THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US 4 :HAPPINESS IS A BURDEN
Happiness is a burden.
Please pardon me if this does not make sense.
After my twentieth birthday last year October, I decided to leave this place, to take a break from baring my life out here for you guys. I decided that day that I needed to rest. Since then, many people have asked me why I did what I did and I have given a number of reason, many of which I cannot remember now but which in a way is related to what I am about to say now.
Writing is beautiful. It is lovely. Writing is also dangerous. It is dangerous because what you want is the exact thing that you do not want. When you write a story, you want the whole world to read it. You want to send it out to magazines and sites all over the world wide web and you want them to read it, to consume it, to tell you it’s good and that they love it and to ask if they can publish it on their blog. You want to say yes. You want them to give you a voice, to tell the world that a writer is rising in the south of the Sahara and that is a good one. But what you do not think about is what will happen after the whole world reads the story, after they consume the contents of your heart and they know exactly what you are thinking and the kind of person you are. You do not think about this and you do not see it as a major issue until it is done. The story is out. The world is reading it. Hurray!
And then reality sneaks upon you like the second coming of our Lord. You are sitting lazily in your cane chair, sipping from a bottle of zobo when reality knows on the door.
Enter, you say.
And really it enters. It enters into your mail. First, it is just one person. And then it is two. And then three and four and before you know it, the whole world is sending you mails, telling you how beautiful your story is and what they think about this and how they think you should do this and why you should not think about it because the world is just a portion of the timeless vanity that this life is anyway. And you are shocked. You are shocked because you do not know all these people sending you mails and knocking on the door of your WhatsApp.
Sorry, have we met? You ask reality.
And the enemy laughs. Oh, you don’t know me? We met in your stories some two weeks ago.
At first, this does not make sense to you. It does not until you remember that two weeks ago was when that big site decided to publish your eight thousand words story, eight thousand pieces on your life on a site accessible by the whole world. But then, that can’t be enough for them to know so much about me, you think. Until you go to your own small personal blog and you see a hundred comments waiting for you. And then you realize that those guys did not stop on the big site, they came home. They came into your home, into your room, into your closet and they ravaged everything. They checked through your favorite clothes, through your dirty linen and through everything that you have. They now know all about you.
At first, you think it is good, and then you realize that you do not have any secrets anymore; everything is online already. And this is bad, really. I mean, what is life without something to make strangers wonder? Was it not the irresistible Emma Watson who said, ‘The less you reveal, the more they can wonder’?
But then, life is life really and the monster does not bend its back. It is either you play by the rules or you move out. It is either you write and reveal or you don’t. If all you do is write fiction, don’t be fooled, you are still stripping yourself naked. It only takes a cursory reader to see that the Emperor isn’t wearing anything really. But if you, like me, are writing creative nonfiction, then you have to agree with me that you really cannot do that successfully without revealing much about yourself.
I decided to take a break from doing this. I decided to see what it feels like to be private, to be fine within, always, whether true or not. But then, I decided that I loved writing more than whatever it was that I got from that break. So, here I am, humble before your throne, oh reader, finally realizing that I cannot write my story and have it.
I never stopped counting the stars, just as I never stopped loving you. -Anna Dhanani
The boy stills sees the girl. They still meet at awkward places and share awkward smiles. Once in a while, they meet and talk. They laugh and have fun. Nothing deep. Nothing awkward. Their hearts are still in sync but each is beating its own rhythm.
Do you know that there are still times when the boy thinks of her? There are times when the boy looks at her pictures, stares at them, stares through the lens into her eyes and into her soul. And you know what he sees? Nothing. Nothing. No emotion, no love; no sign that there was once a time that the only thing that soul consumed was his poems. But then, the soul of man has always been known to be deceptive, dark, and discouraging. Perhaps it is the eyes and the soul playing a game of sight.
The boy will still send out a mail to a friend and he will write, saying; Do you know that I still love her? Do you know that if she comes tomorrow and says she is ready, I will still consider it? Do you know that I still want her? What is wrong with me?
But they are worlds apart, the boy and the girl. They still say hellos but their hearts no longer sing the same song. We are still following their story so if any contrary wind blows, we will know.
And then, I knew, our love was like a sunset, beautiful, even if it wasn’t meant to last forever. -F.E. Marie
When you have suffered in the hands of love, you lose hope and stop being optimistic. If it comes, fine. If it stays, fine. If it is for me, good. Nothing much, nothing big. When love comes, you don’t dwell on it. You let it have its course. Sometimes, you are scared that it is taking a fast pace and you are not sure you want this because you know what it feels like to climb Everest in a minute and spend a decade rolling down. You know what it feels like to fall in love like the wind and fall apart like the rain. And so you are careful but you are also open, what will be will be, right?
It’s kinda cool how someone can just pop into your life all of a sudden and become so important to you within a small amount of time. I think that’s what makes life so interesting though. There’s always a reason to be hopeful for the future because you never know what good things will come your way next. -Unknown (Wordables)
(There is a post on this blog titled ‘A Girl In My Heart’. Read it if this feels like nonsense.)
She’s always been a fixer. Gravitating towards those that are broken, attempting to clean up messes others left behind, trying to soothe wounds and fix the damage. It’s just her nature. Her generous heart known no limits but is full of scars because she doesn’t understand, you can’t put your heart in the hands of those who do not know how to love, they will do nothing more than break everything they touch. – S.L. Heaton.
A century ago, I wrote to my epistolary friend, telling him about a puppeteer. But then, before there can be a puppeteer, there has to be a puppet. There was once a puppet, a tall handsome puppet. He was the joy of his owner and his seller always kept him in the store, waiting for the buyer with the money. This puppet never cared. He was not in a hurry to leave the shop. Why would he be when he had once left the shop and found himself in an awkward place that he regretted ever going to though we cannot say altogether that he did not enjoy his stay there for a certain period? So this puppet waited carefully and patiently until his fateful puppeteer would pass.
The puppeteer passed daily but never for once considered this puppet. To her, he was not her type. He was one of those fine ugly things that sellers kept to wade away buyers. But then, the day came when the storm blew and the rain fell and the hurricane carried the seller and the buyers away. The flood washed the puppet into the hands of the puppeteer and when this happened, the puppeteer realized how much she loved this puppet. The rest is history.
Please do not forget, my Love, that in the end, I am going to die.
I am supposed to write a detailed blogpost about how last year went but because I know that I will not be able to do that because time has washed away all my memories, I am going to do this. In 2018, I made a discovery; happiness, you see, is a burden. It has to be maintained. It has to be shown. It has to be felt. We have to know that you are happy if you really say you are and others have to benefit from this happiness of yours. I have realized that it is not enough to be happy, that you have to be more. You have to show it. You have to capture it and freeze it in a picture and throw it out to the world to like and comment. And most importantly, you have to maintain it.
Happiness is like a squirrel, always on the run. Have you ever held a squirrel before? It is beautiful when it is distant and glorious on the tree hopping from branch to branch but the moment it is within you grasp, its hairy tail between your fingers, I tell you, a squirrel is just another rodent. But then, happiness is even more demanding. After you have found and held it, you have to hold on to it. You have to ensure that it doesn’t go, that it doesn’t run away.
I was bearing this burden all through out last year. If you want to describe how my 2018 went, you can tag it The Year of the Squirrel; that is, the year Michael went searching for happiness and when he found it, realized how difficult it is to hold on to a slippery animal. I was down in 2018. I hit rock bottom. I cried into emails and fell on people’s shoulders. I felt what it meant to have a Judas kiss you on the cheek and then stab you in the back. It happened. I felt it. I survived it.
I have been using one word to describe this year and I will stick to it. It is the word ‘more’. 2019 is a year of more. I will read more. I will write more. I will blog more. I will eat more. I will sleep more. I will love more. I will do more.
Welcome to 2019, folks.
Let’s do more,
Let’s be more.
Let the convo continue below. Tell me how 2018 went and how this year is going to be.
See you next week!