The Price of Happiness

Over the prominence of lifetimes we spend in between the ticks of an intangible clock, there are sunrises to sunsets we’ve watched yet missed altogether. What happens in change is far too personal to put into words, which, in itself, explains that every instance of it is neither unique nor common. To leave something behind is contrasted quite easily to leaving foot prints in snow that never fell. We have memories imprinted not only on the very soil we walk about, but in the museums we’ve contributed our finest collaborations. Many marks of our existence in their time become far more significant than the words we scribble across their bookshelves, and we are held to the same standard as ancient marble statues crafted by multiple anonymous sculptors.

People coming and going happens so often that it’s no longer unnatural. We’re no longer children with dependencies tied to the existence of others. We only learn from the multiplicity found in our experiences between crowds of one too many people. The smells of coffee for two or more, the wind while the sky shifts hues before our eyes, the off-chance of skinship granted to us in times of bliss and misery—an overstrung intersection springs forward, with the depth of any family picture book and the width beyond the seven seas combined and scaled twice.

Now we find ourselves at the crossroads of a driveway and a plane going to anyone’s vague definition of home. A possibility of goodbye stuck between the cross fire of governance and pandemonium has now been compressed into a few hours of televised communication. It would’ve been nice that we ended on a physical hug, but perhaps that can wait for a much brighter time when we cross paths once more. This has happened time and time again, and the feeling usually leaves me relentlessly pining for yesterday to return to my consciousness. To be consumed by the blessings of the past I took for granted seems to be worthier a prize, but to grow beyond struggle and see what comes next is bound to be more exciting (and admittedly, quite interesting). After all, this is no different from a simple exchange. To be free means to cut one specific tie, and to decide to stay means to struggle beyond what should be.

I’d like to think these things happen for reasons that are neither good nor bad. Just enough reason to get these people running against fields of green and lavishly inhaling the different scents of liberation. Quite frankly, it is sweeter than bittersweet, and no tears that fall beyond the hour of departure can shift my joy and loss mixed nicely into a cocktail of cathartic melancholy. Deadlines of moments tend to come into fruition at the best moment possible—time is never truly up for as long as distance doesn’t dictate lifespan.

The past has given me enough reason cast doubt on reprieves that don’t exist until proven. What feels bad isn’t necessarily evil for as long forward truly means forward. People who have lived beyond the shadows that once intersected mine have found themselves in spaces of equal parts celebration and conundrums, and all I must be grateful for is that there is no funeral for separations out of my control, only a mutual (yet unscheduled) “see you later.”

I sit in the realm between shades of blue and yellow, perhaps the softest kind of green with hints of teal. The shade of the white light becomes warmer for every second that inches closer to the end game. People who leave behind nothing but reminiscence of things that went right and wrong have taught my feet to stand firmly with no supports nor training wheels. Impact, as many call it, truly exists from the moment of that first handshake up to the tearful elegies of our time. The best I can do while I wait for a return that is as good as a shot in the dark is communicate before, within, and after our time zones have called our names to align once more. What is virtual has become as momentous as what is tangible, and that alone makes these experiences special.

What lies ahead is still beyond my perception and that’s okay. The price of happiness, may it be tragedy, comedy, misery, or empathy, is still worth paying. It is as expensive as the reason why they leave, but what we get is the most pure form of priceless.

In the end, I woudn’t mind waiting a couple more lifetimes for one second of “someday.”

lost is found.