Friday, January 25, 2008

Harrowing Notions of Happiness

Hello there again, "blogosphere." Did you miss me? Of course you did. But it's okay - I'm here now. And I already have general ideas for a very few upcoming entries in my head now. So while I'm sure you panicked after reading that last entry and seeing my terrifying writer's block, I'm of sound mind to babble in your general direction once more.

The subject this time? Awesome Hats Across History!

Or it would have been, but sadly, George "Rufus" Carlin hit me with a restraining order after I wouldn't stop bugging him about that time machine phone booth of his. He keeps claiming the Bill & Ted movies weren't documentaries. Who'd have thought he was such a nutjob? Bill & Ted? Not documentaries? Pshh. Yeah, right.

In the meantime, you'll have to settle for something else. You're accustomed to settling for things, right? Yeah, That's what I thought.

As I talked about a bit in the last entry, I've been trying to get the readerbase for this blog to grow naturally, organically, rather than trying to shove my url down every internet-person's gullet. (My blog is not a food!) As such, this thing? It does not get a ton of hits. Though that's not for a lack of trying. All I can do is keep doing this thing where I keep writing unusual things someone might want to read. Then maybe, just maybe, they'd be compelled to read through all of my archives here and stick around. That's called salesmanship. (Note: No, it is not.) Anyway, getting to the point, I joined one of those social blogging sites where people pimp their word-filled wares, so to speak, and work hard collectively to convince themselves that blogging is still hip and relevant. (It's all about interpretive dance on Youtube now - get with the times, nerds!) It's hard to find people with similarly odd blogs and all that, but I've apparently made enough of a splash (See: Still effectively almost none at all.) to have been tagged with a meme. (A meme!? Me!? ... No, don't give me any pity laughs there, I know, I earned that look of contempt with that one.) So, without further ado, instead of my usual stuff, I say to you, "Meme me up, Scotty!" (This one makes more sense if you know how meme's pronounced.)

You Are 56% Happy

You're definitely a happy person, even though you have your down moments.

You tend to get the most out of life, though there's always some more happiness to be squeezed.

How Happy Are You?

So, that thing. Yeah. Blogthings is pretty popular online. (How 'bout that color theme clashing with this blog, huh?) Never really thought I'd drop one into an entry on here, what with my main focus on my stupid ramblings and literary aspirations. But hey, content is content. (This blog is not jumping the shark! It's just doing something a little different, that's all.)

Anyway, looking at the results and the actual factors they took into account, I have to turn my nose up with a self-important "Harrumph!" (I'm actually a 19th century British gentleman, for those of you who were until now unaware. With a monocle and everything.) Happy is one of the last words I'd use to describe myself. I'm an irate, misanthropic oaf, after all, who's excessively stressed out these days and has been quite displeased with much of the usual goings-ons in life for many months and years now. Future in returning to academics? Unclear and somewhat anxiety-inducing, and will be until I manage to get into a grad school, actually start school, and adapt to a comfortable routine, as I eventually did at my undergrad school. Love? All I'm doing in regards to that is a pretty ridiculous long shot that I certainly can't hold my breath over. That's another important aspect of life I'd hardly call happy. Career? Finishing this book is stressful enough in and of itself, though I'm pouring my heart into it, and even thinking about how hard it'll be to get published within this year is even more stressful. Am I a happy person? No, of course not.

What I am, however, that fits the test's criteria better, is an individual who isn't certainly hopelessly optimistic or naive, but who has learned from their experiences. Like anybody else, I've faced my trials and tribulations and overcome much. Of course, I've fallen flat on my face just as often too, which is simply another part of the human experience - if you haven't suffered painful failure, you're still missing something important. Though it's not so fun suffering it repeatedly. And I wasn't about to lie, as I certainly would have had to, in order to get better, higher results on the test. I'm as flawed as anyone, I have my own baggage to carry, and I have my own hangups that naturally come with experience, particularly of the unpleasant variety. But ultimately, while I don't agree with my results - and hell, what good are internet tests and memes beyond giving us a little extra blogging fodder anyway? - I don't feel bad about it, either. I may not be happy, but frankly, what's wrong with being unhappy? Most people are unhappy. Very few really ever know what true happiness is, or experience even a hint of it. We exist in more neutral, subtle shades of gray. At least I'm making an effort at pursuing my dreams, as ridiculous as my writing aspirations surely are, and still taking a chance in hopelessly pursuing someone I love, even if odds are damned good, I'd say, that we'd never end up together, and I'll never know true happiness myself - though spending time with her was the closest I've gotten. Even if I end up destined for complete failure in everything important to me, it's important to at least make the attempt - the statements, the gestures, the effort. It's better than just giving up entirely, like so many do.

And in the end, what is happiness, anyway? How easily can we define it? Is it not something more specifically tailored to the individual, as opposed to a mere universal ideal that no one can agree completely upon? More shades of gray. More complex equations. Life and the human emotions that come with it are complicated matters. Far more so than a cheesy, cute little blog quiz like this even attempts to adequately approach.

At the rate I'm going, I'm risking this thing turning into a philosophy dissertation.

There was another part to the meme, I think - a love/hate thing. But I'm not sure if I was supposed to do that too, haha. I'll pass for now, I think, having rambled your eyes off enough. Hopefully this was satisfactory enough for all interested parties, anyway. This meme thing isn't an every day sort of thing for me, after all. And I don't know enough people out here in this blogging world to really pass it on to anybody in particular. So hey, if you feel like taking the quiz and rambling about happiness yourself, knock yourself out.


Hye said...

Hello Ben...

Wow.. 56%? WHy didn't you list the thing you love and hate?

Hmmmnnn.. See you around :D

Benjamin Fennell said...

Hey there Hye,

Yeah, technically that was higher than I even expected, frankly, as I talked about here.

And I wasn't sure if I was tagged with the other part too or not. I'm new to this whole blogging meme thing, haha. Sorry about that.

Thanks for the tag, at any rate, it was a fun entry to write. :)