Happily Unhappy

Unhappiness. I’ve found that it’s the one word that many people don’t wish to admit about themselves. And yet it’s something that we’ve all experienced or are currently experiencing.

While reading comedian Nick Kroll’s interview with Buzzfeed News, the discussion turns toward the idea of obtaining success in the comedy world if you’re not someone who has had to struggle for money or comfort.

…the reality is that just about everyone is quietly unhappy” – Nick Kroll

He responds with something that I found to be very thought provoking. He says: “I mean, look, we all suffer in our own way; like, life is miserable. And I’m not, ‘Oh, I’m a stand-up who’s sad,’ but the reality is that just about everyone is quietly unhappy. I don’t think that pertains to comedians specifically. I think most people look at themselves in the mirror and are not happy with what they see.”

I think about the concept of happiness quite a lot. And whether or not I am actually, in fact, happy. I have a wonderful family, a supportive friend group, a job in my chosen field, an apartment, I’m able to put food on the table and I have access to many things that give my life meaning.

But does this mean that I’m happy? Sometimes I’m not really sure. I think it’s safe to say that I live a good life. I recognize that I’ve been dealt a good hand. But like Kroll said, we all still struggle. I still struggle. I still have days when things are just going terribly and it feels like things won’t get better. And then there are days when everything and everyone is a welcomed sight.

imagesLife is honestly lived day by day. You could be having a great Monday because the sun is shining and it’s no longer freezing temperatures. But then same day could completely change because you have a terrible commute on the Subway ride home.

Unhappiness isn’t something we can escape. It’s always right there. It’s sitting next to happiness on the front porch of your life. They coincide with each other. You can’t have one without the other. You can’t know what happiness is until you know what unhappiness is. And vice versa.

I’ve been told that it’s good to have things to look forward to in life. That these things are what can make us happy when they eventually roll around. But what happens until then? What do we do in the meantime? What keeps us going each and every day? I think the answer is different for every person. Happiness isn’t a fixed point and we’re not on a straight line towards it. It can be gone in an instant and it could just be down the road or around the next corner.

Maybe the truth is, is that we’re all just severely happily unhappy.


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