A year ago, a friend told me about her search for happiness. She found articles on the internet and tried following them. But most of the points of those articles didn’t work. I had to share my story with her: I often lose keys of the house and car and I have a strong urge to Google them. Of course no internet or books can help me to find them. Sometimes we have to memorize those usual places where we can find our lost keys.
2014 was the beginning of the search for that key to my happiness. And there’s a little story there too. I’ve always been surrounded by people. I was that popular girl in the circle. Too many people and too much noise. Empty words and saccharine love- I felt it all! I sensed how some people said things but didn’t mean them. It was a reflective phase, a hurtful transition for me maybe. But I started focusing more on the quality of friendship. Not the quantity. Not those numbers that were displayed on the left side of my social networking profile.
I also did one funny thing last year; I disabled the Facebook birthday reminder; only six real people remembered my birthday. It was very unusual for the first time in last two decades. Sometimes the world is obnoxiously forgetful without those reminders, you know! I celebrated a quiet birthday with my husband, by the ocean; I was the happiest person on that day after a long time.
I loved helping friends, making birthdays of friends and family members more memorable, cooking a meal for a friend or family even after a stressful day at work. I can’t count how many times I cancelled my plan of reading a book to listen to a friend’s family and work related problems. But those moments of making others happy seemed like a blurry routine last year. I was tired, stressed too. Surprisingly I didn’t find ears to talk about my problems.
There was a point by the ocean where I hiked up to relax and contemplate. I noticed that nature and a good hike made me happy. On evenings, I hiked more than 3 miles to clear my head; sometimes I went with my husband, because happiness is real when you can share it with someone you love. Together we hiked and photographed new places. I fell in love with the process of capturing the silence of the nature, scripting my observation on the notepad. I photographed close-ups of transient moments. Slowly each trip started making me a happier person. It was an introspective journey. But I think, I was plain lucky to find the key to my happiness.
Last night I came back from another Yosemite trip. While unpacking I realized, every single cell of my body feels happy even after strenuous hikes for two days. This time Yosemite was more beautiful than ever. I reached there on Friday night; under the starry sky and snow-wrapped branches of long sequoia trees, the world looked monochromatic and so simple. For a long time, that’ll be my most precious memory.
** Have you been to Yosemite? Do you love long hikes? Have you ever wanted to find your lost keys on any search engine?