Last night, I got some people asking me about the secret to happiness.
I was like, "Wha?"
And they were all like, "Blahblahblahblah."
Hell, man. I don't have the secret to happiness. I know what makes me happy. And that is enough for me.
Some of them were like, "This thing doesn't make me happy, but it will make my parents happy."
Stop right there.
After going through endless drama with my own parents, I can say for sure that parents are happy when you are happy. As to what makes you happy, well, you have to figure that out yourself.
When I told my parents that I was not going to be a doctor, they were shocked. Aghast. Angry.
"If you're a doctor, you can take care of me when I'm old," said my father.
I thought that was selfish, and was just so that they could tell their friends that their son is a doctor.
Probably so, but at that young age, I had a sense, a notion, that I would never enjoy life as a doctor. As a medical researcher, maybe, but not a doctor. Too much responsibility.
So I offered my parents something else - a peace offering. I was going to be an engineer.
Then, I discovered that engineering students have to draw shit. I HATE drawing shit. So I said no.
I wanted to take languages, but my parents HATE anything in the arts spectrum. They wanted me to take something technical.
So I took up Computer Science - a compromise. It was a technical subject with languages in it. Programming languages.
"Only stupid people take computer science," said my father.
I grit my teeth. And finished that.
In my final semester, I joined a cult and was convinced that I need to go and do something I like, consequences be damned.
So I graduated, and became a writer instead.
"I want to write for a living," I said.
"What are you going to write?" asked my family.
There were much screaming and yelling.
I sent my resume to 54 different companies. The first one got me a real job.
Years later, after much drama, my father asked me this.
"Are you happy?"
"Happy. Are you happy?"
"Well, it's all right. I'll never be rich, but it's fun."
"That's all I wanted to hear."
See, this is the one thing I do understand about my family. They have my best interests at heart, but they have no idea what is best for me.
I am a Metal Monkey, so I get bored easily. With stuff. With people. Writing stuff - a different story each day, a different assignment - that keeps me interested. No assignment is stupid. Each article is a masterpiece for a few hours. And then you let go.
Some people are interesting, from afar. As ideas, as concepts. I even fell in love with the idea of a person for a while. But as soon as you get near, all the sordid details will be revealed.
People defecate and salivate and ejaculate and menstruate. It can kill any romance.
With the family, all I have to do is take care of myself. Cause my parents, in their twilight years, are not taking care of themselves and that makes me go ballistic at times.
Yes, they will compare their kids to others', because they don't know any better. Parents are humans, not idols to be worshipped. They are not models of God. They are infinitely human, with human insecurities and flaws. They will make mistakes and continue to do so, as that is their nature.
The only thing you have to concern yourself with is your own happiness. No one thing makes you happy. No one makes you happy. Happiness as well as misery, I find, is a decision.