long ago, a wise man called yusuf islam said, "if you want to sing out, sing out! if you want to be free be free."
this has been my theme song since before i ever heard it. i don't care what anyone thinks about my hairy legs, the way i dress, whether or not i speak proper english (or french!), or any other external aspect of me. the only thing i've ever cared about is being completely myself and being a good person. that's really the only thing i care about. moving through life the way i need to, spending time with the good folk of the world, and being happy on my own so that i can be of some use to the world and bring some good into it without dwelling on all the ways i am superficially inadequate in the eyes of others. i've never considered social convention a valid reason to change oneself. in fact- social convention generally originates in some ridiculous primitive human urge anyway. who cares what everyone else thinks? everyone else is why we've had wars and plastic surgery and razor burn.
i think the secret to happiness is that, well, first of all- you'll never stop having times of stress and difficulty. there is no state of perpetual "happiness" where we'll never be sad or lonely or depressed again. but beyond that- i think the secret is in figuring out what you need as an individual and setting about getting those needs met so that when difficulties arise, we are strong and able to meet whatever challenges life throws at us. no one else can do it for you. we all have needs. basic physical ones- like food, water, shelter, clothing. anyone who has spent time with children knows that we can help one another meet our physical needs and anticipate those of the folks around us. but the harder to define needs- like occasions of solitude and compansionship, mental stimuation, moments of spiritual communion and contemplation- those needs we can only define for ourselves. if we are unhappy because we need solitude but don't set about finding time to be alone, our unhappiness is our own and no one else is to blame. if the unhappiness lies in the company one keeps- there are 6 billion other folks out there in the world waiting to meet you.
just some things rattling around my brain lately, i guess.
we are responsible for our own happiness. only the individual knows their own soul and the things that it needs to be free.
so if you wanna sing out- sing out!
and if you wanna be free be free. (cuz there's a million ways to be, you know that there are).
i go to paris tomorrow and on to greece on tuesday. the french leg of the trip has been quite the experience. i'm ready to move on.
and i miss tucson. friends, monsoons, cats, and my quiet little apartment. soon... about three weeks to go.