Earlier this evening, I was surfing Facebook when I stumbled into a status, a quote taken from One Tree Hill. What really caught me was this reply by Dennis Arroyo (former NEDA Director, founder of UP ICTUS, one of my orgs in UP):
“I think happiness is a by-product of losing one’s self: in love, in service, even in an activity like a basketball game. Psychologists speak of the phenomenon of “flow” which involves that transcendence from self.”
After a few minutes, I passed it on to one of my close friends, Katkat, who had seen it before I did. We both agreed on what Dennis had to say. I thought that she was the one who’d regularly lose herself in happiness, based on the way I saw her (when she was still in college). I was surprised when she said she was amazed by the way she lost herself in love and in writing; she also told me she never thought it could happen to her that way.
Now that I thought of it, how many times has it happened to me? The first images on my mind were that of my sophomore year in high school. It was that time when I really had fun in life: studying, enjoying everyday life, writing, and yes, falling quite deeply in love. And when I tried to come up with examples of losing myself in happiness in recent times…well, I could not think of any.
Or maybe I’m just being too tight – or something in me represses my thoughts for some reason. I remember myself sharing in one bonding session that sometimes, I’m in autopilot mode when doing certain activities because I’ve been there doing those activities in a long period of time. And over time, it seems to take the joy out of me – bored would be a blunt yet somehow, inappropriate word (if you can read my mind and get my context, anyway). My friend then told me that maybe I should approach what I do in a different way. But I’m too uncreative.
Or maybe I’m scared. Which is surprising because if I were to describe my personality this year, it’s that of a loose cannon – audacious (the way I told someone I like her), outspoken (many times with my close friends), adventurous (first time I scuba dived was last September, in Anilao). Or it’s just that, I don’t know how to put it in a single word. Take this for instance: together with my orgmates in ICTUS, I coordinated a Christmas party for Grade 2 students in a public school, which, mind you, was no small feat. I expected 700 or so children (the figure that day, December 13, was around 550 kids). After the party, I was somewhat surprised by how the party went – mostly orderly, few reports of kids being rowdy, significantly less stress, and we all had fun. And still, I was more nitpicking myself on how I could improve the party than patting myself on the back (can’t do that, in more ways than one). I was happy, sure. But I couldn’t really figure out what it was – was I happy because the kids were happy, because we did a good job, because the way we coordinated during the party was commendable. In the end, I was still looking for something. (Ok. The paragraph looks weird, it didn’t really show me being scared. But whatever)
Or I think too much. Again, nitpicking – what more I could’ve done in a certain event, what I shouldn’t have done, and a litany of questions – on what’s supposed to be a happy event. So I’ve created a dichotomy of being a happy-go-lucky person as perceived by people and being a control freak in reality – and, to make matters more complicated, a role reversal of those perceptions.
Not that I don’t have opportunities to lose myself in sheer gladness or joy – I do recall one November night, when we won a certain carstuffing competition in UP Diliman that gave me smiles and a very bad lower back pain. Another is when I watch some Youtube videos – those moments of mababaw ang kaligayahan – and since I’m home, I can laugh out to my heart’s content, provided that there’s still enough people awake to not disturb them when they do hear me laugh.
Again, though, I’d think too much. This can be one explanation as to why I’d inexplicably freeze whenever I’m doing something – writing, singing, talking to people (I tend to eat my words), even while walking. And it looks weird. I know how to snap out of it, and it’s to do things without hesitation. But in doing so, I fear that because I did not think things out, I could be out there doing something wrong and it might be too late to retreat.
So there goes my foundation for something I’d want to change. I’ll try to lose myself in happiness, try to do things with conviction.
But then –