For the longest time, I chased happiness in the movies I saw, the books I read and the dreams I weaved regularly, dreams that rendered my reality completely dull. It’s a simple emotion, and like everyone in the world I was on a quest to obtain it, but I sought it out in the most complicated of places. What defined happiness? Grandiose, exciting, extraordinary, according to me. The tales and lives of others fascinated me, as I lived vicariously through them, hoping to live to narrate similar incidents to another audience. I shoved myself into an escapist world that is already so chock-full, refusing to let go of the many pipe dreams that intoxicated me.
More often than not, my reality became bleaker by the day whenever both universes clashed, as I snatched the colours of my surroundings and injected them into my thoughts. Unsurprisingly, this resulted in constant comparisons between my life and the lives of others, why couldn’t I do the things they did? Spiralling deeper into perpetual unsatisfaction, clinging onto hopes of that one day when everything would be perfect, I blinded myself to the happiness that lay right in front of my eyes.
Unlike how its portrayed in films, no dawn of realization hit me in the head. I honestly don’t even remember how the change came about, and I wouldn’t even want to find out. What I sought was right there, and warmed me every time I got recognition for something I wrote, when I video called my friends or convinced my dad to take us on a late-night drive. The weekend family treks became more fun, dancing in my room turned into a ritual and the childhood habit of binge-reading books came back to me. Along with happiness, I found peace and stability in my daily life, which are hard to get by in today’s superficial society.
I cannot say my days of chasing celluloid dreams are over; nothing is stopping me from pursuing a few of the over-the-top dreams I have harboured, and that’s okay. Meanwhile, if somebody asked me whether I’m happy, I would say yes. Not every breathing second of the day, but I have my moments, an accumulation of all things tiny, simple and beautiful.
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