Happiness shouldn’t be just a Memory

by Amelia Kanan

"Monica" and me.

In college, I had two best girlfriends. “Rachel” and “Monica” (I was not Phoebe. I repeat, I was NOT Phoebe). They were my sisters. Still are (even though I’m currently not talking to one of them but that’s another blog…). Monica and I were the nostalgic type. We loved to reminisce. Out loud, we would hark on stories from times that had happened before we had all even met plus times that had happened only a week prior. We would even go as far as crying about imagining how we were going to feel reminiscing about the present moment we were living in (did you follow that?). That was of course when we would surround ourselves with candles and drink a number of bottles of Sutter Home White Zinfandel (I don’t judge your keggers so, don’t judge the wine label). Then there was Rachel who always made fun of Monica and I. “Oh. my. god”, she would say. “You’re crazy!” But Monica and I would look at Rachel as if she was the crazy one and we were always a little offended by her lack of comradery. Being as sensitive as we are we would voice our frustrations…”What’s wrong with you? Isn’t this the best time of your life?! Aren’t you going to miss this/us?”

We thought she was just apathetic.

I (and Monica, but I’m not going to speak for her…) had a hard time letting go in general: friendships, relationships, loves, fights, resentments, worries and even memories. This meant I had a hard time walking away from things that might be damaging because I regarded the “good times” so highly. Then I had a really bad break-up and while I was trying so hard to hold on to something so wrong all my mother told me was “If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be”. Just like that, something clicked. It  was as if I had been snipped free from a string to really fly.

A while later in yoga, as I was trying to hold a reverse warrior pose without slipping around on my sweaty mat, I had an epiphany: “When happiness to you is merely a memory or even a fantasy of your future, that’s depressing and wrong. Happiness needs to exist within your presence.” I smiled and my feet found themselves within a sturdy grip on the mat.

These things, among others, have allowed me to learn how to honor, respect and reminisce about moments passed without feeling anchored to them. College was great but it was also great when I was 5 and then it was also amazing when I moved to California and then it was really great when I travelled. I have a best friend right now but I also had one when I was 6 and then I also had another one when I was 14. This doesn’t mean they aren’t special or can be compared to each other but it means that we grow, change and move on. We meet new people and create new moments that bring us the happiness we deserve in our daily lives.

Currently, I am existing within a life without any friends, I am 30 living with my parents and I have almost no income. If I were in my previous mindset, I would be reminiscing up a motha flippin’ storm and holding on to good times that have come and gone and dreaming up visions that will hopefully soon exist. However, thanks to the fact that I’ve learned “everything happens for a reason” and how to appreciate the moment in which I am living, I am calm, absorbing all the benefits to negate the negative. I wouldn’t be functional without the ability to find the happiness existing in my day to day life, things like: I get to see my parents (who are going to die) every day, I live in one of the most beautiful places, the whether is amazing, I can be active in many different ways, I can enjoy the company of myself for hours on end, I can go to bed early, I’m creatively inspired and have to time to execute it, I get to see my cousins/uncles/aunts, etc.

Happiness is always and not contingent on “remember when”‘s or “when I do this”‘s.

Note: Happiness exists even when there are struggles, maybe that will be my next blog…Stay tuned.