'What do you want to be?' had asked my husband right after our engagement.
'Happy', I replied as I looked naughtily into his eyes and burst into laughter while he smiled. An intense (yet simple) question had made me laugh. Why? Because I chose to laugh and not get into the nitty-gritty of how I could be happy or what I really wanted to be. Because I believe when you want to be something, be that thing right away. Because dreams shouldn't always be distant. Because happiness is not a destination. And because 'being happy' is a state of mind.
Happiness to me is a choice. It is a decision I consciously make and then defend. It is an emotion I feel from within.
I have had times when I hated myself and felt that happiness and all the 'gyaan' about it was bull shit. I have lived years when career, marriage and even motherhood, all seemed like a farce and a heavy load on the mind rather than some beautiful milestones and supportive pillars of life.
In these years, I practically had everything. A good husband, a pretty, lovable daughter, a beautiful, spacious house in a gorgeous location and a life full of loving people and friends and comfort. Yet, something elusive was missing. I mistook it as lack of a career. I blamed it all on being a SAHM and a woman without a job.
It took me about two years to understand that elusive thing which was missing in my otherwise, well-to-do life was peace of mind that would eventually lead to happiness. I wasn't happy and I looked outside of myself to find the sources of happiness and reasons of unhappiness without being aware of the fact that happiness and unhappiness and their sources - all are within us. Right here in our head.
One day, I decided to change the gloomy state I was living in. I decided to create my happiness. I decided to dig out, snatch, steal my happiness wherever it was. It didn't take me long to find out that it was well within me. Only I was not paying attention to its presence.
I made deliberate efforts to find joy in things and people around me. I decided to stop cribbing and start appreciating.
This day itself I felt a little better. Everything else was just the same. Only the state of my mind was now a little more determined to feel happiness, in whichever form it finds it. This made me understand that the state of mind and the decisions that we take, they do impact our lives. With time, I learnt to stay happy.
In the process, I learnt to let go. To forgive. To forget the bad and remember the good.
The result? A lot like the way I am in the photo above.