Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The happy revolutionary

I read an article yesterday on the 21 Habits of Supremely Happy People. It's a good list (and it wasn't a top 10 list, so that made me less suspicious). I've been thinking a lot about happiness lately, because I'm pretty ridiculously happy. It's taken me a long time to get here and there were a lot of missteps and big ol' mistakes that I made along the way. But here I am! Happy! And yet...

There's a big part of my personality that has always been perpetually dissatisfied. These are the parts that want to make the world better. These are the parts that want to call out injustice, the parts that get angry at the liars, the cheaters, the bullies, the mysogynists. These are the parts that want to take on new challenges. These are the parts that want to write books and start new ventures and fight against a broken status quo. The dissatisfied parts of myself are the parts that have pushed me to do the things of which I'm most proud.

Should we want to be supremely happy? Can we reconcile the complacency and contentment that comes with happiness with a desire to change the world? Can we be revolutionaries and still be happy?

I'm struggling with this. There are some days that contentment wins, and I embrace this wonderful time in my life with gratitude and appreciation. And then...the inevitable guilt: I'm not doing enough. I should be doing more. Am I wasting my life?

There are some days that the revolutionary wins. I write, I plot, I rally the troops. I get shit done. But I long to just be in the moment, to stop and read or listen to the waves or watch old Farscape episodes and just be happy.

I don't know that there's an answer, or that I'm asking a question. I do know that just being "supremely happy" or only focusing on changing the world would both leave me unsatisfied. So the eternal struggle for me is being a happy revolutionary: embracing happiness without being a sheep, changing the world without letting it jade me. 

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