Friday, March 9, 2012

My Kind of Happiness

A friend once said to me that I'm not actually bitter, but I have this tendency to stick around bitter things, dwelling on the darker side of emotion.

Well, for a moment then I considered the possibility of what my friend said. 

I'm the kind of person who enjoy my quiet time alone reading book (with an emphasize at the 'alone' part). While working at the office I use a headphone all the time to block the sound of other people and basically everything around me, unless those that I want to hear. I love rainy days. I even go as far as believing that I have this emotional attachment to rainy days. When other people turn to gloomy mood under cloudy sky, I'd quietly smile, feeling completely content and at peace.  I spend my two hours of commuting back home everyday listening to Jia Peng Fang or Yiruma. 

I sometimes listen to upbeat and happy songs, but it's always those slow beat and rather melancholy tunes that is able to make me smile and sigh with contentment at the end of the day. And most important is, I'm completely happy with those melancholy moments.

So what is it with me? Am I not being truly happy?

I've asked myself this question anyway, and honestly, I've even drafted a list in my head, consisted of things to do to get closer to bright lights and cheerful things.

But once again Susan Cain's post comforts me.

In her blog posts What Kind of Happy Are You?  Susan Cain talked about the happiness of melancholy. It's the kind of happiness you find in things that are not supposed to make you feeling joyful, like the sight and sound of rain, cloudy sky, pentatonic notes, minor key, or melancholic songs.

I didn't even know it exists before. To some people it might be difficult to comprehend, as none of those things I mentioned before normally trigger the happy feeling. But I can absolutely relate to what Cain said. If I'm not being happy all this time, why do I smile every time I get off the bus after the two hours commuting, injected through and through with the melancholy tunes of Yiruma or the piercing sound of erhu in Jia Peng Fang's music? How would I feel the unmistakable comfort silently wrap around me at the first drop of rain, if I'm not being happy?  I wouldn't be able to smile, standing under the umbrella in the pouring rain if I'm not happy. But how is that?

Ms. Cain's words sums up everything perfectly. 

"But the very communion of this act is happy-making – if you define happiness broadly enough"

After reading Susan Cain I realized that I'm not crazy, or bitter, or suicidal, in any way. I'm just completely contented with my own kind of happiness :)

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