When Were You Truly Happy?

What is happiness? Non-stop laughter? Life devoid of problems? Calm, peaceful contentment?

I have never been married and have never had children. They say that if you haven’t been through those two things, you have never known true happiness. I beg to differ. Not everything is for everyone and not everyone wants the same thing.

Happy Moments: Freedom

When I was six or seven, just starting school, there was this one day right after recess when everyone went back to the classrooms, I decided to walk around the school ground. The ground was a large, open, grassy field with a line of large trees at the fringe towards a road, furthermost from the school buildings. The ground was deserted and I stayed there among the trees until the second period after recess. It was quiet, there were not many cars or people passing by; there was another school across the road whose occupants should also be in their classrooms. The whole school compound was fenced of course, including the ground, so there was relatively no danger of meeting strangers unexpectedly.

I soaked up the moment; I must also be thinking, which I can’t remember what; but I did absolutely nothing except walking and observing and again thinking. For that length of time, short as it was [about an hour maybe], I did not feel the constraint of time or man-made rules.

But when I got back to my class, after the bell rang, I was asked of my whereabouts by my friends and was told that the teacher was asking about me. My freedom was cut short and I think I have never had that kind of relatively unrestricted sense of freedom since then.


There have been many happy moments in my life but sometimes even when you laugh the hardest you later forget what you were laughing at. You can watch funny shows and remember some of the jokes but they eventually become not as funny as you first heard it. There can be many things that temporarily make you feel good but nothing lasts.

Happy Moments: Kinship

I guess looking back, one of the happy moments I remember most is enjoying bicycle rides with my sister, and then later, my brother; he’s seven years younger than me. We were not allowed to be on our own outdoors, and there weren’t many kids our age around the neighbourhood, and so we only had each other for company.

There was this one time when fell off the bike and my sister, who is just over a year older than me, and I must have been around eight then, single-handedly carried me into the house. I was bleeding, just a little bit; I don't think I cried though - yes, I'm going to stick with that.

And then there were little moments that I remember, such as my young brother jumping up and down my bed, even if I knew my mom would have been angry if she found out. And another one, my sister and my mom and me piecing together our very first thousand-piece jigsaw puzzles.

Happiness, for me, doesn't mean that everyone in the family has to always be together at one place. Or have to know where everyone is at all times. But knowing that everyone is happy and well is enough.

Everything fades

Nothing is permanent. As it is, for example, if I covet something so much and eventually get it, I’ll be happy a while and then everything ceases to be a novelty.

My family and I are going through a rough patch at the moment. It seems imminent and inevitable that it will become more difficult before it gets better, that is, if it gets better because sometimes things just don’t.

They say that you have to find happiness within yourself to be truly happy.

I would also rather have a long-lasting little bits of bliss instead of short temporary bursts of intense happiness.

When were you truly happy?