The (Continued) Pursuit of Happiness: A Personal Letter

(It’s really lengthy, but if you want to get to know me, this is the closest you can get, haha.)


Last year, I told myself that I would entitle the year 2014 as the year of happiness.  I was at the highest point of my life, and as each day passed in the remainder of 2013, I felt that this would consistently happen until the end of 2014.  A little into the third month of this year, I was bombarded with some heavy emotional pain (two specific events) that just happened to collide at the same time.  Being someone who could only deal with on-the-surface pain, and being someone who really values emotion to be the guiding force more than the brain (I didn’t make that intentionally rhyme, I swear), having to deal with the emotional havoc (let alone accept it as havoc) was something I just couldn’t face alone.

Up until this year, I always saw the world (or at least my side of the world) as this place where we all trust each other and we deal with problems maturely.  I don’t deny that the world is rid of problems and pain, but I felt so secure with the smile on my face and the heart on my sleeve.  I just knew that no way would I be able to walk the path of the downtrodden, or at least I would get up and face the world head on.  That’s how I always looked at everything.  Always think positive.

Even anger was a rare emotion for me to feel, and whenever I would seethe, tears would flow out instead to balance out the heat that courses through my veins.  There was a time in April where I just wanted to do something, anything, for the people who hurt me to feel the same way I felt.  Everyday, I would get up in the morning, feeling heavy and every night, I shut the lights feeling heavy too, knowing that I would repeat this cycle for two months.  My eyes would burn come the morning sun, and the stream of orange from the streetlight would flood the edge of my pillow as I try to dream of something other than the lack of it at night.

The pain I felt wasn’t the generic kind of pain, where the truth’s out and you’re feeling the aftermath of whatever it was (rejection, hurt, betrayal, etc).  It was a pain I felt from not knowing what was happening, so instead I felt the sharpness of the question mark, its hook piercing into my chest.  All that came out of my mouth was “how, when, where, why, and what?” Every morning, I’d only see questions and more questions but no answers.  My brain would come up with several reasons, each reason more stupid than the next.  There was a time where I kept to myself mostly, something I rarely do.  I told some people about it, but I felt no better than when it was kept hidden, because after you re-tell, the pain comes back, even fresher than the nth time it floods back in.  Your anger increases by tenfold, and yet your resolve weakens, knowing that you’re helpless without the answers.  Not a day went by when I’d fantasize about confrontations and I would be screaming expletives and punching faces just so I’d know the right reactions.

Everyone says to let it go, but I hated settling for no answer.  That is a pain worse than having a stupid answer that misaligns with the real truth, which you happened to know.  Having no explanation is a coward’s way of escaping.  If everyone believed there was a reason for everything, how come only some questions are supplied with answers? Some is not everything.

But I realized something else as I went home from the mall yesterday.  I remembered the dream that I always had ever since I could remember, a dream I shared with someone once.  I’ve always wanted to change people’s lives, in whatever I do.

Re-reading the entries of my blog made me realize three things: (1) I sound so miserable when I write, (2) I depend too much on other people for my happiness, and (3) the first two realizations are kind of mis-aligned with my dream.

I know the pains that I go through with the people I love are normal pains: having to share an unreturned affection with someone, losing loved ones to the cold grip of Death, among others.  But I guess when everything just makes you feel miserable and sad after, the idea of loving for the sake of love just sounds so pathetic and wasteful, based on whatever I have written in my case.  Maybe because when I care, I care intensely, and automatically I assume that the people I care for don’t return as much as I want them to.  I have long accepted that now, and it’s time to stop complaining and whining about how I receive less.

(Lesson 1: Never regret the people you love.  They may not say it, but secretly, they do need it.) -> It’s a generic assumption for some (and for me), but well, I give my love to people freely.  They may trample on it, throw it away, or just play, but I have told myself that true love (whether romantic, filial, or friendly) is when you love because you love, and not because you expect something in return.  Although relationships don’t work that way (it has to be two-sided), as an individual, this is what I truly believe in.  My mom told me that this kind of path hurts, but I chose this path for a while now, and I’m okay with it.

I have always been a people person, as I find myself always looking for people to be with, whether it be at a party or in school.  I have told a friend once about the difference between me without my friends and me with my friends.  When I am without someone, I am silent and self-conscious, a set of earphones constantly plugged in my ears.  But when I am with a friend or two (or more), my energy level just shoots up, as if I drank 21909109801892 cups of coffee (really, ask people I know; and I don’t drink coffee).  I talk and talk.  It’s because I depend on them to keep me smiling, and I didn’t like my own self so much (because my mind really sucks, especially since it plays with my feelings all the time, and it overthinks).  But after March happened, I didn’t know who I was anymore (identity crisis? yes, so so much crisis).  I never knew who I was without the people I had, and losing some of them gave me no sense of retrieving back some clues as to who I was without them.  It only added to the emotional stress I was facing, and the redness of my eyes too.  The wounds are still slowly healing, and time indeed made me feel better about myself.

(Lesson 2: Don’t depend on people to dictate your happiness for you.  You decide your own path.) -> It was difficult to accomplish this because I always depended on other people’s opinions, tastes, and whatever that had me running to their side to please them.  In me there was always an expectation of getting loved in return when I give my love away, but I end up disappointed when sparse to no love is given back.  I make up an excuse, saying that they need me more than I need them.  But not all people feel pain the same way, and the pain I feel may be an ant’s bite to them, so no amount of “revenge” can get them back for it, no matter how much you want them to feel.  In the end, it’s my own self that can heal, and the only one I can really trust.

So, with these, I told myself to summon the second strength I have: happiness.  It’s a strength that needs to be coaxed, thus it’s hard to get it out when I have my own mind pushing it back down.  But when it comes out, it’s pretty strong.  My parents always told me that whenever I start yelling or getting angry, they always said, ‘Hey, that’s not like you. You don’t have it in you to hurt people.’ Many times I’d argue back, saying, ‘Just because I have so much patience does not mean I don’t feel hurt or angry, okay?’ then I proceed to get angry and talk back.  But after a while, I realize that I said all those things, and I start to tear up afterwards (yeah, I’m pretty exhausting) because I feel terrible.  They were right.  As much as I want to hurt people, I don’t have it in me to do so.  And frankly, it’s a waste of time plotting revenge or ways to get back.  Yes, they get hurt, but what happens afterward? They could recover even faster than you — or you might end up worsening things.  Who knows?

I told myself that in pursuing happiness, I would start to adapt more habits that are inclined to this idea.  Here are some resolutions:

  • Write about more positive things, like hope as a virtue instead of a vice (coming soon!!!!!).  I will avoid the usual miserable pieces for now in order to regain self-strength, and in turn, sharpen my skill as a writer to write about things I should consider.  This is in line with my dream to change people’s lives, and I don’t want the people who read to look at the world as a miserable place, because it isn’t.
  • Post about things other than love.  I should write more about travel or adventure (which will soon happen too!!!! yay).
  • Write to people who deserve the words.  Honestly, I am so done (for now, hehe) with writing about people who actually don’t deserve what I have to say.  It’s been the bulk of this blog, and I don’t regret it, but for now I don’t write for people who I feel aren’t deserving of my efforts.  Yeah, I care about them, but not so much to the point of an entry anymore.

I have other personal goals, but let’s keep that to myself for now.


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