Saturday, February 19, 2005

Book of Questions, #4

You can play along too with Gary at matching tracksuits.

If you could spend one year in perfect happiness but afterwards would remember nothing of the experience, would you do so? If not, why not? (Further question: Which is more important: actual experiences, or the memories that remain when the experiences are over?)

I have to confess, this was an easy answer: not no, but hell no. What good is a year of perfect happiness if you don't have the memories to draw on?

The thing that interests me most about this question is the idea of "perfect happiness." I don't even know if I could explain what perfect happiness, for me, would be. I can tell you that I'm the happiest now than I've ever been. I'm in love (with someone who loves me back, even better), I'm happy now about who I am, I'm living this exciting adventure, I'm making new friends (online and otherwise), and I'm feeling very hopeful and excited about the future.

That being said, there are still things that are not perfect about my happiness: I'm far away from home, I miss my friends and family, I'm often frustrated about the language and the new culture, and other things that make me sad that I've chosen not to blog about. But generally, I'd say I'm happy.

I'm of the belief that a full range of emotion is necesary for living a full life. How can we know happiness if we don't know the contrary? If I'm sad or homesick or lonely or frustrated, I make no pains to hide it, but try not to wallow in it too much, which I think is the trick. The idea of perfect happiness frightens me more than the idea of experiencing it and not having the memory of it.

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