The other day, someone asked me, “Are you happy with life?”
Without thinking much about it, I said, “Yes”.
He continued, “What makes you happy?”
I was stumped. I didn’t know how to respond. It’s something I never thought about. I just assumed that being happy was good enough. I didn’t need a reason why.
You see, I’m easily content – at least with most things in life. I’m not the pickiest eater. I don’t have the strongest preference for particular cuisines over others. It all depends on my mood.
If I’m hungry, I’ll go to a restaurant that doesn’t have a queue. If I’m not that hungry, maybe I’ll explore and try something that I haven’t had in a while. Other times, I simply return to my comfort food, chicken rice.
When it comes to ambitions in life, I don’t dream of being rich and successful. As long as I don’t have to worry about food on the table or having a place to call home for me and my family, that’s good enough.
If I have enough disposable income to fund my hobbies, great! There’s not much else to ask for.
Perhaps I’m speaking from a position of privilege and what I’m easily content with, is something other people can only dream about. But there are also people who have what I have and yet they want so much more to be happy.
Long story short, I guess I can say I’m happy because I’m living the life that I’ve always wanted. Could I be happier? Of course. But so can everybody.
I was too lazy to ramble on about my thoughts, so I simply replied, “Because I’m not sad,” which was also true.
He didn’t let up. “What makes you sad?” he continued.
Again, I was baffled.
I could have given a vapid reply like people and pets I care about passing away and breaking up – but those things make everybody sad. It doesn’t make me special.
I’ve been thinking about it over the past few days and I couldn’t think of anything. Maybe the saddest thing that could ever happen to me right now would be Hot Mulligan breaking up. I would be devastated.
But then again, did I need a special reason to feel sad? I’m just a regular human being, like everybody else. I’m not more important than anybody, in fact, I’m probably less important than a lot of people in this world.
He wasn’t asking me for a unique reason to be sad, yet I was searching for one. Why did I put myself through so much pressure? I have no idea.
In the end, it didn’t matter, as other people arrived and our conversation was drowned out. I took my drink elsewhere and participated in shallow chit-chat with other folks. Perhaps in the future, I’ll be able to answer with certainty.
Are you happy with life?