I am having a problem with happiness. It is a tricky emotion. I think I am happy, and then it eludes me again. Is it to be chased after, or should you wait for it?

Sometimes I am preoccupied by the idea that everything is in my head; my whole life is in my head. It is either a perception of the world now, memories of the past, or what I want for my future. But what I imagine is always cleaner and soft around the edges, and it seems distant. When I come close to it, I can see the hard edges once again, and maybe it’s anxiety, but it feels like I am able to see all the bad things that exist. Then bad thoughts pile up and up.

Would all my dreams of happiness be better kept in my head? Should I even bother trying to make them a reality? Maybe it is a case of overthinking. Not much works out the way I think it will. Often, the times when I feel fulfilled seem to spring from the ground on their own like a green shoot ready to flower. Suddenly my mind is open and can perceive possibilities, every path rolling out in every direction. I can begin to see the flowers bloom. But the preoccupations of life mean it doesn’t take long for me to forget their colours and scents.

I have a difficult mind–it takes me a long time to collect a sense of my moods. It’s only when I look back and wonder why I didn’t appreciate that day more, or that summer, or that time that I realize I had happiness. But memories are blurry and not to be trusted entirely. It is easy to smooth over any cracks, to forget the fuzz of discomfort, and how intricate and overlapping emotions really are.

I feel happy writing this right now. I zoned out and am experiencing a comforting tunnel vision. I feel happy writing songs. I feel happy writing anything. It’s similar to the memory feeling, or the dreaming-of-the-future feeling, because thoughts are calm, and bad things don’t intrude. Perhaps reality doesn’t intrude.

I feel happy when it is dusk and I can look out my bedroom windows to the horizon. Blue to purple to pink clouds gather, and distant trees are haloed by the setting sun. Like right now. It is so quiet. It is the first day I can remember that it is not raining, and I can finally see the texture of the sky. The horizon is like a faded memory, or a future one. It is there, you can see it, but it is far away and has no end. I often have a strong urge to follow the sunset. To try and reach something so pure. ♦