Tuesday, January 12, 2010

In Pursuit of Happiness

Last year, around the start of December, was so symbolical in my life, an event so personal I couldn’t really share it on public. Anyways, the point is, that event made the catalyst to alter the way I think regarding life. That no matter what you do, you’ll be greeted at the end of the day by the realization of your existence as a speck in an ocean of people. With that in mind I realized one thing, that in my insignificance, I should do something to make my life exist, at least on a personal level. First I drew the outlines of what defines my happiness.

What is happiness? Is it just a feeling or way of life, or even something that can be dictated by the laws of man and God? Is making yourself happy trickle the fences between selflessness and selfishness? Is happiness just a myth specially to those people whom you find miserable all the time, and thus concluding for yourself that it could actually happen to you? Then a big light bulb moment happened while I was finely slicing one pungent onion in the kitchen. Most of us forget how subjective happiness is. It’s what we make out of it: outline done.

Surmising on that thought all month was no easy deal. I can make a list of the most complex items, events and circumstances that might make me happy but analyzing each one of them would yield either others being sad or even like a pop up book, would surprise you that it’s not really what makes you happy after all. Inconclusive still, I just stopped thinking about it. I committed myself to hosting one big new year’s dinner for friends without even thinking about it. My mind was occupied to what will I serve that night and the possible logistical nightmares along the way towards that one big event.

January 1, 2010… New year’s dinner morning, I started to knead the dough for my Hoisin Duck Wraps. Like I maniacal domestic goddess I started to make my way around the kitchen with friends to slave along, hectic and unrelenting, non stop chopping and cooking all day. The two Ducks I’ve ask a friend to freeze in their home didn’t come on time since he was so drunk the night before. The hand made dim sums I put in a chiller suddenly drenched in thawed ice and watered down and had to be rewrapped again in full dexterity, the rice noodles I tried to ever perfect over cooked again while I just blanched them in boiling water. One after the other everything was not in sync with what I planned for. A disaster waiting to happen I thought. So I braced myself for the worst.

Frantic and panicky, I started to recover from the ashes I befall on myself, manning my slave friends and the non stop trouble shooting prettily iron things out. The dough I made earlier cracked while rolling the not so tender duck and a few drowned down sprigs of spring onion. I don’t care anymore. I was tired, having a splitting head ache, and the turquoise shirt I was planning to wear (since I did advise everyone to wear turquoise for the dinner) that night didn’t really fit me at all. But I was just there looking at everyone, and even though with all the errors that day I was in fact HAPPY. I thought, maybe this was really how being genuinely happy is. You disregard all negativity, the complexities of over analyzing things and then trimming down to one genuine feeling and ultimately appreciating the simplicity of how thing’s were and are. The first guests came and the first person I greeted wasn’t really wearing turquoise, but that didn’t really affect me at all. What was running through my mind was hoping that everyone will enjoy each other’s company, the food and simply celebrating the new year together as good friends and as good people.

Now, as I remember that day, I feel blessed and happy to have achieved such level of thinking: realizing that happiness isn’t really a personal thing that you bestow on yourself, but an energy that you share in connection to other people. This is where happiness embodies a new definition… it is not just subjective, but also it is relevant. Simple. Happiness is a life force that bonds people together. A new year is ahead for all of us., and maybe as Fabs members, we aren’t really here just because, we share a common lifestyle, or ideals or even just by mere association. Maybe the group has formed and still exists till now simply because all of us are in pursuit of happiness and that happiness we somehow found in each other’s company. Admit it or not.