“I would be happy, with or without you,” I said.
“How could you possibly be happy, without me?” he said.
Now before you think I’m cold for saying this, I really just was able to remove myself and look rationally at the bigger picture. And damn, was it a good thing to realize for the sake of protecting my happiness. My grounded-nature and comfortability in myself was simply at a different maturation then his. Under a romantic lens, his question was coming from a place of love. We did truly bring each other a lot of happiness.
But hey, I found that I am happy, just being me. I loved him, and appreciated him deeply in my life – but I was still happy, just being me. At times he stripped that from me to fill a personal void. He needed me to be happy. That’s a lot of pressure on a single person, especially when life get’s busy, or stressful, and you can’t be the happiness they need. It was this moment where I narrowed in on the idea of self-driven happiness – and realized its importance, especially as a young adult.
Could you spend a day, a week, a month by yourself, and truly be happy?
Let’s think a moment on what happiness really is. For me, I’d like to argue that it’s about how content I am with my personal identity and the life surrounding my being.
After a long while apart, I sat on my friend’s back porch catching up as we prepared for the beginning of our last year in college. We got on the topic of living arrangements. He lives with five roommates in a house; I live solo in a one-bedroom place. He finds deep comfort in the presence of his roommates; I find deep comfort in mindful silence. He asked me, “Don’t you think you’re going to get lonely?”