again, there was something there. It was different than e-cigs, something about it gave me life.
But that was just addiction talking.
Nothing had really changed, not truly. I was given more and more, and I wondered if I had been given too much, that I was undeserving of all of these great things in my life.
Aside from those seven “necessities” I had claimed, I was given passion and freedom, time that spilled into eternity and more goodness than I could count, but why then was I so full of sorrow and anger all the time?
We are a people so easily overwhelmed. I’ve felt this especially. My desire to overcome and conquer became subject to one thing I will never truly overcome.
A Loss of Time.
I began to feel, every day, that there was simply not enough time to do all of the things I wanted to do. I couldn’t work and write and love and sleep and eat all in one day. My life had been divided up into moments.
When I was younger, I read something once, I can’t remember where, but the message has stuck to my head.
Why should you live your life expecting the weekend. If the weekend is the thing you always expect and are excited for, if you just want to go from Sunday to Friday every week, you aren’t living or appreciating 5/7ths of your life. You are only living and allowing yourself to live in 2 out of every 7 days.
What a waste.
Yet, I reached that point.
My workweek was a slog of sleeping and eating and working and I couldn’t wait for the weekend, when Thursday morning came around I was so excited for it and Friday to let me do whatever I wanted, but then those days I had to play catch up on all the things I couldn’t do during my work week. I burned myself out, because I was chasing money above all else.
I found, that too much of anything can be a bad thing. I suffered from too much of all of the things I needed to be happy. My friends and family were too much, everyone coming to me with some new piece about how I should live my life as if I haven’t been doing it for 20 years on my own already. My work became a duty, not a labor of love. No matter what I did, I was angry that I was doing it. I didn’t want to be there. I was only there for the money. My heart wasn’t in it. I didn’t care. Food, as I mentioned, wasn’t consumed for joy. I ate because I needed to or I would starve. I rarely saw the sun, sleeping in the daylight was killing me, only to switch and work in the daylight on my other days. I hadn’t seen the sun for most of the week.
So I dug and I dug, trying to understand the root of my unhappiness. I had everything I wanted.
I realized that together, all of these things are wonderful, but too much focus on one will quickly spoil the rest. Relationships, whether romantic or platonic or familial, all need a careful amount of care. Some are more demanding, others are less so, but they all require one shared trait.
Making money is easy, of course, it takes work and it takes dedication, but when it becomes our only purpose, we spoil our relationships. Working incessantly leaves our loved ones without us for long enough for them to no longer consider us in their thoughts, trust me. In some cases, when you come around you hear their unwanted advice about what you should be doing. “Don’t move there, it’s too expensive.” “You need to make more money.” “You need to adjust your attitude, you have all of this stuff why aren’t you happy?”
Truth be told, I have all I need to be happy, I just took some of it more seriously than the rest. My initial thoughts were wrong too, I don’t necessarily need anything to be happy.
Neither do you.
You just need to find a way to fill yourself with joy where you are. Happiness is fleeting. It’s unnecessary. It’s crumbs compared to the feeling of joy.
Like the joy I get knowing that my girl will be there for whatever I need, that she will support me and care for me when I am crumbling. Like the joy I get from knowing I can write, even if no one will read it. I can still write. It was a gift given to me, and like the rest, each gift matters greatly. It would be good to remember…
Perhaps, if you’re feeling overwhelmed and unhappy, that you are a little unbalanced, just like I was.
Who knows? We are all different.
But I do know one thing… in order to be happy, we do need one thing:
I hope you enjoyed today, not just the blog, I mean your whole day. I hope it brought you joy.
If you want to keep up with everything I’m working on, you can follow me on social media + check out the Website to see updates and the things that are brewing behind the scenes. ❤
Categories: Umbral Dawning