happiness is an acquired skill

Do you feel you are obligatied to say you are happy?

Do you feel obligated to be “Happy”? Or at least say you are?

Well I would think if there are as many sunny days as people who claim themselves to be happy, the earth must suffer severe draught…Haha, now you wonder about the draught in some areas in the world? That’s just an analogy, I don’t believe there is a direct parallel between the two. Well, we have the example of Norway for that! People seem happy and there’s so much local water that the smart Evian salesmen didn’t seem able to deploy their skills there.

Why do so many people say they are happy? I know I have a singer Facebook friend who dares to say he felt depressed, etc., but that seems permitted in the artists’ world. However lots of people feel they have to say they are happy, otherwise they’d be treated as an outcast, rejected as a failure, be declined a job, etc. It is especially true if you are in some professions, for example, if you are a medical doctor! Nobody would like his psychiatrist to be a complete unhappy psycho, or his dentist a sad drunk…

frightening dentist experience

Well I know I had the foreboding feeling that my final destiny was being revealed when my ex-dentist finally appeared with an alcoholic’s swagger and smell under an autumn drizzle, a quarter of an hour late…He and I were the only human beings around.

He ordered me to sit down and then he lowered the chair so low that I felt like my gastric acid fluid could flow out of my nose if I didn’t get choked by it…or by…I was thinking…maybe being choked was an easier death?  than…how ?

I saw him pulling on a facial mask, a cap, a white overall, and gloves, all with a clumsy slowness… then he walked towards the chair where my hair could almost touch the floor tiles… He put on glasses that resembled those for electric welding, switched on the zillion-watt light, grabbed my jaw, and forced my mouth open with a metallic instrument and knocked on every tooth until he got a shrieking scream on my part, then he turned back and filled an enormous syringe of anesthetics…

I hoped and I hoped not…hoping it’s the right product and hoping not too much…I saw the needle, his bulging watery iris and yellow stained eye-whites approaching me, with his trembling hands…I wanted to run but I felt my blood was turning into plumb stoning me further into the chair, I closed my eyes…

He planted the needle in my gum, I felt pain, then numbness gained control of my whole mouth…then I heard the noise of the drill, my skull seemed shattering with the vibration…Quantity of water splattering from the drill like a broken faucet,  flowing to my nostrils, on his glasses, on my hair, I struggled as much as I could to get some air into my lungs…I remembered at that instant that I was only 19, I didn’t have all the degrees I wanted, didn’t find love, was literally a virgin…didn’t see the Victoria Falls, not even the Niagara Falls at that time…didn’t even eat the strawberry cake I saw in the bakery window on the way there…I wasn’t even happy…

A light years seemed to have passed…

happiness is an acquired skill but not everyone has to learn it

When he finally straightened the chair and released me, I was so HAPPY! The tooth carie was repaired, except water was still dripping down my hair, he caused no real damage! I felt so happy, nothing seemed more important at that moment except that I wanted to celebrate the fact I was alive and unharmed! A survivor’s happiness you see!

I bought the cake, it tasted cotton-like because of left-over effect of the anesthesia, but I was playing with the icing, drew a moustache above my upper lip with the cream, sang a song, danced in front of my mirror, tucked myself into the blankets reading a story of love, no longer feeling lonely because I was always heart-broken at 19, now I can’t even remember the “old” (41 at that time) jerk boyfriend’s name… The sky’s dominant hue was as still gloomy gray, the autumn rain ever present, but I was perfectly happy. That happiness didn’t last long, very soon, my mood glided back to the habitual melancholia. It seemed at that time, I never loved but was always heart-broken, or that before I ever left home I was already nostalgic.

It seemed I hadn’t learned the skills of being happy at that time! Now 20 years after, having taken many blows, injustices, and mistreatments in life, you don’t know how I was treated, one day I’ll tell you all, you could hardly believe how I can still be in one piece today! Emotionally I have a thousand reasons to be sad or even dead, like I’ve said I felt like was brainwashed so many times, it must be clean, I can even think by myself and for myself! The dominant hue of my emotions world became serenity and bliss, no matter how people treat me, like the Chinese idiom –宠辱不惊Chong Ru Bu Jing. It rains sometimes but the sun always comes back.

I think HAPPINESS IS AN ACQUIRED SKILL! And of course, as you don’t have to learn every skill in life, it’s NOT AN OBLIGATION TO BE HAPPY! No one should feel guilty if you don’t feel happy, it’s not a shame or a bad label. Not everyone is a good cook or would like to learn! It's perfectly OK no matter how you feel!