Life, Party Of One.

Life, Party Of One.

I  profess to be no expert on the subject of happiness and love. Though when I was younger, I imagined that by now, I would be living the American dream of  having a nagging wife, 2.5 delinquent children and only another 50 years left on my mortgage.

Alas, the wife never materialized.

I only watch with envy and sometimes relief that I have fathered no children.

I monthly throw away almost half my income to live in a place I will never own.

But I’m not complaining. No not at all, because I was afforded the opportunities and had the resources at hand to live out that American dream. But I walked the path I have taken due to a natural process or simply deciding to go left instead of right.

The lack of wife is by nature.

The lack of children is due to lack of opportunity.

The lack of owning a home is from choice and circumstances.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t sit around beating myself over the head about where I am as I navigate through what is considered middle age (35-58 these days). No, in fact I am a pretty happy man in all actuality. But what is happiness? Does it come from external influences? Is it the elusive “G” spot of the mind that we are all hopefully able to be in touch with from time to time? Is it an illusion that we fool ourselves into thinking that we have when really its denial?

Maybe it’s a combination of all that and then some. I don’t know.

What I do know is that it’s a state of mind that can make or break each and every one of us. Who is the happiest person in your life? Who is the person that seems to be struggling with being happy the most? Take a really good look at these people and ask yourself what it is that makes them that way.

My friends are as varied as the time of day. Some are married, some are single but the majority of them are within a ten to twelve year radius of my age. Most of my single friends are ultimately looking for love and companionship that will last the rest of their lives…sometimes in all the wrong places. One close friend is recovering from an almost four year relationship that was not satisfying on many levels, yet he loved the person. Now that they have presumably split for the final time, he is taking it pretty hard. Truth be told, he was not truly happy in the relationship and now that he is out of it, he is struggling to find happiness and resume his life without the person.

I do empathize with what he is going through but believe that we have a choice; give in to negative feelings and despair by letting these things consume us, or recognize that sometimes things are just not to be. There is no cosmic complexity or profound fault for this. It is what it is.

Maybe I am oversimplifying a very complex matter. But the truth is, he is struggling to be happy or content with the outcome and needless mental anguish is wasted on contemplating why his relationship failed by trying to lay blame on some particular thing. Fact is that it just did not work. I understand his quest to make sure he does not repeat the mistake again, but doing so should not be a mentally destructive process.

Happiness is a state of mind that we must work to attain, but we all have the capability inside to acquire it. Whether it is in the form of contentment or peace of mind, it is essential to coping with the short span of time we have here in this world.

I have a couple that I have been friends with for over five years now. They have three wonderful kids, a home, and have been married close to eleven years. I have become very close to their family and they have always made me feel welcome. Is life always perfect for them? No. But what I have found after watching them over the years is that they work to make life good and strive for contentment and satisfaction within their existence. The life that they lead has its particular challenges just like everyone else, but they choose to make things work. Both of them choose to be as happy as possible in their relationship. There is a genuine love between the two of them but that love would be nothing if they were miserable as individuals.

They work at maintaining their individual happiness.

So as I sit here thinking about the bills I must pay, the love that I want to have, the choices that I have made in life, I find that I could easily start lighting the candles to a pity party. Thankfully I am not that kind of person. All I have to do is look no farther than those close to me and realize that I am fully in control of how I cope with life regardless of what stage I am in and the circumstances that have landed me there.

I choose to be happy and refuse to let life make me feel anything otherwise. At least not for very long.

Hello life, Larry here, party of one.