There are paths and there are turns. There are trails and there dead-ends. There are escape routes and there are crossroads. Which way then is the way to happy?
Happy is different destinations for different people. For her, it was an ever-transient land of lovely. A land she sometimes forgot the way to. A land somewhere atop a rocky weathered mountain. An upward spiral staircase climb that often left her breathless and dizzy, but one she considered completely worth it when she reached the top. Standing down below, it always seems too treacherous a climb. That’s impossible; she often found herself saying. No one can climb that high, she often rationalized. But yet tiny moving specks sprinkled over the vast mountain of trial and tribulation, told her that there are a few that have indeed risked the journey. If they could do it, so could she, she rationalized again.
And so she began the fateful climb. Huffing and puffing, tired and out-of-breath, she lodged her feet one at a time into the tiny nooks and crannies of hope.
This last year and the many years before that had all been an upward climb for her. But gravity had been a friend in disguise. The consequences of falling flat were never pleasant. They made her put in that little bit of extra effort that kept her from tumbling back down to where she had begun. Then of course, there were the kind souls along the way, ready to offer her a helping hand when she slipped, or pour her a drink of water when her throat was parched. All fellow-climbers on their way to happy.
She trudged forward, hoisting herself higher and higher. With every step she took, the air became cleaner and the view got clearer. Smiles came easier and her baggage became lighter. But still happy was not in sight. Did she take a wrong turn, she wondered.
“Which way to happy?” she asked the nearest fellow-climber.
“Happy is at the foot of the mountain, that’s where it’s always been,” he said.
With a slight confusion, a wee bit of disappointment and unwavering anticipation she began her downward climb. Dizzy and breathless again, but this time with eagerness and excitement. Like the downward curve a roller coaster takes, the kind that makes your stomach do a double flip. She skidded on the steep slope, skipped a few steps and took a free fall to the bottom. She landed with a soft thud at the exact spot where she had begun.
A signboard read,
“Welcome to happy!
We hope you’ve had an insightful journey!”