Discover more from mind noise by ash raymond james
A quick gossip on happiness
What is your happiest memory?
I am often conflicted when presented with such questions as 'What is your happiest memory?' I can cast my mind back and spill out a dozen memories where I was overfilled with joy and felt a belonging, however, happiest is a difficult recollection. We can all recall a moment when we punched the air with elation or laughed so hard we almost drowned in the happiness. I have a friend who is infamous for saying 'It isn't a good time unless somebody almost dies' and I guess there is more truth to that than initially meets the eye. There are the obvious milestones. The first kiss or the first time seeing my nephew smile, but what about the happiest? Truthfully, I do not know how to line up these ducks. I do not know how to claim a memory more worthy than another because honestly, I see them all as equal. I see myself as the dragon in the treasury bathed under only one shade of gold. There is though, a pattern. An invisible link between every one of my happiest memories. As much as we dream of grandeur, I have found they come from the most simple of moments. The car rides singing with my Father or building snowmen with my Brother in the garden.
Honestly, I could bundle together ten if I was pushed. If it was a life or death situation, if the gun was pressed firmly against my temple then I am sure I could find the jewels amongst the gold. It would take some digging, but I imagine they are there in plain sight and waiting, but I prefer their golden disguise. I prefer everything as one. No rankings, only a thankfulness that ruminates through them all. I do not want to belittle a smile or organise my laughter into a list of any classification. How close were the seams close to splitting? Did you see heaven? And although the answer to such questions is ‘too close’ and ‘yes’, I have no desire to discover which one got me the closest to bursting.
I guess there is also this optimistic part in me that is hoping my happiest memory is my next one, but 'I will tell you tomorrow' always feels like such a strange answer. Instead, when pressed with such a question I will say my happiest memory is a collection of all of my memories because even the bad ones taught me lessons, and even the awful ones made me stronger. The things that I remember are the things that shaped me and made me who I am and I am grateful for all of them. As much as we don’t want to see it, there is a happiness that runs through everything. They call it a silver lining, they call it an upside and it is cliche and can be frustrating to want to be sad and know that the sadness you are in has some sort of upside even if you aren’t seeing it yet but it is there. Somewhere in the darkest depths of us all, there is a light. Somewhere within us there is the happiness we chase.
I feel the rumble of my body from laughter that is still dying out. A thousand memories swirling around my brain at the same time. I am just glad I am here, and I am just glad that I get to feel them.
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This is one of my favourite things to write to right now. I love that calm instrumental music with a little rain overlay. I also listen to this and just stare at the ceiling sometimes which is a part of my process that I will talk about some time.