Do you know that happiness is an active choice? It is an internal state of mind. I was told that I always appear to be happy. Clearly, laughing out loud often does that to people. Jokes aside, here’s my take on happiness.
Believe it or not, I was downright depressed at some stage. An old Japanese (2008) series changed that. Funny how a piece of fiction changed my perspective. The series was called “Around 40”.
One character really shook me. Nao Morimura 森村奈央 has a picture perfect life. Perfect marriage and published articles on how fabulous her life was. Meanwhile, her husband completely ignored her, but she smiled and told the public what a supportive husband he was?!? It was enraging to watch. I had many urges to smack this woman. She’s one of those characters that I crawls under my skin.
The saddest part is that it reflects the reality these days. Thanks to social media, many of us have fallen victim to our own ‘reality creation’. Value perception over actual reality. It is such a fine line between doing things for personal enjoyment versus attract attention in hopes of recognition. It made me reflect on myself.
I used to end up buying things that my acquaintances desire more than what I did. WHY? O, I was hungry for acceptance or perception of having cool stuff. I was deadly stupid, clearly. Living in Shanghai and hang with other expats was living in a massive bubble. Why was it important to get a new phone like twice a year? Or what possessed me to buy multiple handbags that I didn’t particularly like but were ‘must haves’? I did not feel like drinking all weekend, but hey, it’s the cool thing to do. (+ 1000 more stupid things) All in the name of creating the desired perception. Looking back, I can only ask myself WHY. It may have made someone envious, just not myself.
The most inspiring thing from this series was this catch phrase:
Translate: I decide whether I am happy or not. / I decide for my own happiness.
Some of my older reader may have noticed that the quote, “Happiness is only for the brave,” appeared on my old homepage / profile. Well, that’s my spin. I really do believe in it. The decision to be happy is a brave choice. So happiness is decisively only for the brave. It is a state of mind.
I highly recommend this TV series, especially to fellow ladies out there. Here a quick synopsis of the series: Around 40
The lead character was Satoko, 39, a beautiful single psychiatrist. Being a Japanese woman, she was under huge pressure to get married and stop working. That was THE life goal back in the days. Others started to feel sorry for her because she was alone. However, Satoko knew how to enjoy her life. She had the wisdom knowing the difference between lonely and alone.
Satoko has 2 close friends, Nao (33) and Mizue (around 40). Nao was pretty much what I wrote at the beginning of the post. Mizue was a full time housewife, a classic Japanese woman who gave up work to take care of husband and child. She was waiting for her son to grow up and was preparing to divorce. Bear in mind that she has not worked for YEARS. Watching her looking for work was heart wrenching. The series was all about the pursuits of happiness, self actualisation and friendship. I LOVE this series.
Thank you for reading. I hope this is not too bizarre. So what’s your take on happiness?
Previous reflection post? Ichigo Ichie. One time, One meeting. 一期一会 It’s been a very long time since I do one of these personal posts.