Sunday, June 04, 2006

Happiness+Nostalgia=Way too attached...

Why is it that happiness so often gets placed on specific nouns? Places, things, people. And nostalgia is the glue. Go on vacation, when you come back you wish you were back at that place because you "had so much fun and were so happy there." Move to a new home, you think back to the old home and the good times you had there and worry that you "won't be as happy in the new place as you were in your old home." People define happiness in terms of how much money they have/make, what kind of 'stuff' they own, or if they can buy that thing they saw in the store the other day because it will be a new thing to do for the next few days or weeks before they find something else. You have a great time with someone, and suddenly that person is all you can think of...time spent with that person seems like the only true way to be happy...or at least the way to your greatest happiness.

But, it's not true. Because places change. Buildings are leveled and new buildings built up. New people move into the house and change the way it looks, smells, feels, sounds. [Yeah, I left out tastes , because what are you gonna do, lick the walls?] Things get old, they break, they get lost. And really, it's all just stuff. It can be replaced. And people are great, but in the end, they're not you. You may have fun with them, you may feel happiest when you're with them, but they're not with you 100% of the time.

What's actually important? Happiness isn't defined by any one specific noun. But you see how our whole society is wrapped around the idea of finding happiness in a noun. Any noun. Take your pick. We're all guilty of it.

Happiness goes beyond any one noun. And I would love to say where happiness is actually derived from...but you're not that lucky. I wonder that myself. But that's not the point of this post.

The point is more just to ask why we do this. There are times when the brain focuses happiness on one specific thing. And then when you eventually realize that that thing/place/person alone isn't gonna make you happy, there's this sense of let down. And why? Because of that focused sense of happiness...glued to that thing/place/person by an overwhelming sense of nostalgia...

So yeah. I guess, in the end, I'm writing this post to ask why? Why do we do this to ourselves? [Yes, really, when I say "we" I'm actually asking why I do this to myself.] And with that question then comes why is it so hard to let said thing/place/person go once we realize we're doing this?

And I guess I don't mean "let go" as in totally forget about. More like "let go" so that the nostalgic focus of happiness is eliminated and just the enjoyment of a memory is left...

Less attached and more a piece of my unique life history.

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