Monday, February 9, 2009

What's your version of "happy"?

According to most people, I'm deranged:

I don't want a big house. I don't want a pool. I don't want a fancy hi-fi set. I don't want a fancy car (at this rate, I'll be lucky to get my license), or lots of shoes.

I want a small farm, in the middle of nowhere, where we can keep chickens and a cow or two, and perhaps a goat to take care of what the chickens and compost heap can't handle. Where I have a writing career and can sell the occasional photograph. There are other details, but you get the picture--quiet life in the country.

It took me a long time to come to this conclusion, because I like so many things: I like living in the city, having places to go and things to see and restaurants to eat at. I liked my room when I was living with my parents; I liked their house, and the neighborhood it was in. I like being close by the train station and just a hop, skip, and jump away from a city like Paris.

But I love making things grow: I see it as a special challenge, to coax and wheedle a tiny speck of seed into a plant--which I did manage, for several plants (I maintain that it was not my fault that the cats killed them). I enjoy raising and caring for animals; I love being surrounded by nature.

The point is, happiness is not something that's easy to find. It's not something that's easy to get, either. You'll know it when you figure it out, because it'll be something you're willing to suffer hell and high water to get.

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