For some people, happiness is not without all the big moments. It is the grand event. It is the milestone in life: a graduation, a birthday, a confession. If you are one I can call a happy person, you find it in the smaller mundane moments. Maybe it is the raindrop on your face, a surprise treat from a friend, or laughing with a loved one over a joke. In that case, congratulations.
Apparently, most people, if asked, would say they are happy on a scale of 7 over 10. ( It was from the Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck)
What is my point in all of this? Well, I find it hard to tell you which one is the Joyful part of life. How do you define joy anyway? Is it the calm feeling of contentment and peace or the rousing cheers of fluttering emotions? Depends on where you’d like to place yourself.
As you know, my life revolved around school. It was sort of my whole personality. Graduating was like feeling the rug pulled under your feet and pushed to float into a void of existential crisis, but that is a story for another day.
Can you contain joy in a single moment? A single scene? I am not sure. But if I will pick out one day that stood out to me was perhaps being asked to sing the strangest combo at that time.
What actually preceded that moment was a series of disappointments and insecurities. There were a lot of regrets on my part. I stopped singing anything due to shame years ago and now that I had to use it, I was toppled from a pedestal I put myself on. In plain terms, I learned that I am an average singer. Coupled more with the things they say, I lost my good voice because I did not use it as per intended. Music became a burden. The music activities relied so much on technical prowess and our professor was not getting the results he expected. (but how can he? We’re not even MAPEH majors.)
I don’t know what came to my professor’s mind that day he assigned us to sing Maalala mo Kaya by Constancio de Guzman in Reggae style. ( It was a draw lots situation). The thing is, everyone was sure it will not work, think dipping okra in ice cream. We were at a loss on how to do the assignment. I, and in extension, the whole group, was so enmeshed with the idea of making the idea work technically. It had to work. It had to be accurate. Although we had the people needed for the activity ( we had church singers and a guitarist as groupmates) we couldn’t figure it out. Even our instrumentalists’ attempts at figuring out a decent chord progression and strumming needed seemed the best shot thrown out there.
It cannot work the perfect way. Perhaps, at one point, I forgot where, or how it happened. We were just sheep drifting across a river seeing a waterfall in the horizon. Like most tired students, we kind of let the waterfall take us. Just do what we can. Let what will happen, happen.
I remember that small moment of the sky looking clear above you as you sing at the top of your lungs, half-laughing at the abomination you may be churning out, but still doing it anyway. For the first time, I felt like floating, levitating. I was forgetting everything else, and just…singing. Enjoying it. Maybe it is a shame that what brought on my joyful time was an external catalyst, but found I am still thankful for it anyway.
At a second glance, I saw that perhaps the joy was found in a certain feeling of letting yourself be lost in the moment. The path of least resistance, perhaps? In retrospect, maybe it is not exactly joy, but euphoria that I felt. But since I could not remember anything else, I was hoping this could count. I am kinda feeling bad that I was never the type to find that joy in small things, but that sole feeling of euphoria was enough to tell me that I am capable or at least, remember, that time I felt joy, even for a short time.
Joy? Joy by Sam Carreon