What Would It Take To Make You Truly Happy?

What Would It TakeA couple of interesting things happened at work yesterday, Modern Philosophers.

We found out that we were all getting raises, and that the company was finally going to be able to contribute to our 401K accounts again.

It’s not a big money situation by any means, but anything helps in this economy.  Plus, it’s nice to have a little money tucked away for the future.

We also decided to pool our money and buy some tickets for this weekend’s huge Powerball drawing.  The jackpot was up to $800M the last time I checked.

I never have much luck with such things, but shortly after we decided to throw ourselves into the lottery fray, we learned that we were getting a raise.

Clearly luck was on our side.

powerballAll afternoon, I overheard my coworkers talking about what they would do with the money were we to hit the jackpot.

There was a lot of talk about vacations to warm climates and purchasing new vehicles.

My favorite, though, was renting an island.

Who wouldn’t want to rent a land mass surrounded on all sides by water?  That’s the kind of thing you do when you have tens of millions of dollars burning a hole in your pocket.

Being a Modern Philosopher, I began to form Deep Thoughts about what I would do with a windfall of money.

That led to the more precise Deep Thought of what it would take to make me truly happy.  Because as you know, money can’t buy you happiness.

I will take all the happiness this gold will buy. And a case of Snapple...

I will take all the happiness this gold will buy.  And a case of Snapple…

This is what it would take to make me truly happy…

LoveLove.  Love is the elusive puzzle piece I have been awkwardly pursuing ever since my divorce.

And I haven’t just been seeking it from a significant other.  I’m also talking about the love of family and friends.

While I have seemingly become comfortable with a reclusive life at The House on the Hill, the truth of the matter is that the absence of love has not only made my heart grow fonder, but it has also turned me into someone that I don’t like very much.

This whole lonely man on a hill act bores me, and has made me bitter, grumpy, and pretty much unapproachable.

I lied to myself and said I was protecting my heart from being broken again, when in reality, I was so frustrated at not being able to find love that I had given up on the world and locked myself in my Fortress of Pathetic Solitude.

Now that Melissa has come into my life, I’ve realized that The Beatles were right all along.

All I need is love.

Nite Show SketchBeing able to write full time.  Writing is my passion.  I love it, I’m good at it, it gives me confidence, and it allows me a degree of control that I could never have in my life.

It doesn’t matter if I’m writing for this blog, working on a screenplay, or creating a sketch for The Nite Show that I get to act in as well.

Writing was my escape from an unpleasant childhood, and it continues to serve the same purpose in adulthood.  However, it is time for it to stop being something I do when I get home from work, and become what I do for work.

While I love hearing how great of a writer I am (not trying to sound boastful, so please don’t flame me for that!), it’s unbelievably frustrating to know that I haven’t been able to turn that talent into my career.

I love writing for The Nite Show.  I could spend all day working on this blog and coming up with ways to get it out to more people.  I enjoy taking a stab at writing a novel.

The ideas never stop coming.  I honestly could write every day for the rest of my life.

I’m just not happy having to put down my writing to go to my “real job”.

keep writingI also want to write full time because I know I’m not cut out for the life of a desk jockey.  I’m good at my job, but I’m not a people person.  I’m often told that I’m grumpy, scary, and intimidating, and that hurts because I’m just being me.

I do my best to smile, laugh, and be courteous and kind, but I honestly don’t belong out in the real world with people who need a version of me that only exists when my acting skills are at an Academy Award worthy level.

I am a writer.  I need to be my own boss.  I don’t want to provide customer service except through the finished product.  I’d prefer never to come face to face with my clients because I know I will be a disappointment to them.

It would make me happy to not have to worry about pleasing others and pretending to be someone I am not.

This is why writing is the perfect job for me.

StressedStress levels at or below normal.  As you might have noticed from reading this post, stress is a major factor in my life.

So many things stress me out, and I don’t always handle stressful situations as well as I’d like.

I have turned myself into a recluse in an ill fated attempt to avoid stress, but being alone stresses me out more than most of the other forms of stress that await me outside of The House on the Hill.

I’ve lived in Maine a dozen years now, and driving in the snow still causes major stress.  When the hell am I going to get over that one?  I’ve had plenty of opportunities in twelve winters to conquer that.

One doesn’t need to be a Modern Philosopher to realize that happiness abounds when stress levels remain normal.  I don’t need riches or a rented island.  Just take away my stress and I’ll feel like I’ve won the lottery.

booksA good book.  As complicated as I sound, there’s really just a very simple guy underneath the toga, Modern Philosophers.

Give me a good book, a quiet place to read it, and maybe an ice cold Snapple to help wash down the larger words and all is well.

I would be one of the few people who’d be fine with a global blackout and loss of all technology as long as the books survived.  I’ve gotten so lost in a book that when I finally snapped back to reality, I discovered that someone had taped a “Have you seen this man?” flyer to the book’s cover along with my photo.

It wouldn’t take much to make me truly happy, Modern Philosophers.  If I shopped at a used bookstore or went to library, the cost of the items on my list would be almost zero.

Sure, I’m not going to turn down my cut of the Powerball jackpot if we win this weekend, but I don’t need all that money to find true happiness.

It’s your turn, Modern Philosophers.  What would you need to be truly happy?

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About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
This entry was posted in Humor, Love, Philosophy, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to What Would It Take To Make You Truly Happy?

  1. donedreaming says:

    I wish you luck with Powerball, we also have a big lottery happening tonight £54million which I’ve bought a ticket for. I’d be looking for a simple life, pay the mortgage, travel, have adventures, take lots of photos. I’d rent Necker Island for a few weeks to chill out and decide where to give most of the money to. Good luck!

  2. thosewordsshewrote says:

    Reblogged this on ticketyblue.

  3. Deborah says:

    I’m taking this year to find what makes me happy, to find the direction that will lead me to being the real me instead of just working through an endless to-do list of what everyone else wants me to do. Can’t blame them, I never stopped to figure out what it is that I want to be when I grow up. But the time has come. Best of luck to you. 🙂

  4. adamjasonp says:

    It has also turned me into someone that I don’t like very much.

  5. Joseph Nebus says:

    You know, properly speaking, every spot of land is surrounded by water if you carry on far enough. So that ought to be pretty easy to arrange.

    For me, I suppose, the things I’d do with money to make me happy are to rescue Conneaut Lake Park, this wondrous yet bizarre amusement park in western Pennsylvania; buy mufflers for the neighbors’ cars since they clearly need them; and get high-speed Internet connected to our house, since clearly no actual company is going togged around to trying that.

  6. I think of these things, too, and feel much the same as you. It’s hard not to seem selfish, yet what is life except taking care of one’s self? Love makes me happy, money would give me a chance to see things I will never see under normal circumstances, like walking the Hills of Ireland or the museums in Italy or driving down Highway 1 in California. So money would make pipe dreams more of a reality. And write full time. Definitely. And find a part time job doing what really makes me happy. And find a cause and donate to it. Good luck to you my friend. Your dreams are wonderful things

  7. AthenaC says:

    A clean house. That is all.

    I already have everything else – awesome husband, great kids, a gym membership, and a job that on average provides the right amount of stress.

    More money is always nice, but if I’m really honest with myself I have enough for a fairly nice existence.

  8. Gail Kaufman says:

    In a sense money can buy happiness, based on your happiness list. With money, you can quit your day job, spend more time with the one you love, move somewhere that it doesn’t snow, write all day and buy a bookstore.

  9. Gail Kaufman says:

    Yes, I know. I was just pointing out that money can help all those things along.

  10. I love the idea of the financial freedom to do anything or go anywhere I want, whenever I want. And I’ve learned, in the journey of healing my childhood hurts, that I have the power and capacity to create my own happiness, because it comes from inside of me. Period. No other one or thing can “make” me happy.

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