Why do people think that if one is feeling stuck and wants to feel alive again, they must have burned out and are checking if the grass is greener on the other side?
Why any expression of desire for more passion in life has to be met with a cold-shouldered “you’re just bored and looking for action”? “Why do you want to rock the boat” “Perhaps you can’t handle routine?”
I really can’t put my finger to it exactly, but our society is absolutely obsessed with being happy and the moment one just doesn’t feel it, the general belief is that there is something wrong with them. If we aren’t happy then it means that we are off-course, simply distracted by different lives that we want to have and instead of rocking the boat we are safely sitting in, we should just get on with life, follow the routine and settle with our grass even though it may not be as green as we want it to be.
What entitles us to want more? Other people have less after all. We should just be grateful and happy with what we have. I disagree, being grateful doesn’t mean that one needs to be constantly happy. Being grateful doesn’t mean that we need to constantly smile. In fact, being happy doesn’t mean that one has to smile all the time either.
I got fired from my first job in England, which I managed to hold on to for approximately a month during studying for the Bachelors Degree, because I refused to smile at everyone at any given time for no apparent reason. I barked at people, who reproached me for not looking happy enough (“sir, that’s my face, deal with it”), because, after all, shouldn’t we all be happy? My reply that I didn’t see the connection between one and the other and that was, I think, one of the final strokes.
I think we are over-flooded by the images of smiling people and we forget that the smile has nothing to do with happiness. I personally despise smiling on pictures unless I actually have a reason to do so and even then I can probably hold a smile for one or two takes before my face is hurting me.
I love laughing though. Being able to laugh from one’s heart with a belly-wobbling, eye-watering, eyebrow-rising, back-patting laugh is a blessing; especially at the time of trials and hardships. But should I smile just to make someone feel more comfortable? See the door from the outside and stay there, please.
When we say that we have no purpose in life, at least some of us, we mean exactly this – that on that day we feel that we haven’t contributed anything meaningful to the world around us and we are angry about it. It doesn’t mean that we are thinking about world peace or inventing a cure for cancer. It can simply mean that we just feel this way. Full stop. We miss the feeling of riding the wave, while instead we are trying not to trip over stones and crabs at the bottom of the ocean. We miss the feeling of invincibility and achievement. We miss knowing that we have changed someone’s life. We miss achieving the unachievable and doing the undoable. We miss surprising ourselves and surpassing our own expectations regarding our capabilities. We miss sitting down with our bodies and minds aching, smacking our knees with satisfaction, knowing that we have pushed for another mile and smile to ourselves as we are watching the sunset, knowing that we have used every second of that day to work hard and move forward in life.
I was stunned to have met a person who felt perfectly happy with where he was.* He hated his job even though he loved what he was doing. If he could, he wouldn’t work a day in his life, but be on holiday. I looked at him in disbelief knowing that the only thing that keeps me going is knowing that my life has a purpose and I am actively fulfilling it (IY”H). I would work 24/7… even if I didn’t get paid for it. It’s amazing how different people can be.
Does it mean that we have to be or look happy to prove to the world that we have some kind of a pull over our lives? Far from it.
Some people take substances, some drink, some get involved in physical activities, some read, some buy items, some have families… whatever it is that gives us the sense of meaning is our grass. This is what we water every single day and if someone has time to look over to their neighbour’s garden then they aren’t busy enough with their own patch.
Someone told me that it’s bad to have addictions.** But, aren’t we all addicted? We all have something that makes us tick. Is it therefore bad to be addicted? Our passions are what drives us to forget about the pain and reach mountains – does that mean that I covet my neighbour’s grass if I simply want more from my life? Far from it. I wouldn’t know what’s in their garden even if my life depended on it. It means that I’m mostly too busy taking care of my own grass to check out yours. I know my grass has a great potential. Why would I want someone else’s? I have my own weeding to do, why would I want to deal with someone else’s weeds? What we see when we look over to our neighbour’s garden is the tip of the iceberg. We see the refined effect of someone’s labour, but we don’t see the sweat, the blood and the tears that the ground on which that grass grows is soaked with.
I wonder how much more sweat and blood my soil needs before it reaches the green I desire.
You should be happy you have grass. You shouldn’t be bothered about the colour. What else do you want from life?
Everything. I like the juicy, springy, eye-hurting, eye-watering, desire-evoking, shiver-down-my-spine-sending type of green the most. And I want trees. Lots and lots of trees. Turn your face away if you don’t like it.
* For many reasons I admire the feeling of satisfaction without the need to do anything in order to achieve it.
**I do not mean actual drugs such as heroine, cocaine or other chemical substances that can seriously mess us up.