It makes sense to think of happiness as an instinct. That’s the natural state of the mind: content, satisfaction, well-being. We just tend to misunderstand the nature of happiness itself. People often refer to life as if it went by chapters. “Today is my first day of college, another stage in my life…” or “I’m getting married, I can’t wait to start my life with x-person.” I don’t think that’s how it works, and there’s nothing that makes it easier to understand this than to think about death.
It’s kind of ridiculous how temporary we are. Life is happening right now. There’s no before and after. You literally only have what you are given. You only have the breath you just took. Happiness has the same life-span: you can’t pretend to work towards ‘a state of happiness’ because there’s no such thing as “I made it to happiness, so from this point on, I’ll always be happy.” Happiness is deep in the cracks and, while it happens every moment, it’s really hard to find the courage to dig deeper and see it. However, when you let go of everything holding you back and take care of who you want to be instead of what you want to be, joy becomes life’s own sort of magic. You are marveled [at] and grateful for so many things you took for granted in a way that takes over you.
Now, I’m not saying you’ll be happy all the time and life will be perfect. This is when shit will go down the most. Fear and insecurities never truly leave us: they make us flawed, dirty, and worthy of love. We need that, and most importantly, we need to accept that in order to recognize who we are. Don’t confuse fear with self-preservation. We don’t overcome fear; we become brave by embracing it.
Earlier, my friend mentioned how insecure she felt by having her boyfriend hang out around me.
“I don’t know, Xio… you don’t realize it, but there is just something about you that is just so beautiful.”
And while I reassured her that I had only seen her boyfriend twice, I knew exactly what she meant.
Now, as I lay down in the wrong arms, suddenly and uncharacteristically quiet when he tells me that he doesn’t like when I philosophize, when he shuts me out as I look into his eyes before I kiss him, I recognize myself.
I am brave, and I am kind. I am worthy of this life I can’t handle. I’m so very flawed, but goodness gracious, my flaws are delicious because they make me just like everyone else: worthy of love. I am everyone. All of me is effortless, and holy shit, I am made of art, I am made of the world and of humanity and I want it all to swallow me whole.
that calling women of color exotic is
- fucking racist
- and not a fucking compliment
A dress designed to change color in the rain, thanks to dye sewn into
the seams. Created by Sean Kelly, Modeled by Angelica Guillen-Jimenez
Emily Browning for i-D magazine Pre-fall, 2014
In its conception, life is random; death is its true natural state. Just because life has no purpose does not make it meaningless, or any less real and frustrating and wonderful.
Happiness, in turn, is only the momentarily suspension of fear. It’s not the big house with the financial security and the pretty family: it’s the knowledge of what we left behind every time we stood up for something that set our souls on fire, every time we chose to let go of what was holding us back in order to maybe—just maybe—have something whole and good in our lives, even if only for a moment.
When it comes to life, you kind of have to just jump all in to understand that death is nothing to be afraid of, because we are only born to die.
I’m only afraid of not loving enough.
“La Dame En Jaune”… Carla Bruni by Marc Hispard for Elle (France), June 1989. 💛