Day 8: On the four understandings for a happy life

What I value most in life are the connections I’ve made: the friendships and relationships that have withstood the test of time.

I’ve been blessed with the most incredible network of friends and family that have seen me succeed, seen me fail, seen me fall down, seen me get back up. I’ve learned an unquantifiable amount from these people.

That being said, I’m not always such a reflective person who’s able to put those things into context. I’m not always firing on all creative cylinders, or really any cylinders at all.

I am not a morning person.

I believe I’ve understated that.

I’m straight-up mad at the world, kill you in cold blood, get out of my face, don’t bother me, where’s the coffee, cranky as a small baby, kick a puppy not a morning person.

This goes back to when I was very young. My mother can tell these stories better than I could.

On Christmas mornings, my two brothers would wake up extra early. Not me. They’d want to jump on me and wake me up so we could open the presents. I wasn’t having any part of that. My mother would delay Christmas morning until I was awake and woken up.

Delayed Christmas. Because a small child was like, “five more minutes.”

I haven’t woken up to something that made me smile in a while. I don’t think about it. I’m used to it. I’m not an unhappy person at all. I’m just going on 26 years of being a disgruntled old man for the first couple waking hours of my day.

The other morning, however, I received a text message bright and early. Since I moved to the west coast, text messages from friends have started coming in at earlier hours than usual because of the time difference. A text on a Tuesday at 8:45 a.m. on the east coast doesn’t seem too early, but it’s three hours earlier here. I have another 15 precious minutes of REM you just so rudely interrupted.

This past Tuesday morning, however, at 5:45 a.m. Pacific Standard Time I awoke to a text message from a good friend.

I believe I’ve understated that.

There were no words in the message, just an image. An image of this poem, by Sylvia Plath:

I want to taste and glory

in each day,

and never be afraid to

experience pain;

and never shut myself up

in a numb core of nonfeeling,

or stop questioning and

criticizing life and take

the easy way out.

To learn and think:

to think and live;

to live and learn:

this always, with new

insight, new understanding,

and new love.”

I’ve never read Sylvia Plath. I’m sure I was supposed to somewhere along the way (Sorry, again, Ms. Nunes). I don’t read much at all, to be honest, which is a terrible habit for a writer.

But Sylvia struck a cord. Sylvia nailed it.

Life is about embracing all that is has to offer, understanding that you will feel both glory and pain. You must grow through those experiences.

For a happy life, follow Sylvia’s steps:

Understand you will go through trials and tribulations. Learn from them. Internalizing what you have learned.

Understand that you must use that lesson, in turn, after deep, critical thought, and live again as a person with more experience and wisdom because of it.

Understand that you still have much to learn.

It seems simple, but it’s not. You have to consciously apply these virtues to your daily life. At first, you will have to force it. It will feel forced. But they will eventually work their way into your passive mind and become part of your mental make-up.

You will become a happier person.

You might be thinking to yourself, “Alex. I know I’m not a professional counter or anything like that. But I’m pretty sure that’s only three. You promised us four.”

Correct you are. Good counting.

Number four: Understand that you should, under no circumstance, bother me in the morning.

__

 
DAY 7: DEAR ERIC
DAY 6: ON WHY YOU’RE HAVING TROUBLE DATING IN YOUR 20′S, LADIES
DAY 5: ON SUNRISES AND SUNSETS
DAY 4: ON PARADISE
DAY 3: ON SMOKE AND WHISKEY
DAY 2: ON HOW CLOSE I WAS TO NOT EVEN GOING TO COLLEGE
DAY 1: WHY I’M WRITING EVERY DAY FOR 40 DAYS
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One comment

  1. don’t bother him in the morning unless you are silently handing him a cup of coffee….

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