I always expect happiness to come in large waves or bursts of light, shining so brightly – I can’t take my eyes away from it. I imagine it to be this overwhelming feeling that demands to be seen. But happiness is much smaller than that, hiding beneath the corners of your eyes.
It is the feeling of recognition when someone you’ve briefly encountered in your life remembers you. When they reach out their arms and hug you, and ask how you are doing. With access to almost every single person you’ve graduated with on social media, I sometimes forget what it feels like to be seen, to be recognized and brought into the light. Everyone seems familiar, it makes me hesitant to reach out, not knowing if I was important enough to be remembered in their reading of their story. But here they are extending their arms to greet you because you, yes you, are relevant to their story.
While you may feel like you are slipping through the cracks of life, trying to reattach and reshape pieces of your story, someone sees you. I’m not talking about the photos you share of your favorite weekends or the statuses of recent heartbreaks and breakthroughs, but the moments of raw energy. When the snow is falling and the streets are icy, someone sees you gliding down the sidewalk. Someone saw when you chose to dance on the newly slicked roads instead of interrogating every piece of ice that would meet your cold feet. People will find grace within you for the small ways you walk through life. Happiness if opening your eyes to their view. To letting yourself be seen, to be vulnerable, to be in your raw form.
Let your life be a masterpiece comprising of raw pieces of you. From the way you felt when you realized you would no longer receive sweet letters from your grandma, to the moments you let someone hold your hand. Happiness is achieved by letting our dark pieces see light, by letting our paths be intertwined with others. There may not be fireworks of joy demanding your attention, but I hope you take the time to look down to see how you have relaced your shoes, how you have let yourself try again, and let yourself be seen.
I hope you feel happiness in great capacities and often. I hope you bring your story to the light.