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11:08 am - Thurs 3/25/04
I Could Be Happier

I Could Be Happier

(If you missed it--and you're interested--I wrote the "Triumphant Return" entry below right before starting this.)

I'm having that frustrating feeling I get sometimes, where the Diaryland entry in my head is much more interesting than the one I'll be able to actually put on the page.

But here goes nothing...

In thinking about my commercial audition "addiction" recently, it struck me--the reason for the "addiction" is that I'm still looking for "deliverance".

I see myself as unhappy with my current set of circumstances, and am obsessing over booking "the big national" because I believe it will "deliver" me from my boring, unhappy, unsatisfying life.

I think it's okay that I'm excited about progressing in my career, about making money doing work I want to do, about succeeding in life when I've never succeeded at anything before, because after all, if I weren't excited about this stuff, why would I be here?

But I want to escape the insidious trap of "I will be happy when..."; I'm always "unhappy with my current circumstances". And all my life, I have looked at some future event, or the fantasy of some future event, as the thing that's going to save me from...well, the thing that's going to save me from me, basically.

It's amazing that this notion is still so powerful, because over and over and over again, I've seen proof that it's simply not true--Rich people kill themselves (Or their wives, or their husbands), celebrities go in and out of rehab, or in and out of relationships, Michael Jackson, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis, etc and so on, prove that you can have more money and fame and talent than most anyone around you, and it doesn't mean shit in terms of being happy.

Having money doesn't mean you're going to be happy. I've seen that again nad again. Being famous doesn't mean you're going to be happy. That should be obvious. Finding "that certain someone" doesn't mean you're going to be happy, because anything you "find" can be "lost" (More on that later).

If you can't be happy where you're at, you're not likely to be happy anywhere else.

I know this.

What I don't know is whether or not I'm capable of being "happy", at least in the way I currently imagine it.

But I think if I have any chance of being happy, it's going to come from seeing what's in front of me that's worth being happy about, and not continually chasing some illusory "brass ring", some magical key to happiness.

The thing is, I'm really not "unhappy" most of the time.

The trouble comes mostly from what I choose to focus on. I tend to really sit and stew in unhappiness when it comes, while glossing over the potential for happiness right in front of me.

I've always wrestled with the idea of "Being here now", with being grateful for who I am, what I have, what I've been given. "How can I be happy," I've thought, " How can I be grateful, when everything sucks so much, when I'm such a failure?".

And I don't think I've ever made that unhappy stuff up--It definitely was there--but by the same token, I've almost always had friends and people that cared about me, I've never really gone hungry or homeless, I've never been seriously ill or injured, I'm bright, talented, and in spite of whatever's happened to me, basically a good person.

And in the course of almost any given day, something happens that is cause for some measure of joy. It might be small--How often does anyone get hit with major "joy"?--but it's there.

Brad W. recently suggesting we "do something" sometime.

Going out with Cary.

Any number of little moments in and around auditions.

Any number of little moments in and around work.

Emails, tv shows, writing in Diaryland, having a pizza and a diet coke, reading Elmore Leonard, playing along to a favorite blues song on the harmonica.

The list could go on and on, but I'm running short of time...

I don't know whether I'm built to be a "happy person", but I imagine I could be happier if I took a moment to realize how happy I am with any given moment.

(And would you believe I'm still not doing writing yet...? But I've gotta get to this audition, so I'll have to continue later.)


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