Slouching towards Happiness: My Core Story

Many thanks to #reverb10.

December 31 – Core Story

What central story is at the core of you, and how do you share it with the world? (Bonus: Consider your reflections from this month. Look through them to discover a thread you may not have noticed until today.)

(Author: Molly O’Neill)

I’ve never felt like I deserved to be happy.  When sadness entered my life, I accepted it with open arms, offered it a drink, and sat down to commiserate.  Sad is comfortable.  Sad I know.

Happy.  Happy is a different story.

You see, with happy you have something to lose.  Sad is a burden, a load of crap you carry on your back, or pack in your suitcase.  Nobody wants to take it from you – why would they?  It’s easy to own, and frankly, easy to come by.  Just watch the nightly news and you’ll see more than a few reasons to be sad.

Happy, on the other hand, is something everyone wants.  It sits there all shiny and pretty, alluring with its bright colors and sunshine.  When you’re sad, you think happy is mocking.  Too bright, too cheerful.  Sad is easy, like those jeans you’ve worn for years until they are thin with age and many rounds in the dryer.

Getting comfortable with happy, I think, has been one of the biggest adjustments I’ve gone through in the past couple of years.  It used to be a daily thing for me to look for the next way my life was going to blow up, the next way I was going to lose something that meant a lot to me and go back to sad (i.e. normal).  I needed a lot of reassurance that happy wasn’t going to slip through my fingers like sifted flour.  I’m getting better about that – not perfect, mind you, but better.

And Happy is better.  And weird.  Not weird in a bad way, it’s just different.  Happy is lighter, it fits in your suitcase no problem, and you hardly even feel it while you carry it around.  Sometimes when I’m on my way out the door, I look around and feel like I’m missing something.  Convinced I’ve forgotten a book I might need for class, or my phone or computer, I walk back through the house looking for that one item.

And then I see my sadness sitting in the corner of the room, a moss covered heart, and slowly I see the moss is falling away revealing underneath it a vibrant jewel, a deep luscious red.

So that is where the next leg of my journey begins.  Instead of watering the moss, I am going to live my life so that the jewel within me can shine.  Because if happiness is nothing else, it sure is shiny.  And I am finally ok with that.


  1. #1 by amanda on December 31, 2010 - 11:43 am

    Shiny is very good!

    I think it takes bravery to search for and accept happiness. Like you, I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop. But I’m trying to get better about that as well.

  2. #2 by John Scott on January 3, 2011 - 12:00 am

    Beautiful. Absolutely perfect.

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