Not a 10 Minute Tale - instead something I wrote back in 2015. I'm still working on those 9 steps, I promise.
Step one: Embrace your inner child. Eat jelly and ice cream sometimes. Jump on that bouncy castle. Hang around menacingly outside shops for a few hours when school finishes. Refuse to do any housework and when someone tells you that it really needs doing now because Oh My God there’s rats in the kitchen; adopt the rats, give them cutesy names like Ratty and Mr Whiskers. Just go ahead and move back into your old bedroom at your parents’ house and demand that they make you breakfast every morning. Regress entirely, regress until you’re behaving exactly like your 3 year old nephew. Do one better and regress right back into infancy. Cry, cry and mess yourself and cry some more. All your needs are met and you can make them known simply by screaming at the top of your lungs. This is the only way to achieve true happiness.
So maybe I can’t teach you how to be happy. I most certainly haven’t worked out how to make myself happy yet. But I’m trying.
Sometimes happiness seems to be having the perfect house (with the perfect kitchen of course) and the perfect family and the perfect job. Sometimes happiness is just buying some ramekins because you don’t yet have the dream kitchen (there’s a breakfast island and one of those massive American fridges just filled to the brim with food) but you do have a new recipe to try out and goddammit you want some ramekins.
My job doesn’t make me happy. I don’t have a significant other to pile the responsibility of happiness onto and to do so would be unhealthy. My flat keeps me warm and dry and but it doesn’t make me happy. Writing used to make me happy but now I spend a lot of time staring at blank pages and feel taunted. My friends make me happy but they aren’t around 100% of the time. My family make me happy but they’re far from perfect.
All this non-happiness tends to get me down. I spend a great deal of time thinking about how my life could be better in some barely tangible way without really doing anything about it. So now I’m going to do something about it. I was going to give myself a timeline, tell myself I should achieve happiness by this time next year because my personality demands it. It’s jarring for me not to put a completion date, a time and a place I can strike off ‘achieve happiness’ on my calendar but it would also be ridiculous. Happiness isn’t an end goal, it’s a state of being and all I want is for the days I feel happy and content with life to outnumber the days I feel like hiding under my duvet and avoiding life in its entirety. And if I ever do work out 9 easy steps to being happy I’ll be sure to let you know.
Tales written from a prompt in just 10 minutes.
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