Has anyone ever told you that happiness is art?
It’s interesting how conversations over beer and friend chicken between me, who is very much single, and a friend, who is very much married, can evolve into a night of learning and realization.
This friend and I reconnected recently and it was good that not much had changed since he got married. I do not know his wife intimately, but we’re cordial. And while the night started out raucously, pretty soon we ended up on a rooftop with the aforementioned fried chicken and booze, and just like the immense span of the universe above us, I realized my friend had expanded by leaps and bounds: emotionally and spiritually.
If that’s too much for what I thought would be a mindless bonding night out, I did not mind. Here was someone I knew from his boyhood, who rode the waves of puberty and young adulthood with me, and went ahead and leveled up even further with marriage, telling me things I never thought would come out of his mouth.
It started when I asked him how married life was going.
“My happiness is an art,” he began, and immediately I was struck.
“My happiness is an art. And like a lot of art, I don’t think everyone will appreciate what makes me happy,” he said.
He went on that married life was exactly as he expected it to be: there were intense highs, and the lowest of lows, and through it all, he said, he wanted to keep being happy.
“But keeping happy… always changes. I have to keep finding it in me to change what it means to make myself happy,” he said, taking a swig of beer.
We were quiet for a bit after that, and then I pressed “But your wife, does she make you happy?”
“She makes me happier. I am happy by myself, but she… she adds to that, no matter what we go through,” he said, and added “But she is not the one reason for my happiness. A lot of things make me happy, and I think it’s important to not forget that. The same goes for her. We both have our sources of happiness away from each other.”
Now, I don’t know if it was the alcohol, but I legit shed a tear. That was a beautiful thought!
Your happiness does not start or end with another person, just as art is not art just because someone says it isn’t. Happiness, as does art; evolves continuously, and for a good minute he let me cry as I processed what he said.
“Didn’t expect that out of me, did you?” he laughed, and I for real saw the stars twinkle in his eye.
I don’t know if it was the married life that had his inner sense of self evolve, but one thing I know for sure was that between the fried chicken and beer and childhood memories, the stars were witness to a marriage that was going to last a lifetime.